Early Childhood Education Journal
School of Education
© 2020, The Author(s). This article describes the processes and outcomes of a research project exploring children’s motivation to write, undertaken by four pre-primary teachers in Western Australia. The teachers adopted a sociocultural theoretical framework using child centred participatory methodology, in which 109 children aged between five and six years shared their views of writing in conversation with their teacher. Thematic analysis in conjunction with statistical analysis indicated that the majority of children were motivated to write. They had a positive attitude towards writing, evidenced by their self-efficacy and were developing aspects of self-determination evidenced by their sense of ownership and control of the codes of writing. They had some understanding of the value of writing as a means of supporting reading and securing a positive future, thus enhancing their motivation to write. However, a small group of children indicated that they did not like writing, found writing hard, and did not know how or what to write. In addition, few children mentioned writing as a means of communication. The absence of purpose and audience in the children’s responses, was partly explained by the teachers’ focus on the codes of writing, potentially impacting on children’s motivation. This prompted the teachers to re-conceptualise their writing program in ways that engaged children in authentic writing tasks, while continuing to scaffold their understanding of the codes of writing. This collaborative approach to research, in ways that privilege children’s voices, has implications for informing pedagogy across a range of early childhood contexts and curriculum areas.
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