Ideas in dialogue: Leveraging the power of child-led storytelling in the multicultural preschool classroom

Erin Elizabeth Flynn
  • Language in Society, July 2018, Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: 10.1017/s0047404518000593

Ideas in dialogue: Children continue ideas like threads in small group storytelling

What is it about?

This study shows lower SES preschool children's stories to be culturally shaped, unfolding in patterned ways reminiscent of adult story genres, and dialogic. As children try out different genres of story and culturally shaped storytelling styles, they respond to one another's stories by continuing ideas which connect their stories in a larger dialogue.

Why is it important?

Shows the sophistication evident in young children's storytelling, even amongst children frequently characterized as "at-risk" for various forms of difficulty in formal schooling.


Erin Elizabeth Flynn
Portland State University

Really, what you see young children doing in their storytelling is negotiating ways of saying, doing, and being as they take greater ownership of classroom discourse. Young children use stories as an instrument of power.

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