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Case Studies in multiliteracies and inclusive pedagogy: Facilitating meaningful literacy learning

Drewry, Rachel (2017) Case Studies in multiliteracies and inclusive pedagogy: Facilitating meaningful literacy learning. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This thesis presents the results of a study designed to examine ways to engage and scaffold primary school students who experience literacy learning difficulties. Utilising a pedagogy of multiliteracies, proposed by the New London Group (1996, 2000), and a framework for inclusive pedagogy (Florian, 2014), this thesis sought to investigate ways to facilitate meaningful literacy learning for students who experience challenges when participating in print-based classroom activities.

A qualitative case study approach was adopted to support the broader sociocultural and multiliteracies perspective that underlies the theoretical direction of this research. Three student case studies were constructed illustrating the students’ in-school and out-of-school literacy practices. Research data indicated that while these students exhibited strong engagement with multiple literacies in their out-of-school environment, their experiences in a classroom context were, at times, challenging and marginalising.

During the fieldwork period, which took place in a Western Australian Year 6 primary classroom, a multimodal literacy activity was implemented over one school term. This activity required students to: 1. Audioread the novel The Bad Beginning 2. Create a storyboard utilising the iPad app Kid’s Book Report and 3. Create an iMovie review about the novel.

Data analysis revealed that engagement with the multimodal literacy activity emerged in similar ways for the case study students. These students appeared to be engaged with the literacy activity when they were:

• Activating prior knowledge and immersed in meaningful practices via situated learning.
• Experiencing opportunities to create meaning in multiple ways.
• Fostering shared meanings - scaffolded within a community of practice.

Results indicate that engagement with multiple literacies, beyond the printed word, allowed the students to navigate literacy within various contexts. Exploring multimodal ways to present their thoughts further enhanced the students’ engagement with the multimodal literacy activity.

This study provides insight into key areas in the field of literacy research and contributes to understandings of: multiliteracies; inclusive pedagogy; sociocultural approaches to literacy; and open-ended and flexible approaches to literacy learning. The study may be of interest to pre and in service primary school educators and education researchers and policy makers.

Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Supervisor: Maor, Dorit, Cumming-Potvin, Wendy and Currie, Jan
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/35565
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