To teach writing: Teachers' perspectives on how to promote children’s writing development in the Swedish preschool class

Abstract

This study focuses on how teachers in Swedish preschool classes describe their work to promote children’s early writing. The research questions are the following: According to teachers, in what daily activities are children given the opportunity to write? How do teachers describe their support for children’s writing processes? The empirical data was collected from interviews with twelve teachers working in preschool classes in seven different Swedish municipalities. The result shows that preschool class teachers express how they work to promote both individual and group writing. It reveals two different approaches regarding guiding children to develop their writing skills. First approach puts emphasis on working to develop creative and functional writing based on the child’s own interests, life experiences and level of knowledge. The second approach is primarily characterised by working on technical abilities; forming letters of the alphabet and developing the child’s phonological awareness. It was also found that there are teachers who use both approaches in their teaching. Teachers utilise various support strategies to develop children’s writing skills. These encompass everything from individual and group activities to the use of various artefacts in the teaching environment. The support that teachers offer children might be divided into high-level and low-level support.

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Author Biographies

Susanna Andersson, Mälardalens University

Susanna Andersson, Doctoral Student in Educational Sciences and Lecture in Special Needs Education, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Mälardalens University, Box 883, 721 23 Västerås, Sweden, phone number; +46 21-10 13 71, mailto; susanna.andersson@mdh.se

Gunilla Sandberg, Mälardalens University

Gunilla Sandberg Associate Professor in Special Needs Education at School of Education, Culture and Communication, Mälardalens University, Västerås, Sweden;

gunilla.sandberg@mdh.

Anders Garpelin, Mälardalens University

Professor in Education and Special Needs at School of Education, Culture and Communication, Mälardalens University, Västerås, Sweden.

anders.garpelin@mdh.se

Published
2019-10-10
How to Cite
Andersson, S., Sandberg, G., & Garpelin, A. (2019). To teach writing: Teachers’ perspectives on how to promote children’s writing development in the Swedish preschool class. Nordic Journal of Literacy Research, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.23865/njlr.v5.1460
Section
Original Research Articles
Keywords
preschool class, scaffolding, teachers' perspective, teaching writing, zone of proximal development