Re-visioning narrative competence: exploring kindergartners' collaborative story construction

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Virginia Tech


This qualitative study explored young children's narrative competence, i.e. sense of story (Martinez, Cheney, & Teale, 1993). It used a combination of videotaping and interviewing to examine multiple perspectives of spontaneous child-constructed stories in the context of classroom sociodramatic play.

Previous research of children's narrative competence was limited to a nearly exclusive focus upon children's individual mastery of skills such as recall and comprehension of adult selected or elicited stories (Guttman & Frederiksen, 1985; Pellegrini & Galda, 1982; Williamson & Silvern, 1991). This study utilized an alternative approach based upon Vygotskian theory (1967, 1978) to "re-vision" narrative competence as a collaborative social process. Social pretense has been called collaborative when it engages two or more children in complementary, i.e., cooperative, interactions (Howes, 1992; Roskos, 1988).