Creative, critical, digital: Connecting home and school literacies

Year: 2016

Author: Hutchison, Kirsten, Cloonan, Anne, Paatsch, Louise

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Communication and representation in the home/school worlds in which students live are increasingly digitized, with conventional understandings of literacy education changing to incorporate new dimensions of representation and digital forms of communication across all disciplines of the curriculum (Gee, 1996; Street, 2012; Walsh, 2010). As technologies enable new kinds of capacities and challenge traditional knowledge bases (Luke, Graham 2007) ‘21st century skills’ (Trilling & Fadel, 2009) are rising in prominence. While parental involvement is positively associated with academic achievement (Wilder, 2014; Jeynes, 2007, 2005) there is a lack of consensus in its definition and identification of models of home and school engagement that effectively enhance students’ learning (Hornby and Lafaele, 2011; Goodall & Vorhaus, 2011). For students in the middle years, the nature of parental involvement changes as students develop a sense of autonomy, self-efficacy, & self-identity (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2001). Recently introduced national and state curriculum developments position all teachers as teachers of literacy, creative and critical thinking and information and communication technologies (ACARA, 2012; VCAA, 2015) with teachers required to concurrently address learning in these areas.The Creative Critical Digital research project focuses on teachers’, students’ and parents’ understandings and practices of ICT and creative and critical thinking as they intersect with literacy learning; and how literacy teaching practices integrate creative and critical thinking with ICT and home–school connections. This school-based research used a mixed methods design that enabled insights to be gained from quantitative and qualitative data, including surveys and case studies. It explored the experiences of middle years (Years 5–10) teachers from primary and secondary Catholic schools during 2014/15. The following key research question drove the investigation: How are literacy teaching and learning opportunities that integrate ICT, creativity and critical thinking understood and practised in and out of school?This presentation will discuss key findings from the research relating to understandings of ICT, creativity, and critical thinking in literacy learning; ICT practices in literacy learning; connecting home and school literacy learning; and integrating creativity, critical thinking and ICT in literacy learning. Findings suggest that while teachers, parents and students underscore the importance of creativity, critical thinking and ICT in English/literacy classes and at home, there are significant variations in the emphases the various participant groups place on the role of ICT in literacy learning and the purposes and forms of parental involvement in their children’s learning.