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ERIC Number: EJ781257
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 41
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
Staying in the (Curricular) Lines: Practice Constraints and Possibilities in Childhood Writing
Dyson, Anne Haas
Written Communication, v25 n1 p119-159 2008
Young children are growing up in a time when literacy practices and textual productions are in flux. Yet literacy curricula, particularly for those deemed "at risk," are tightly focused on the written language "basics." What are the potential consequences? In this article, the author considers this question, drawing on an ethnographic study of child writing in an urban school site. Using a sociocultural and dialogic frame, she examines first graders' interpretations and negotiations of official writing practices, detailing how these (a) shaped their written language use, including use of time and space, multimodal tools, and expected voices and modeled ideologies and (b) pushed to the sidelines or left in the unofficial child world aspects of their knowledge and know-how, including a breadth of communicative practices and a diversity of graphological symbols. The author concludes with reflections on instructional links among official writing practices, children's literacy experiences, and the "basics" in contemporary times. (Contains 10 figures and 2 notes.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A