The Effects of Whole Language on Children's Writing: A Review of Literature

Steve Graham, Karen Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A review was conducted of 14 studies examining the effects of whole language on learning to write. Although we found that the writing of students in whole-language classes generally improved during kindergarten and the primary grades, reliable differences between the writing of children in whole-language and skills-oriented classes were not found. The only reliable difference between children in these two types of programs involved students' thinking about writing. Students in whole-language classes held a meaning-based view of writing, whereas their peers in conventional classes viewed writing from a skills perspective. There were not enough data available to draw any conclusions about the writing progress of older children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalEducational Psychologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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