Multiliteracies Pedagogy

Multiliteracies Pedagogy

Ramonia R. Rochester (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6046-5.ch075
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

The converging global environment has given rise to a social-constructivist approach to new literacy pedagogical and learning practices. Emergent digital and social spaces have created new literacy or multiliteracies. Support for multiliteracies is an inherently social construct which encapsulates human capital and Information Communications Technology (ICT), including technical and administrative infrastructure, policy and school culture, and teacher training and collaborative support. Several variables intervene in the pedagogical landscape in support of new literacy development in adolescent learners. Students become both producers and transmitters of multiliteracies through transformed practice and by forming social and professional identities, facilitated through authentic learning experiences. ICT is both a literacy as well as the media which support 21st century new literacy development. As socio-economic factors determine the availability and use of technology in the classroom, the hegemonic use of print and the inability to access “digital geographies” creates a digital divide. As literacy pedagogy continues to unfold, creative instruction must be employed in ensuring the development of multiliteracies through providing scaffolding, critical framing, and authentic learning experiences for students and teachers alike. This is explored in this chapter.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

The changing social environment, including the flattening of geographical borders, and educational and labor markets; the multiplicity of communications channels and technologies, and increasing linguistic and cultural diversity, has dictated new approaches to teaching and learning practices, dubbed new literacy or multiliteracies (Cazden, Cope, Fairclough, Gee et al., 1996; Cuming-Potvin, 2007; Vasudevan, 2010). Multiliteracies is the understanding and ability to use language and technology appropriately in various linguistic, cultural and multi-modal communications contexts (Cazden et al., 1996). A reality of multiliteracies teaching and learning is the increasing pivotal role of technology and information communications technology (ICT) mediated-instruction. As technology continues to shape how we communicate, a so-called “digital divide” becomes apparent in consideration of the diverse socio-cultural and socio-economic loci and dispositions of various teaching and learning groups.

The real threat of the digital divide (will be)…that…one group (will be) able to muster a wide range of semiotic tools and resources to persuade, argue, analyze, critique and interpret, and another group, lacking these semiotic skills, limited to pre-packaged choices (as cited in Zammit, 2012, p. 206).

The social-constructivist approach to multiliteracies requires a renewable, ongoing approach to pedagogy, undergirded by the instructional principles of scaffolding and critical framing. Scaffolding is the process through which teachers support students’ learning, gradually removing assistance overtime until the learner can independently create his own knowledge (Cuming-Potvin, 2007). Critical framing involves providing opportunities for learners to develop the skills necessary to question, evaluate and re-evaluate knowledge based on contextual information, and or in the light of new ideas (Cazden et al., 1996). Critical framing skills are best honed through the use of authentic learning experiences which provide a collaborative working environment where students engage in problem solving and participate in real-world activity as they construct their own meaning and solutions to various social, cultural, and political issues (Koh, Tan, & Ng, 2012).

This social constructivist approach to multiliteracies teaching and learning is necessary in preparing learners to access information as they encounter new literacy across various institutions and social contexts throughout their lives. This approach Cuming-Potvin (2007) notes, is imperative to the learner’s “ability to decode, engage in meaningful events, and understand that text and contexts cannot be divorced from social, cultural, and political worlds” (p. 502). This paper will examine some of the issues involved in the ongoing discussion vis-à-vis multiliteracies from the premise of a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning. The ensuing discussion will explore the role of globalization and information communications technology in adolescent identity formation. Multiliteracies pedagogy will be surveyed through the lenses of authentic learning, multimodal engagement, and universal design of curriculum. Infrastructural, administrative and organizational support for multiliteracies will be discussed from the standpoint of human, technological and social infrastructure, including teacher training, and associated challenges inherent within these vehicles. A look at the use of technology as a literacy in and of itself, as a tool for mediating literacy, and as a factor which may preclude educational equality, will be the final point of discussion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ICT-Mediated Instruction: Information communications technology provides a platform where different literacies relate via tools and spaces in which they are delivered in the teaching and learning environment ( Vasudevan, 2010 ).

Multiliterate Reader Profile: The multiliterate reader engages in decoding and creating multiple traditional printed text as well as multimodal digital media, including newspapers, magazines, email, and social media. The multiliterate reader reads for information as well as for pleasure ( Cumming-Potvin, 2007 ).

Digital Divide: Disparities in the abilities of different groups of students to access and interface with digital technology as necessary for developing multiliteracies, creates a gap or divide in learning and achievement ( Zammit, 2012 ).

Digital Geographies: Youth learners occupy and create meaning in social spaces or geographies through the use of technology. Digital geographies include the broader framework of multimodal literacies and digital practices involved in making meaning and composing diverse texts for a variety of audiences and purposes ( Vasudevan, 2010 ).

Critical Framing: Multiliteracy pedagogy must include opportunities for learners to develop the skills necessary to question, evaluate and re-evaluate knowledge based on contextual information, or in the light of new ideas ( Cazden et al, 1996 ). Critical knowledge of conventions used in interpreting meaning and context, specific to cultural, social, and political practices, is important to effectively apply or frame information (Refaie et al, 2009 AU29: The in-text citation "Refaie et al, 2009" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; Zammit, 2013 AU30: The in-text citation "Zammit, 2013" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Transformed Practice: Authentic learning experiences where students are both producers and transmitters of literacy learning, where opportunities to apply that learning in various situations, including student-teacher role reversal, transform students’ capacity for developing multiliteracies ( Cazden et al, 1996 ).

Social Constructivist Approach: Social construction in multiliteracies pedagogy involves exposure to, decoding of, and engaging in literacy experiences across social, cultural and political contexts and is undergirded by instructional principles of scaffolding and critical framing (Cuming-Potvin, 2007 AU34: The in-text citation "Cuming-Potvin, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Global Literacy: Global literacy is characterized by a multiplicity of social and digital skills required to function in a democratically pluralistic, shared community, across geographical and international contexts. In the global community, environmental and social literacies are imperative for sustaining peace and the common good ( Cazden et al, 1996 ; Zammit, 2012 ; Bajaj & Chui, 2009 AU31: The in-text citation "Bajaj & Chui, 2009" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Multiliteracies Pedagogy: Multiliteracies is the understanding and ability to use language and technology appropriately in various linguistic, cultural and multi-media communications contexts ( Cazden et al, 1996 ). Multiliteracies pedagogy comprises approaches to literacy teaching and learning practices framed by the changing global environment, as necessitated by increasing linguistic and cultural diversity, and facilitated through digital and social communications exchange ( Cazden et al, 1996 ; Cuming-Potvin, 2007 AU32: The in-text citation "Cuming-Potvin, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; Vasudevan, 2010 ).

Pedagogy of Collegiality: Collegial pedagogy is where teacher and student are partners in learning and mutually dependent on each other’s skills and perspectives to generate quality work, as underscored by the use of multimodal curricula and an allowance for role shifting from teacher/ expert to student and vice versa ( Vasudevan, 2010 ; Cuming-Potvin, 2007 AU33: The in-text citation "Cuming-Potvin, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; Cazden et al, 1996 ; Larson, 2009 ).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset