Multiliteracies : a critical ethnography : pedagogy, power, discourse and access to multiliteracies

Mills, Kathy Ann (2006) Multiliteracies : a critical ethnography : pedagogy, power, discourse and access to multiliteracies. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The multiliteracies pedagogy of the New London Group is a response to the emergence of new literacies and changing forms of meaning-making in contemporary contexts of increased cultural and linguistic diversity. This critical ethnographic research investigates the interactions between pedagogy, power, discourses, and differential access to multiliteracies, among a group of culturally and linguistically diverse learners in a mainstream Australian classroom. The study documents the way in which a teacher enacted the multiliteracies pedagogy through a series of mediabased lessons with her year six (aged 11-12 years) class. The reporting of this research is timely because the multiliteracies pedagogy has become a key feature of Australian educational policy initiatives and syllabus requirements. The methodology of this study was based on Carspecken's critical ethnography. This method includes five stages: Stage One involved eighteen days of observational data collection over the course of ten weeks in the classroom. The multiliteracies lessons aimed to enable learners to collaboratively design a claymation movie. Stage Two was the initial analysis of data, including verbatim transcribing, coding, and applying analytic tools to the data. Stage Three involved semi-structured, forty-five minute interviews with the principal, teacher, and four culturally and linguistically diverse students. In Stages Four and Five, the results of micro-level data analysis were compared with macro-level phenomena using structuration theory and extant literature about access to multiliteracies. The key finding was that students' access to multiliteracies differed among the culturally and linguistically diverse group. Existing degrees of access were reproduced, based on the learners' relation to the dominant culture. In the context of the media-based lessons in which students designed claymation movies, students from Anglo-Australian, middle-class backgrounds had greater access to transformed designing than those who were culturally marginalised. These experiences were mediated by pedagogy, power, and discourses in the classroom, which were in turn influenced by the agency of individuals. The individuals were both enabled and constrained by structures of power within the school and the wider educational and social systems. Recommendations arising from the study were provided for teachers, principals, policy makers and researchers who seek to monitor and facilitate the success of the multiliteracies pedagogy in culturally and linguistically diverse educational contexts.

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ID Code: 16244
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Healy, Annah & Corcoran, William
Additional Information: Recipient of 2006 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award
Keywords: multiliteracies, access, critical ethnography, critical sociology, sociocultural theory, multiliteracies pedagogy, structuration theory, pedagogy, power, discourse, diversity, culture, multimodal, monomodal, literacy, linguistics, semiotics, design, digital texts, Learning by Design, overt instruction, situated practice, critical framing, transformed practice, intertextuality, lifeworld, situated learning, marginalisation, domination, ODTA
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:59
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 14:39

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