ERIC Number: ED384069
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Writing Children: Reinventing the Development of Childhood Literacy. Technical Report No. 71.
Dyson, Anne Haas
Adult ways of writing--of constructing textual visions of--children are linked to their ways of envisioning themselves and, more broadly, to their perceptions of fully "developed" adults. Thus, developmental visions have traditionally taken for granted the social and psychological worlds of privileged adults. This essay aims to make problematic such writing by reviewing new visions of language and of development that acknowledge human sociocultural and ideological complexity. Within these visions, children's differentiation of ways of using language are linked to their differentiation of their own place--potential or actual--in the social world. To more fully explore these new visions, the essay also offers a concrete illustration of writing children as social and ideologically complex beings. The essay discusses the case of "Sammy," a second grader in an urban school whose writing reflected his own struggle to figure out his place in the social world. It concludes by considering implications for both professional writing and classroom pedagogy. (Contains 119 references, and one figure and one table of data. An appendix lists the sex and ethnicity of the children in the second-grade classroom.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, Berkeley, CA.; National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, Pittsburgh, PA.