Emerging Epistemologies of Text: Learning to Treat Texts as Human Creations in a “Writing Classroom”
In this chapter, the authors investigate the influence of a “writing environment” on young children’s emerging epistemologies of text. They discuss three elements: students, with a focus on children’s concept of authorship; teacher beliefs concerning children’s emerging understanding of text; and classroom environments that foster or limit young children’s emerging literacy. The authors also investigate what factors influence young children’s acquisition of the concept of authorship. They use observation, interviews, and an oral reading activity with the children to collect data for their study. The authors analyze four classrooms in two schools in the same district for the their study of developing ideas about authorship. They show that there is a developmental progression from a more concrete, literal view of text to a more critical, analytical view of text. The authors also show that the instructional approaches used in writing classrooms are more sensitive to the developmental aspects of children’s acquisition of literacy.