Readers as place-makers: the experience of place in the literacy life-worlds of middle childhood
– New EER Article Alert
Pages: 1-13 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1262330
This study explored five adults’ experiences of place within their middle childhood literacy life-worlds. Middle childhood, the stage of development in which children often acquire reading independence, is also characterized by significant increases in children’s geographic accessibility and independence. The findings propose that in the literacy life-worlds of middle childhood, readers’ experiences of place can be characterized as Repositioning (instances in which participants saw themselves differently in relation to their physical or conceptual environments), Transportation (participants’ sense of being imaginatively transported to a literary landscape where they could engage in new experiences), Nesting (the way participants manipulated their physical environment in preparation for the act of reading) and Layering (the means by which participants attempted to embody, in a very physical sense, a literary world by layering it on top of their immediate environment). These findings have significant implications for place-conscious literacy curricula, suggesting that children engage in dynamic transactions with out-of-school places as they enact their emerging identity as independent readers.
Keywords: Place-based education, literacy, middle childhood, children’s literature, identity