Transforming knowledge and learning through technologies and modalities: Mapping patterns of practice in NLS classrooms

Year: 2008

Author: Nichols, Kim, Barton, Georgina

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In the first phase of this research a number of baseline classroom observations have been carried out in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. The teaching of NLS concepts and associated use of digital and multimodal representations were documented through the application of coding schemes. The results discussed in this paper include the initial baseline observations of NLS classrooms and our development of coding schemes to map out the patterns of practice in these classrooms. The two coding schemes developed for this study focus on 3 domains: (1) the kinds of knowledge offered in these classrooms and the cognitive work this knowledge involved; (2) the modalities through which this knowledge was presented, their function, and the presence or absence of multimodal ensembles and materials in classroom work; and (3) the tool systems used by teachers and students. This paper will discuss the initial phase of this research project where we have mapped patterns of practice in Australian senior high school NLS classroom settings using these coding frameworks. It will highlight that NLS topics are generally appended onto traditional content; that a number of modality ensembles are used in representing and communicating NLS concepts; that the modalities engaged depends on the type of knowledge represented and that the technologies available influence the kinds of representations and modalities selected by teachers. Phase II of the project will also be briefly outlined.