A Multiliteracy Intervention in a Contemporary “Mono-Literacy” School in Greece

By Eleni Katsarou.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The aim of this paper is to describe an intervention developed in an urban secondary school in southern Greece, and discuss it in terms of the pedagogy of multiliteracies (New London Group 1996, Cope & Kalantzis 2000) in order to examine what can be achieved by such interventions that are developed in traditional school settings, in centralized school systems that use only homogenized curricula and educational materials. After presenting a theoretical framework that combines the pedagogy of multiliteracies with relevant notions such multimodality, interdisciplinarity, intertextuality and constructivist learning, the intervention is described and discussed within this framework. The paper shows that the intervention follows the pedagogy of multiliteracies as it gave the involved teachers and students the opportunity to negotiate complex and various discourses through texts constructed in the contemporary multicultural and multilingual social context where multimodal communication (Kress & van Leeuwen 1996) is dominant. Procedures that made use of students’ and their families’ various lived experiences and knowledge that derived from their multi-ethnic communities were organized and implemented at school. The final product of the intervention was a multimodal album, full of texts, photos and drawings, all made by the students, titled “Popular Theatre in Countries of the World”.
Data collected from the researcher’s field notes, from the interviews from involved teachers and students and from the album itself, show that this intervention, adopting certain elements from the pedagogy of multiliteracies, succeeded to overcome certain dysfunctions created by the specific school settings, while at the same time it was limited by the restricting context in which it took place.

Keywords: Pedagogy of Multiliteracies, Multimodality, Interdisciplinarity, Intertextuality, Socio-Constructivist Learning, Design

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp.55-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.265MB).

Dr. Eleni Katsarou

Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Crete, Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Eleni Katsarou is a Lecturer of Curriculum Theories and Teaching Methods in the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Crete, Greece. Her research and writing focus on curriculum studies, teaching theory and pre-service and in-service teacher education. Through a productive interplay between theory and practice and between research and teaching, she tries to approach topics that concern her areas of interest. L1 teaching in the framework of literacy is a topic that concerns her much, as she has written educational materials for language teaching many times. She has also written a book and several articles on educational action research and its use in teaching, curriculum development and teachers’ professional development.

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