Gunther Kress argues for a radical reappraisal of the phenomenon of literacy, and hence for a profound shift in educational practice. Through close attention to the variety of objects which children constantly produce (drawings, cuttings-out, 'writings' and collages), Kress suggests a set of principles which reveal the underlying coherence of children's actions; actions which allow us to connect them with attempts to make meaning before they acquire language and writing.This book provides fundamental challenges to commonly held assumptions about both language and literacy, thought and action. It places these challenges within the context of speculation about the abilities and dispositions essential for children as young adults, and calls for the radical decentring of language in educational theory and practice.

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