Advertisement

Creating a Critical Multiliteracies Curriculum: Repositioning Art in the Early Childhood Classroom

  • Linda K. CraftonEmail author
  • Penny Silvers
  • Mary Brennan
Chapter
Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 12)

Abstract

Traditional early childhood curricula tend to separate the arts and literacy as different meaning-making systems. However, current multiliteracies theory and practice suggests that a broader view of literacy and learning is necessary for twenty-first-century living. The notion of multiliteracies allows us to expand not only our definition of literacy from traditional print views to digital ones but also promotes broader understandings of the arts as semiotic systems integral to meaning-making. More importantly, multiliteracies theory moves educators from a curriculum-as-neutral stance to a critical pedagogy stance that encourages young learners to take on a social justice identity from the start. This chapter features the critical multiliteracies research and practice of one teacher and two university educators researching in a first-grade classroom over several years. An extended curricular example illustrates how art can be repositioned in the early childhood instruction and curriculum to become an integral component of critical multimodal learning. The chapter shows how young children move seamlessly in and out of curricular engagements based on their interests and multimodal needs necessary for functioning in their classroom and the world beyond.

Keywords

Multiliteracies Emergent literacy Early literacy Critical literacy Multimodal learning Semiotics Visual literacy Identity construction Transmediation Social justice Text set 

Notes

References

  1. Albers, P. (2007). Finding the artist within. Newark, DE: The International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  2. Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2006). Teaching and learning multiliteracies: Changing times, changing literacies. Newark, DE: The International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  3. Bakhtin, M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays. Austin, TX: University of Texas.Google Scholar
  4. Bomer, R., & Bomer, K. (2001). Reading and writing for social action. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  5. Booth, E. (2008). Taking AIM, reaching the mark. In C. Weiss & A. L. Lichtenstein (Eds.), AIMprint: New relationships in the arts and learning (pp. i–ii). Chicago: Columbia College Chicago.Google Scholar
  6. Bridges, S. (2001). Ruby’s wish. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.Google Scholar
  7. Browne, A. (1986). The piggybook. New York: Alfred Knopf.Google Scholar
  8. Burmark, L. (2002). Visual literacy: Learn to see, see to learn. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.Google Scholar
  9. Comber, B. (2003). Critical literacy: What does it look like in the early years? In N. Hall, J. Larson, & J. Marsh (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood literacy (pp. 355–369). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crafton, L., Brennan, M., & Silvers, P. (2007). Critical inquiry and multiliteracies in a first-grade classroom. Language Arts, 84(6), 510–518.Google Scholar
  11. DePaola, T. (1969). Oliver Button is a sissy. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  12. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Collier.Google Scholar
  13. Dyson, A. H. (1993). Social worlds of children learning to write in an urban primary school. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  14. Fairclough, N. (2000). Multiliteracies and language: Orders of discourse and intertextuality. In M. Kalantzis & B. Cope (Eds.), Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures (pp. 162–181). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Fox, M. (1988). Koala Lou. Melbourne, Australia: Drakeford.Google Scholar
  16. Gee, J. (1992). The social mind: Language, ideology and social practice. New York: Bergin & Garvey.Google Scholar
  17. Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the imagination: Essays on education, the arts, and social change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  18. Grumet, M. (2004). No one learns alone. In N. Rabkin & R. Redmond (Eds.), Putting the arts in the picture: Reframing education in the 21st century (pp. 49–80). Chicago: Columbia College.Google Scholar
  19. Harste, J. (2000). Six points of departure. In B. Berghoff, K. Egawa, J. Harste, & B. Hoonan (Eds.), Beyond reading and writing: Inquiry, curriculum, and multiple ways of knowing (pp. 1–16). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.Google Scholar
  20. Harste, J. (2008). Visual literacy thought piece. In M. Lewison, C. Leland, & J. Harste (Eds.), Creating critical classrooms: K-8 reading and writing with an edge (pp. 52–58). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  21. Harste, J., Short, K., & Burke, C. (1988). Creating classrooms for authors. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  22. Henkes, K. (1991). Chrysanthemum. New York: Mulberry Books.Google Scholar
  23. Hoffman, M. (1991). Amazing grace. New York: Dial Books.Google Scholar
  24. Houston, G. (1992). My great Aunt Arizona. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  25. Janks, H. (2000). Domination, access, diversity, and design: A synthesis for critical literacy education. Educational Review, 52(2), 15–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Janks, H. (2014). Critical literacy’s ongoing importance for education. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 57(5), 349–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kristeva, J. (1980). Desire in language: A semiotic approach to literature and art. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
  29. Lester, H. (1999). Hooway for Wodney Wat. New York: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
  30. Luke, C. (2000). Cyberschooling and technological change: Multiliteracies for new times. In M. Kalantzis & B. Cope (Eds.), Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures (pp. 69–91). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Luke, A., & Freebody, P. (1997). Shaping the social practices of reading. In S. Muspratt, A. Luke, & P. Freebody (Eds.), Constructing critical literacies (pp. 185–225). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.Google Scholar
  32. New London Group. (2000). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66, 60–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pfister, M. (1992). The rainbow fish. New York: North-South Books.Google Scholar
  34. Ray, K. W. (1999). Wondrous words: Writers and writing in the elementary classroom. Champaign Urbana, IL: National Council for Teachers of English.Google Scholar
  35. Short, K., Harste, J., & Burke, C. (1996). Creating classrooms for authors and inquirers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  36. Suhor, C. (1992). Semiotics and the English language arts. Language Arts, 69(3), 228–230.Google Scholar
  37. Vasquez, V. (2003). Getting beyond “I like the book”: Creating space for critical literacy in K-6 classrooms. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  38. Vazquez, V., Egawa, K., Harste, J., & Thompson, R. (Eds.). (2004). Literacy as social practice. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.Google Scholar
  39. Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  40. Wells, G. (1999). Dialogic inquiry: Toward a sociocultural practice and theory of education. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zolotow, C. (1972). William’s doll. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-ParksideKenoshaUSA
  2. 2.Dominican UniversityRiver ForestUSA

Personalised recommendations