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ERIC Number: EJ784678
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 30
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-0034-0553
Social Contracts for Writing: Negotiating Shared Understandings about Text in the Preschool Years
Rowe, Deborah Wells
Reading Research Quarterly, v43 n1 p66-95 Jan-Mar 2008
This article describes some of the foundational social contracts about written texts that two-year-olds and their teachers were negotiating in a U.S. preschool writing center. Social contracts are shared cultural knowledge that individuals draw on to produce and use written texts in culturally appropriate ways. Participants in this study were 18 two-year-olds, two classroom teachers, and a teacher-researcher, all of whom were white and middle class. Data were collected over nine months using ethnographic methods. Analyses showed that these two-year-olds and their teachers negotiated social contracts related to the physical properties of texts (e.g., text boundaries and figure-ground distinctions), the representational systems of art and writing (e.g., the distinctive forms and meanings of writing and drawing), and relations between people and text objects (e.g., text ownership and obligations to read texts). The term "social contracts" is used to draw attention to the ways children's knowledge about writing is socially negotiated, collectively constructed, and linked to local writing practices. (Contains 4 tables and 7 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A