THE REFLECTION OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN THE WRITING OF PAPAGO INDIAN CHILDREN (ARIZONA).
AuthorBIRD, LOIS BRIDGES.
KeywordsTohono O'Odham Indians -- Children.
Children -- Writing.
Interpersonal communication in children.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis is a study of the nature and extent of third grade Papago Indian children's use of personal experiences in their writing. It examines the reflection of their experiences as individuals with unique personalities and interests, their experiences as Papago Indians, their experiences as third grade school children, influenced by the curricular content of their conventional school experiences and such multi-media as books, newspapers, television and film, and finally, their experiences as young children with the ability to fantasize. The study examines the extent to which these children introduce personal experience into both assigned and unassigned writing, considering such variables as their control over the assignment, their knowledge of the content of the assignment. The study also investigates how developmental maturity and gender factors influence the reflection of real life experiences in the children's writing. The seventeen subjects, seven boys and ten girls, are Papago Indian students, either eight or nine years old, enrolled in a public elementary school on the reservation, and all members of the same third grade class. The main data base contains at least eight compositions from each subject for a total of two hundred and thirty-seven writing samples. It also includes retrospective interviews conducted by the researcher at the end of the school year with each subject providing evidence about how they developed their ideas for each piece they wrote, and the extent to which the people, places and events in their written compositions represent real-life experiences. The findings demonstrate that children do introduce personal experience into their writing, clearly revealing the many facets of their experiences such as the ethnic, the religious and the environmental. The extent to which the children's personal experience is reflected in their writing is not affected by the degree of control they exercise over the selection of the writing topic; rather, it is influenced by the function for which the children are writing and by the content of the topic they are writing about. The study raises questions about the relationship between developmental maturity and the ability to fantasize and reveals striking differences between male and female writers in the extent to which they utilize their real life experiences in their writing.
Degree ProgramElementary Education