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CHILDREN'S WRITING: Perspectives From Research.

Karin L. Dahl & Nancy Farnan. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 1998. 158 pp. $19.95. In classrooms all over the United States, children's writing is extending into more curriculum areas than ever before. Hence, classroom teachers need current knowledge about children's writing development that can be translated easily into classroom practice. Children's Writing is an uncommonly useful text that more than adequately meets this need.

This teacher-friendly book draws on a wide range of both qualitative and quantitative research on various aspects of children's writing. Weaving the chapters together around the theme of writing's social aspects, Dahl and Farnan explain the connections between instructional practices and research in a format that is easy to read and understand. Children's Writing explores current topics such as new directions for writing workshop, writing across subject areas, and technology. Each chapter includes research-based suggestions for classroom instruction, while the final chapter examines areas for further research. A section at the end of each chapter called "Looking Ahead" encourages teachers to conduct their own classroom-based research, in the hopes of gaining critical insight into children's writing development.

So many books seem to take a case study approach to inform educators about issues related to teaching. It is refreshing to find a text that combines valid research and realistic suggestions for classroom practice into a user-friendly, comprehensive, yet succinct volume. Children's Writing will be useful for the elementary classroom teacher seeking to improve instructional practices in writing development, as well as for instructors and researchers seeking a comprehensive review of the latest findings in children's writing. Parents who are curious about their children's writing development also will find this text appealing. Reviewed by Blanche Desjean-Perrotta, Division of Education, University of Texas at San Antonio
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Desjean-Perrotta, Blanche
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1999
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