Communities of Learners: Early years students, new learning pedagogy and transformations

Exley, Beryl E. (2008) Communities of Learners: Early years students, new learning pedagogy and transformations. In Healy, Annah H. (Ed.) Multiliteracies and diversity in education : new pedagogies for expanding landscapes. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic., pp. 126-143.

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All teachers have been students, thus every teacher comes to the profession with a personalised understanding of what it means to be both a teacher and a student—but only from personal experience. As students, we knew what content interested or bored us and which strategies were effective or ineffective for us. However, such understandings need to be suspended in an era when technology advances at an ever-increasing pace. This means that information exchange has become fundamentally different from what it was even a decade ago, and ways in which students are informed about their world outside classrooms have become significantly different. The complexity emerges from a plethora of new modes of communication in students’ everyday lives, and as such, begs for a shift in the roles traditionally taken up by learners and teachers. The point is that students are less tolerant of the teacher as a knowledge authority and of teacher-delivered knowledge than they are of interaction with a textual environment in which they are already very familiar. Thus, in this chapter I propose that simply replicating the most positive aspects of our own schooling experiences for our students may not necessarily develop them as effective communicators in current times. While we assumed we knew what constituted interesting content and effective practices for us as students, critical examination of the import of these elements for teacher work is crucial. To expose the differences between then and now, I point out the characteristics of changing education and review new learning in an early years setting. To do this I connect theory to practice by identifying the characteristics of a multiliteracies project and its links to the community in the Northern Italian Municipality of Reggio Emilia. The purpose of this chapter is to show what is possible in the early years, when children are central to the community and the community is central to children's lives. But first it is important to establish a strong justification for change.

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ID Code: 17360
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
Keywords: transformative curriculum, knowledge society, network society, Reggio Emilia philosophy, technocultural world
ISBN: 9780195558487
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Oxford University Press
Deposited On: 03 Feb 2009 03:16
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 14:39

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