Through analysis of case studies of young children (ages 3 to 8 years), situated in different geographic, cultural, linguistic, political, and socioeconomic sites on six continents, this book examines the interplay of childhoods, schooling, and, literacies. Written language is situated within particular childhoods as they unfold in school. A key focus is on children's agency in the construction of their own childhoods.
The book generates diverse perspectives on what written language may mean for childhoods. Looking at variations in the complex relationships between official (curricular) visions and unofficial (child-initiated) visions of relevant composing practices and appropriate cultural resources, it offers, first, insight into how those relationships may change over time and space as children move through early schooling, and, second, understanding of the dynamics of schools and the experience of childhoods through which the local meaning of school literacy is formulated. Each case-each child in a particular sociocultural site-does not represent an essentialized nation or a people but, rather, a rich, processual depiction of childhood being constructed in particular local contexts and the role, if any, for composing.
Anne Haas Dyson is Faculty Excellence Professor, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and American Educational Research Fellow.
Acknowledgements SECTION 1 Stories of Composing in Childhoods 1 Introduction: Gathering Textual Children Anne Haas Dyson 2 The Situated Cases: Child Agency, Cultural Resources, Language Anne Haas Dyson and case study authors Prologue I. CASES FEATURING CHILD AGENCY: GARETH AND TA'VON Gareth: The Reluctant Writer Jackie Marsh Ta'Von: Negotiating Inclusion in a Stratified World Anne Haas Dyson II. CASES FEATURING CULTURAL RESOURCES: DANTI, GUS, AND SHEELA Danti: Glocalizing Dora the Explorer in Indonesia Sophie Dewayani Gus: "I Can't Write Anything" Barbara Comber and Lyn Kerkham Sheela: Finding her Voice Urvashi Sahni III. CASES FEATURING LANGUAGE: MIGUEL, NATALIA, AND RAFIKI Miguel the Artista: A Case of Mismatch and Misguided "Reform" Celia Genishi Natalia: "I want to speak Tata's Language!" Learning and Awakening the Local Language Iliana Reyes Rafiki: A Teacher-Pupil Esther Mukewa Lisanza Toward Knitting Together Tangled Cases Anne Haas Dyson SECTION 2 Thematic Threads of Continuity and Contrast 3 The Relevance of Composing: Children's Spaces for Social Agency Barbara Comber 4 Resources for Composing Peggy J. Miller and Urvashi Sahni 5 The Powers of Language: Toward Remixing Language Policy, Curricula, and Child Identities Celia Genishi SECTION 3 On Composing Childhoods 6 Making Space for Missing Childhoods: Implications for Theory, Policy, and Pedagogy Anne Haas Dyson Concluding Commentary Peggy J. Miller