Iannone, A. (2014). (RE)-AUTHORING THE STUDENT: AN EXPLORATION INTO FIGURED WORLDS, IDENTITY FORMATION, GENRE, PUBLICS, AND HOW POWER RELATIONS IMPACT CHILDREN'S WRITING. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
As digital media makes its way into elementary school classrooms, urban school culture moves slowly to join in. The move to integrate new technologies into schools is both enabled and constrained by factors such as the need for students and teachers to be seen as people who are "successful" in both public and social terms. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the complexities for elementary children learning to write in the digital age. I used a case study approach, examining the language choices of eight third and fourth grade students (4 girls and 4 boys) who attended an urban elementary school in a large southeastern city in the United States. I analyzed how the students' language choices contributed to the construction/negotiation of their writer identities and the degree to which these constructs/negotiations were enabled/constrained by what the participants imagined was/not possible from their positions as students while composing with varying technologies. I conclude that it is not only the young writers who imagine what is/not possible from their position as students, it is also those who guide, or "authorize" student writing, including teachers, administrators, and parents. This constructing/negotiating, authorizing/guiding all take place as students seek to maintain membership (textually) within their school world while endeavoring to cultivate new memberships within expanses or publics that coexist alongside their schools. The young writers highlighted in this study, working against from within the school district's accountability and efficiency agenda show that being a "successful" student writer can mean more than their merely reproducing what is expected of them.