The semiotic work of teachers’ writing in displays of young children’s drawings

Sakr, Mona, Connelly, V. and Wild, M. (2014) The semiotic work of teachers’ writing in displays of young children’s drawings. In: The state of the art in theory, methodology and pedagogy. Breur, E. and Archer, A., eds. Emerald. (Accepted/In press)

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Abstract

When young children’s artwork is displayed in early years classrooms, it is often accompanied by teachers’ writing. This writing occurs in different forms including captions, labels and display titles. The juxtaposition of children’s artwork and adults’ writing in early years classroom displays invites us to ask what uses the teachers’ writing has and how this relates to the early years education landscape more generally. The aim of the research presented in this chapter is to understand how teacher writing is used in the displays of young children’s artwork and to explore what this might suggest about the wider discourses and pressures in early years education. This was achieved by examining the display of young children’s artwork across three early years educational settings in the UK. For each site of display, observations were made about the presentation of writing and image, and interviews were conducted with teachers in the school regarding the decisions they make when displaying children’s artwork. Findings suggest that writing is used in displays of children’s artwork in multiple ways but primarily to make the child’s intention (as it is perceived by the practitioner) visible to others and in doing so, to record evidence of progress in children’s communicative ability, particularly in relation to writing. These uses can tell us about perceptions of children’s artwork and art-making among practitioners in early years education and how the pressure to ensure ‘writing readiness’ among children – a pressure stemming from school policies and governmental guidelines – shapes these perceptions.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Centre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 14011
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Mona Sakr
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 11:44
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:32
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/14011

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