Rethinking Indigenous ways to literacy assessment: Hands that speak, feet that tell the story

Mills, Kathy A. (2016) Rethinking Indigenous ways to literacy assessment: Hands that speak, feet that tell the story. In Research and Innovation in Classroom Assessment (RICA), 22-23 September 2016, Learning Science Insitute Australia, ACU, Brisbane, Qld.


The presentation for the Research and Innovation in Classroom Assessment Conference, 2016 asks: What are the ways of knowing, being and communicating that are valued and practiced in Indigenous communities? Literacy assessment internationally and nationally typically does not take into account the multi-sensorial dimensions of non-Western forms of representation that go beyond narrow conceptions of print (Mills, 2016). This presentation highlights examples of the multi-sensoriality of Indigenous literacies observed in participatory community research with an Indigenous school (Mills, Comber & Kelly, 2013). Applying multimodal semiotic analysis to video recordings of Year 3 students’ Indigenous dance and artwork on canvas, the researcher interprets students’ embodied sense-making activity (Mills & Dreamson, 2015). Focus group data with students also provides insights into the children’s intended meanings for their dances and artwork. The colourful examples from the data demonstrate the forgotten role of the hands and feet in communication that are central to Indigenous identity and literacies. The presentation problematises the privileging of narrow, logocentric, and Western forms of literacy and its implications for rethinking the role of the whole body in literacy and literacy assessment.

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ID Code: 98786
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: sensory literacies, embodiment, Indigenous education, haptics, locomotion, multimodal literacy, dance, epistemology, assessment, curriculum, pedagogy
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (130301)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: 2016 Kathy A. Mills
Copyright Statement: Kathy A. Mills is copyright owner of this abstract, not for reproduction.
Deposited On: 27 Sep 2016 02:13
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2016 02:13

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