Author: Woods, Annette, Comber, Barbara, Kervin, Lisa, Baroutsis, Aspa
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
The Learning to write in the early years project investigates text production as a collective and multimodal literate practice, drawing on a socio-material analysis which is focused on the tools, texts, resources and people that are available to young children as they learn to write. Framing text production in this way, we are interested in providing methods for researchers and teachers to know more about how children in the early years of school are learning to write and produce texts in current classroom contexts. The research sites are two schools in communities of high poverty, across two states. In each case the schools are sites where the researchers have sustained, research relationships with teachers and leaders over many years. The research participants are the leaders, teachers and children engaged in the first four years of schooling in these schools.In this paper we present an analysis of one component of the data collected for this larger study. The Learning to write in the early years survey has been designed to collect data from children about what learning to write and produce texts involves for them in their daily classroom lives. As part of one-on-one face-to-face discussions, children were asked to tell us about the resources that are available to them, the adults and peers who sustain and support their learning, and the texts that they use and produce as they learn to write. The survey provided a way for us to hear what children can tell us about the enablements and constraints of literacy pedagogy, and to value what young children know about how they best learn to write and produce texts. We are interested not only in material and human resources that support young children’s learning, but also in the insights of children about writing as a collective or individual practice and how this aligns or does not align with the reality of learning to write and produce texts in current classrooms.