Understanding and supporting young writers: Opening the school gate

Noella M. Mackenzie
Anne Petriwskyj

Learning to write is critical to becoming literate. In this paper we examine continuities and discontinuities in pedagogical approaches to writing across preschools and schools. Qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis were applied. Findings suggest that preschool teachers rarely introduce children to traditional or digital forms of writing, while schools seem to expect even their youngest students to write using letters and words and conventional written text structures. This suggests that there is a metaphorical ‘gate’ between the two settings with approaches to early writing based on which side of the gate the children are, rather than where they are on their personal writing learning journey. The authors provide a rationale for opening this gate in order to support young writers as they transition from prior-to-school settings to school.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 42 Number 2 June 2017.

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