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Title Authoring Time in the Classroom: Multiage Writers Compose Communities, Relationships, and Identities across Timescales
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University/Publisher Indiana University
Abstract Educational researchers have long taken for granted the implicit ways that temporality acts as a contextual factor in how children make sense of their daily experiences in school. In most research, time has been assumed to be the process of counting elapsed minutes, days, or months; but in the current study, time is situated as a socially constructed artifact, produced, productive, and contested as part of everyday classroom interactions and literacy events. This longitudinal ethnography examines the role of time as context in how children come to understand the process writing and learning to write. Sociocultural research on temporality, childhood studies, and writing development frame this work. The questions addressed include: 1.) How do classroom discourses about temporality and writing discursively construct possibilities for writerly identities? 2) How do young writers use and produce time as a cultural tool in the classroom? 3) What are the ways in which the young writers in this community integrate activity and meaning making from shorter timescales to longer timescales (and vice-versa)? Selecting the K-6 multiage classroom as an ethnographic research site offered the opportunity to follow a community of young children across 4 years, documenting situated writing practices, discourses, and interactions. Using mediated discourse analysis alongside tools borrowed from timescale analysis, key sites of engagement in the classroom were analyzed and temporally mapped across a multiplicity of intersecting timescales. Findings suggest that long-time community members made the socio-historical timescale visible for all members, constructing a kind of usable past for the community that was used as a resource in collectively interpreting writerly actions, artifacts, and trajectories. As part of this usable past, analyses identified the discoursal practice of collective remembering, mediated by written artifacts produced across time, as integral in positioning children of all ages as both ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ writers. This understanding of writing development offers a far more complex picture of young writers’ actions and identity production than the linear stage model. A more nuanced understanding of time as context is critical in this era of high stakes testing where time is increasingly tightened in classroom spaces. Despite these external efforts to control time in classrooms, the research here offers a hopeful coda: because children and teachers have agency in producing time they have also agency in resituating writing across much longer arcs, extending a moment of textual production into the past as well as into imagined futures, and, more importantly, extending meaningful, literate identities to all children in the present.
Subjects/Keywords Development; Elementary; Ethnography; Literacy; Multiage; Writing
Contributors Wohlwend, Karen (advisor)
Language en
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:2022/20289
Repository iu
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2017-06-15

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