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Early childhood designs for multiliterate techno tikes

Hesterman, S. (2008) Early childhood designs for multiliterate techno tikes. In: Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Forum 2008, 9 August 2008, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley


In 1996, the New London Group presented their manifesto, Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures, advocating change in literacy teaching for the 21st century. The authors claimed that if students are to be equipped with skills necessary to meet the challenging and diverse demands of different forms of communication brought about by the introduction of new technologies, then a broader definition of literacy was required. As debate on information and communication technology integration and literacy definition intensifies, a more hotly contested topic engaging early childhood teachers is how they will accommodate these changes. How will early childhood education facilitate young children's use of ICT to support Multiliteracies learning? What will new literacies look like in their teaching programs? How will young students use ICT to learn in different ways?

This study investigated how, a decade after the published manifesto, six West Australian teachers integrated ICT in ECE to support Multiliteracies learning. Six case studies, constructed over a nine-month period and employing ethnographic methodology with postmodern perspective, illustrated how different ECE curricular, pedagogical and classroom designs impact on the quality of students' learning. A cross case analysis of five themes common to all cases: definition, resources, support, pedagogy and program, provided insight to the challenges, considerations, and conditions teachers experience when supporting students' use of ICT and Multiliteracies learning. This study concluded that Early Childhood Designs for Multiliterate Techno Tikes are intrinsically entwined with teacher pedagogy and school culture. Ten Principles of Actions underpinning classroom exemplars were identified.

Keywords: multiliteracies, information and communication technology, pedagogy

Publication Type: Conference Paper
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