The relevance of composing: Children’s spaces for social agency

Comber, Barbara (2016) The relevance of composing: Children’s spaces for social agency. In Dyson, Anne Haas (Ed.) Child Cultures, Schooling and Literacy: Global Perspectives on Children Composing Their Lives. Routledge, New York & London, pp. 119-132.


This chapter addresses the relevance of composing for young children in creating spaces for social agency. It begins with a working definition of agency, outlines forms of agency and what might constrain it. Referring to case studies of particular children, it then goes on to discuss key themes, which illuminate what is possible and what is at stake when children compose. These overlapping themes include identity (sense of self, belonging), positioning (helping, initiating, befriending, “being bright”), voices (made through sound effects, singing, language style, and appropriating from popular culture and digital worlds), play (appropriating, imagining, designing, and creating), and resistance (not participating, staying silent, moving). Two main cases are drawn upon, those of Ta’Von and Gareth, who demonstrate agency in terms of finding spaces of belonging and meaning-making occasions in the classroom and playground. Vignettes from other children are referred to in order to illustrate common themes.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

5 since deposited on 11 Mar 2016
5 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 93616
Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 9781138831520
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2016 01:26
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 04:42

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page