Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Rosalind Charlesworth


This study examines the ways in which kindergartners from more and less developmentally appropriate classrooms negotiate the process of graphic communication. Both quantitative and qualitative aspects of this process are examined. Eighty-one kindergarten children from four classrooms were asked to tell a story both verbally and graphically. They were encouraged to include drawing, writing, or both on their paper. Then they were asked to tell the story that they had produced graphically. The children were students in one of four classrooms from a single school system that were identified as: (a) most developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices; (b) developmentally appropriate in belief, but not in practice; (c) both developmentally appropriate and developmentally inappropriate beliefs and practices; and (d) least developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices. No statistically significant differences were found in the level of drawing of the children in the four classrooms. On the writing scale, significant differences were found for girls favoring the classroom that was both developmentally appropriate and developmentally inappropriate when mean scores were used for analysis. Analysis of highest writing scores for each child also showed statistically significant differences for girls favoring the classroom with both appropriate and inappropriate teaching methods. No significant differences were found between classrooms in the areas of writing or storytelling when each child's first session scores were analyzed. For the storytelling scale, significant differences were found favoring the least developmentally appropriate classrooms when mean scores were analyzed. An investigation of the differences in the use of peer and private speech by the children as they produced their stories on paper was attempted. It was not successful due to whispered speech by some of the children. This speech was difficult to impossible to transcribe, causing transcriptions to be incomplete and therefore not analyzable. Qualitative analysis provided further insight into the problem.