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Early writing among ancient Vikings and today´s pre-schoolers: a cognitive developmental perspective on reading acquisition and alphabets as effective artefacts
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)In: Paedagogica historica, ISSN 0030-9230, Vol. 44, no 1-2, 167-178 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present paper reports some observations on pre-school children’s spontaneous as well as adult-supported spelling behaviour and makes comparisons between aspects of these early literacy activities and some features of spellings from mostly twelfth- to fourteenth-century Norwegian runic inscriptions. The runic inscriptions originate from a post-Viking time period where formal schooling was rare and exclusively based on the Latin alphabet. It is argued that runic literacy was serving several important functions in the society and that runic literacy skill was learned in an everyday sociocultural context and that this learning process in a critical way was supported by one major artefact – the runic alphabet itself. It is concluded that there are fundamental similarities between the learning activities among the children of today and the thirteenth-century self-supported print explorer. The basic commonality is alphabetical knowledge and it is concluded that primary knowledge of the actual alphabet is, and has always been, essential for the initial stage of reading acquisition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2008. Vol. 44, no 1-2, 167-178 p.
Keyword [en]
reading acquisition, runes, phonological awareness, early literacy, name writing, futhark inscriptions, informal schooling
National Category
History Psychology Cultural Studies Pedagogy
Research subject
Psychology; Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9264DOI: 10.1080/00309230701865546OAI: diva2:148935
Available from: 2009-12-11 Created: 2008-03-17 Last updated: 2010-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Olofsson, Åke
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