Thursday, March 01, 2007

Video conference

This afternoon we had a great video-conference lecture from Anne Haas Dyson at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (courtesy of WUN). Her studies of children’s ‘birthday party fantasies’ and ‘pine cone wars’ vividly illustrated how children make use of writing tools in the context of their own cultural worlds. I was quite moved by the fact that all this seems to thrive within the context of the ‘return to basics’ agenda of NCLB. Anne in her webpage blurb talks about how she has “become interested in changing notions of written language and of the texts through which people learn and play (particularly those of popular culture), in how children's literacy use reflects these changing notions, and in how schools should respond to those changes.” Great stuff, I can’t wait to read it in more detail!


Kate said...

I was there too. I liked the idea of children's texts as contact zones (Pratt) and how they leave tracings or footprints in their texts as they move among worlds.

Guy Merchant said...

Yes, I liked that, too and there are similar themes in your work. But I also liked the idea of children's texts as abandoned houses and often worry that we spend too much time on those houses rather than the occupants themselves! On reflection, the two metaphors are rather interesting together - are we looking at footprints in abandoned houses? Makes one think of a detective novel!