Social Worlds of Children Learning to Write in an Urban Primary School

Social Worlds of Children Learning to Write in an Urban Primary School

by Anne Haas Dyson

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Overview

Dyson supports efforts to make literacy curricula accessible to our schools’ socioculturally diverse population. This two-year ethnographic study of K–3 children focuses on six students who would normally be deemed “at-risk” and who do not tell stories in the written language format valued by most early literacy educators. Their literacy learning, particularly their writing development, is portrayed as a social process in a complex social world. Dyson’s key theme is the link between composing a text and composing a place in this social world.

“Dyson reconceptualizes classrooms as places for dynamic combinations of critical thinking, humor, growth, and understanding for children and their teachers.”
—Harvard Educational Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807777268
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 06/01/2018
Series: Language and Literacy Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 17 MB
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Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Introduction: Composing a Place in the Classroom Neighborhood1
Purpose of the Book5
Plan of the Book7
1.Framing Child Texts with Child Worlds: Ways of Studying Language, Literacy, and Diversity9
Learning to Write as Social Work11
Cultural Traditions in School Worlds13
Children Discovering and Crossing Cultural Boundaries18
Studying Children's Social and Text Worlds20
2.The Official Classroom World: A Permeable Curriculum30
A Dialogue of Images and Sounds: The School Context31
The Classroom Context33
The Dialogic Curriculum35
3.Unofficial Classroom Worlds: Children Taking Action Through Language52
The Complexity of the Children's Social Worlds54
Composing Unofficial Neighborhoods57
The Sociocentric Child at Work and Play75
4.The Case Study Children: Social Actors and Literacy Users78
The Social Work and Symbolic Tools of Child Composers79
Beginning Portraits80
On Child Composing as Social Work106
5.Jameel: Staking a Claim on the Official Literacy Curriculum108
Jameel: The Case of the Singing Scientist, Part I111
Jameel Midyear: Negotiating a Classroom Place131
Coda: On Boundaries132
6.Jameel: Claims, Inroads, and Emerging Crossroads133
Jameel: The Case of the Singing Scientist, Part II134
Summary: Finding a Social Place at School151
Epilogue153
7.Lamar and Eugenie: From Textual Crossroads to Curricular Side Roads155
Year 1Toward Texts as Curricular Crossroads156
Year 2Composing on Curricular Side Roads171
On Crossroads, Side Roads, and Unpredictable Stories186
8.Ayesha and William: The Politics of Composing in the Third Grade189
Louise's Third-Grade Class191
William and Ayesha194
Negotiating Classroom Worlds Through Composing201
Verbal Performance in the Dialogic Curriculum211
9.Composing the Classroom Neighborhood215
Defining Discourse Boundaries: Rigidity vs. Permeability217
Acknowledging and Supporting Sociocultural Breadth219
Acknowledging and Supporting Sociocultural Depth223
The Social Work of Teaching228
In Closing: On Composing Texts and Composing Selves229
Appendices231
Notes237
References245
Index257
About the Author263

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