Magazine article English Drama Media

Developing Writers: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

Magazine article English Drama Media

Developing Writers: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

Article excerpt

Developing Writers: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

Richard Andrews, Anna Smith

Open University Press, 2011, 21.99 [pounds sterling]

ISBN 0335241786

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Developing Writers uses its title's neat ambiguity to relentlessly pursue current and possible models and of both writing and writing development at a pivotal time in global change in writing technology. Andrews and Smith review previous models of writing for their critiques of writer development, as a premise for their own speculative model of writing in a changing digital age. The focus throughout is on the writer. Models of writing development, reviewed in Chapters 4-5, revisit familiar product-process paradigms, not as oppositional perspectives, but as contributory to modelling the textual, social and cognitive frames through which we may understand writer development.

The authors move on to survey what digital technologies have developed in schools and homes since the 1990s, stressing the frequency and nature of changing communications, and indicating dissonances of children and young peoples' writing experiences in the many domains of their lives. It is refreshing to read of the constant sway in writing technologies, domains and practices, not as desirable 'must-dos', but as individual possibilities that constrain or afford writer-agency to young writers in both schooling and social live.

The authors stress throughout that writers' development should most fruitfully be the focus of research and classroom practice, irrespective of which technologies may, or may not, be available. …

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