ERIC Number: ED362889
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
From Invention to Social Action in Early Childhood Literacy: A Reconceptualization through Dialogue about Difference.
Dyson, Anne Haas
What difference should sociocultural difference make in early literacy theory and practice? In response to this question, this paper argues that such differences should lead to a reconceptualization that highlights the social nature and cultural meaning of child literacy development. Drawing on a recent ethnographic study of child composing in an urban primary school, the paper contrasts dominant assumptions about appropriate developmental practices (e.g., invented spelling, process writing) with children's interpretations of those practices, interpretations grounded in children's social and cultural worlds. The paper uses data gathered in an urban K-3 school where six "key" children were observed closely for two years. It is argued that infusing situatedness and culture into the ways in which educators observe and make sense of children's written language should make "normal" a range of possible pathways to literacy--and "appropriate" a range of ways of teaching--so that difference in fact makes less difference in children's school success. Contains 47 references. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.