Writing Children: Reinventing the Development of Childhood Literacy

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Adult ways of writing—of constructing textual visions of—children are linked to their ways of envisioning themselves and, more broadly, to their perceptions of fully “developed” adults. Thus developmental visions have traditionally taken for granted the social and ideological worlds of privileged adults. This article aims to make problematic such writing by reviewing new visions of language and of development that acknowledge human sociocultural and ideological complexity. Within these visions, children's differentation of ways of using language is linked to their differentiation of their own place—potential or actual—in the social world. To more fully explore these new visions, this article also offers a concrete illustration of writing children as social and ideologically complex beings. It concludes by considering implications for both professional writing and classroom pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-46
Number of pages43
JournalWritten Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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