Teaching literacy in the new media age through the arts

Walsh, Christopher (2008). Teaching literacy in the new media age through the arts. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, 16(1) pp. 8–17.

URL: http://alea.edu.au/html/publications/121/llfeb08

Abstract

Many school literacy practices often ignore youths' creativity in the 'new media age'. School curricula often do not acknowledge the range of skills adolescents acquire outside formal education. Youths' new multi- modal social and cultural practices - as they fashion themselves creatively in multiple modes as different kinds of people in 'New Times' - points to the liberating power of new technologies that embrace their imagination and creativity. In two middle years classes, adolescents' creativity was recognised and validated when they were encouraged to re-represent curricular knowledge through multi-modal design (New London Group 1996). The results suggest the changed classroom habitus produced new and emergent discursive and material practices where creativity emerges as capital in an economy of practice. Recommendations are put forth for schools to recognise adolescents' creativity - that often manifests itself through their cultural and social capital resources - as they integrate and adapt to the new affordances acquired through their out-of-school literacy practices.

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