This Handbook critically examines research and theoretical issues that impact writing development from the early years through to adulthood. It provides those researching or teaching literacy with one of the most academically authoritative and comprehensive works in the field. With expert contributors from across the world, the book represents a detailed and valuable overview of a complex area of study.

Writing in Childhood Worlds

Writing in Childhood Worlds

Writing in childhood worlds

Almost 20 years ago, Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Italian municipal preprimary system (Reggio Emilia), visited my then university home in Berkeley, California. I asked him if the children in his schools wrote and how that writing began. He told me, through a translator, that writing began when children put little gifts in each other's mailboxes – a small piece of candy, perhaps, or a bit of ribbon. The small gift was a shared pleasure, a mediator of a relationship. To use contemporary academic language, within this practice – this frame for action – children could move into offering each other, not small treats, but written notes, even if the note contained only their name.

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