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ERIC Number: EJ1087014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1086-296X
Arguing from Experience: Young Children's Embodied Knowledge and Writing as Inquiry
Ghiso, María Paula
Journal of Literacy Research, v47 n2 p186-215 Jun 2015
As new standards require that teachers and schools move to incorporate argument writing beginning in the earliest grades, young children's interactions with opportunities to formulate claims require further investigation. This article, part of a yearlong ethnographic study of a first-grade class, examines young children's practices of argument writing during a 6-week unit that invited them to take a stance on issues in their lives they considered unfair. I utilize feminist epistemologies to understand the ways children drew on their embodied knowledge to make normative claims about the world and investigate social justice concerns. Analysis focuses on the teacher's and students' characterizations of writing arguments and the discursive negotiation of what writing comes to mean for differently situated participants, including areas of contestation. This study illuminates the interrelationship between specific features of argument, the premises of the genre, and children's lived experiences, and proposes a continuum of argumentation. In contrast to the dominant rationalities codified in writing standards and curricular mandates, findings suggest that young children engaged with composing arguments in ways that displayed an alternative rationality derived from their social locations. Through sponsorship from their teacher, the children came to see their personal experiences as central to the arguments they were constructing, and their role as writers as moving beyond disinterested discernment of contrasting perspectives to seeing themselves as invested in the issues under study. Implications for research and practice in early childhood literacy are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A