Document Type

Article

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

The study explores how a teacher of Early Childhood teaches young children creative writing skills in a community-based school in Karachi, Pakistan. A qualitative case study method was used to examine the practices of the teacher and four early years’ learners (seven to eight years). Data was generated through semi-structured interviews; classroom observations and document analysis. Findings reveal that current practices of teaching and learning creative writing as development of language and literacy skills are highly influenced by how the teacher herself perceives creativity and creative writing in young learners. The teacher selects the topic for the children to write and produce the final piece in a single attempt, thus ignoring the writing process. The teacher introduces the topic through detailed discussion in which her interactions with the children are most of the time in English as required by the school policy. However, with children not understanding English she quickly reverts to translations in Urdu (national language). Hence, children remain confused during their writing. Bilingualism further confuses children, who think in Urdu and write in English with little or no understanding and spontaneity; children experience difficulty in expressing their creative thoughts in English. In the writing process grammar, spellings and sentence structure are checked by the teacher’s constant interjections as required to pass in Language. This hinders creative writing and creates ambiguity in children’s minds between creativity and the convention of language with correct product and little process for leaning and enjoyment. Consequently, it increases the children’s struggle to write creatively. In conclusion, research findings indicate a dire need to bring improvement in the teaching and learning practice of creative writing. The study sets a direction with some recommendations for teachers in this particular context.

Publication

Journal of Educational Research