Donald Graves (1930–2010)
Professor Donald Graves’ scholarly research and publication into how children learn to write revolutionised the teaching of writing in the 1980s, particularly for practitioners working in the early years of schooling. When Don passed away in 2010, he had written 26 books, numerous articles and spoken at many professional gatherings and conferences. He communicated with passion, reframed and raised learning expectations around student achievement and galvanised all who heard him to reflect powerfully and personally on their deepest teaching beliefs.
In one of his very early books, Don wrote: ‘Children want to write. For years we have underestimated their urge to make marks on paper. We have underestimated that urge because of a lack of understanding of the writing process and what children do to control it. Without realising it we wrest control away from children and place roadblocks that thwart their intention.’