AuthorJacobson, Debra Ellen
AdvisorShort, Kathy G.
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 study of teacher interactions with kindergarten writers is grounded in a holistic, socially-mediated constructivist framework. As a participant observer, I conducted a sociolinguistic microanalysis of ten transcripts from a kindergarten classroom to look at how teachers support kindergarten writers. These transcripts served as the primary data. Secondary data included copies of children's writing, dialogue journals between myself and the classroom teacher, videotapes and audiotapes. The three dimensions of context, focus and position were analyzed. Four of the five contexts were related to the classes' journal writing engagement: Mini-Lessons, Targeted Journal Conferences, Concurrent Journal Conferences and Journal Sharing. The fifth context was a writing and drawing option that children chose during Free Choice time. The teachers' five foci identified in the analysis were: Management, The Writing Act, Conventions, Materials and Meaning. The positions the teachers were in as they engaged with children and their writing were: Follower, Leader, Informer and Director. Two-way and three-way cross analyses revealed that the teachers were primarily in the Leader position focusing on Conventions. Students' primary foci were Materials and Management. Also, the specifics of the context as well as the adult present in that context influenced the foci and the positions of the teacher. The findings of this study and the professional literature about learning and teaching both indicate that teachers of young children feel pressures from a variety of sources to teach conventions. This pressure, often results in teachers leading children to produce conventional writing at the expense of children learning about the writing system at their own pace and in ways that make sense to them. Findings from this study also suggest that it would be useful to configure classroom contexts so children have access to the teacher as they are exploring the writing system and using it for authentic purposes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture