Teaching literature in multimodal environments: a Victorian perspective

Year: 2013

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

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Despite the potential of new texts to engage students and stimulate higher order thinking, teachers are under pressure to approach literacy and literature teaching in ways that are increasingly "fixed" by the normative demands of high-stakes, standardised tests (Comber, 2011). While it is evident from a range of case study work that many teachers expertly engage their students with literature in multimodal environments, it is also apparent that when incorporated into classroom practice, technological tools often become "domesticated" by practices that resist transformative affordances (O'Mara & Laidlaw, 2011). Respecting the complexity of teachers' work, this presentation attends to teachers' experiences with multimodal texts, in an environment where understandings of ‘literature' are contested. In the context of the inclusion of the Literature strand alongside Language and Literacy in the Australian Curriculum: English, this presentation reports on the first phase in a three year longitudinal research project, exploring the possibilities and challenges present for teachers when the affordances of multimodal reading are harnessed for literature education. Drawing on survey data, the presentation maps the professional knowledge of Victorian Primary school teachers in their teaching of e-literature and identifies innovative practice, informing the development of new methodologies and pedagogies for teaching with e-literature in primary classrooms.