Young children learning with new literacies

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dc.contributor.author McPherson, Keith
dc.date.accessioned 2011-04-18T21:04:38Z
dc.date.available 2011-04-18T21:04:38Z
dc.date.copyright 2011 en_US
dc.date.issued 2011-04-18
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/3242
dc.description.abstract Current sociocultural educational research is reconceptualising literacy and learning. For example, New Literacy theorists (e.g., Kress, 2003; Lankshear & Knobel, 2003; Leander, 2007; Jewitt, 2008) propose that literacy is no longer just about mastering traditional forms of reading and writing, but it also involves acquiring communicative functionality using multiple modes and across increasingly diverse and rapidly changing cultural and linguistic contexts. Street (2001) and the New London Group (1996) calls for research that qualitatively identifies and investigates the significance of this cultural and linguistic diversity, and the development of instructional models and practices that will help educators shape curriculum to be more relevant to students’ current and future lived worlds. Grounded in sociocultural learning theory, this ethnographic study responds to Street’s call by investigating the patterns and principles of learning and teaching demonstrated by 5-year-old children while using new Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in their homes. Questions posed are: (a) what home teaching/learning contexts exist for 5-year-olds learning to use new ICTs? (b) who is teaching 5-year-olds how to use new home-based ICTs?; and (c) what learning and/or teaching principles do subjects demonstrate in the interactions between family members, friends and 5-year-old learners as they directly or indirectly teach the 5-year old to use new ICTs in the home setting?? Data revealed that 5-year-olds accessed an average of 14 different types of new ICTs in their homes; and they learned to use new ICTs from parents, siblings, peers, and, to a degree, from the new ICTs themselves. Additionally, the analysis of data found that participants’ social interactions could be qualitatively described as aligning with 16 (at least) unique teaching and learning principles. These principles were grouped into four general categories, and discussed in relation to the literature reviewed. It was found that participants learned to use new ICTs through: (a) just-in-time mentoring which corroborated learning theory by Lave and Wegner (1991) and Vygotsky (1978); (b) student centered instruction that was unstructured, playful, and encouraged participants’ independence; (c) multiple communication modes (Kress, 2003); and (d) instruction that developed children’s ability to be flexible and adapt to change. Teaching and learning models reflective of the observed interactions were developed, and a socially distributed model of teaching and learning for young children was presented. Implications for educators, curriculum designers, parents, and theory were discussed. It is suggested that teachers, administrators and curriculum designers incorporate as many of the participants’ 16 teaching and learning principles as possible into their primary classroom curriculum. It was also argued that Vygotskian learning theory be re/conceptualized to incorporate a more pluralistic exploration and explanation of the relationship between thought and the multiple meaning making modes exhibited by the 5-year-olds in this study. Moreover, it was suggested that the incorporation of these principles not be done in a manner that co-opted young children’s out-of-school ICT-mediated discourse practices, but instead encouraged young children to develop skills, information and understandings that could be distributed and applied across larger sets of networked discourses. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject literacy en_US
dc.subject learning en_US
dc.subject language en_US
dc.subject technology en_US
dc.subject technologies en_US
dc.subject out-of-school en_US
dc.subject home learning en_US
dc.subject sociocultural en_US
dc.title Young children learning with new literacies en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Begoray, Deborah
dc.degree.department Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US

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