Professional learning of teachers : a case study of multiliteracies teaching in the early years of schooling

Cloonan, A 2007, Professional learning of teachers : a case study of multiliteracies teaching in the early years of schooling, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Professional learning of teachers : a case study of multiliteracies teaching in the early years of schooling
Author(s) Cloonan, A
Year 2007
Abstract This study is a response to shifts in literacy education produced by the new affordances of multimodal texts and changing social dynamics as a consequence of an increasingly digitised, networked communications environment. Acknowledging the powerful influence of the teacher on student outcomes, the study involved intervention in teacher professional learning as a means for influencing print based literacy pedagogy to incorporate multimodality literacy practices. This study is a case study of the professional learning of four teachers of primary school students over the course of eight months in a workplace based research project instigated by the researcher in her role reviewing early years literacy policy, programs and resources within the Department of Education, Victoria. Professional learning interventions deployed within a participatory action research methodology were found to be efficacious in involving case study teachers as researchers of their own practice and in enhancing teachers' professionalism in the operationalisation of multiliteracies. They also had the effect of impacting on professional knowledge, practice and identity. The study indicates that schemas emanating from the New London Group's multiliteracies theory acted as stimuli for expanding teacher repertoires of multimodality pedagogies, thereby addressing disjunctures between digitised multimodal literacy and the existing print based literacy pedagogical knowledge. The deployment of a 'multimodal schema' influenced teachers to expand the modes of meaning taught as literacy meaning-making resources. Deployment of a 'pedagogical knowledge processes schema' influenced teachers' reflective practices resulting in more knowing and purposeful pedagogical practices. Used as an analytical tool, a 'dimensions of meaning schema' also illustrated patterns in teachers' choices, revealing an arbitrary character in the development of a metalanguage for different modes of meaning making. Recommendations arising from the study addressed the areas of educational consultancy; educational filming; literacy policy development; multimodality; pedagogical knowledge processes; and participatory action research methodology. Future research agendas indicated by the findings were presented.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) English language -- Study and teaching (Elementary)
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