Remixing literacy: Young children producing literacy practices for research participation

Henning, Lucy (2023). Remixing literacy: Young children producing literacy practices for research participation. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 38, article no. 100682.



This paper discusses a group of young children’s literacy practices as they collected data for an ethnographically principled, participatory research project. Institutions of schooling can ‘fix’ powerful conceptualisations of literacy within pre-defined boundaries. Educational research into young children’s in-school literacy can focus on their socialisation into these ‘fixed’ literacies rather than children’s capacity to develop new practices. During the early stage of this project, the researcher was unable to visit the children’s London school due to COVID restrictions. Part of the children’s response to this problem was to create photographic texts to show the researcher their classroom. Creating these texts demonstrated the children’s capacity to negotiate the ‘fixities’ of adult-assigned tasks in the ‘flow’ of their developing in-class literacy practices. I explore these practices from a Literacy as a Social Practice perspective, supported by Corsaro’s theory of Interpretive Reproduction and Dyson’s concept of ‘remixing.’ I argue that the application of concepts that allow for a wider understanding of the ways in which children manage fixities and flows in their in-school literacy practices can help educational practitioners plan literacy curricula that supports children’s work to meet institutional requirements within their active engagement with literacies.

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