Becoming a 21st Century Literacy Teacher: Provocations, Perceptions and Possibilities in Teacher Education

By Louise Paatsch, Anne Cloonan and Kirsten Hutchison.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 14, 2015 $US5.00

This paper reports on a study that investigated pre-service teachers’ digital funds of knowledge and their perceptions of the digital pedagogies and practices in early years literacy classrooms. It also explores pre-service teachers’ experiences of “produsing” a cumulative multimodal portfolio (in the form of a wiki) and its’ application for future literacy teaching and learning. Specifically, 123 education students enrolled in their second year of an undergraduate initial-teacher education course at an Australian university completed an anonymous survey. The results show that this group of students were active users of technology-based tools, but had limited experience with using participatory user-led knowledge creation tools (such as Web 2.0 technologies) although many observed the use of these tools in early years literacy classrooms while on professional experience school placements. Further findings show that although the majority of this group of pre-service teachers felt more confident after creating a wiki and reported that they would use them in future literacy teaching and learning, their understandings of the pedagogical and creative potential of these digital tools in supporting literacy learning in young children appeared limited. The findings suggest that there is a need for educators in higher education to understand their students’ digital funds of knowledge and to provide rich opportunities to support these students’ use and understandings of the affordances of these new technologies as vehicles to explore and enrich 21st century literacy learning in early years digital environments.

Keywords: Literacy, Digital Funds of Knowledge, Pre-service teachers

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 22, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.63-79. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 14, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 490.593KB)).

Dr. Louise Paatsch

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Anne Cloonan

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Kirsten Hutchison

Lecturer, School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia