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Browsing by Author "Byman, Jenny"

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  • Byman, Jenny (2019)
    The different forms of creating, sharing and analysing information have globally evolved and expanded in meaning. Previous research suggests that teachers have found it challenging to integrate these new forms of communication into their teaching practices. The pedagogy of multiliteracy, which the new Finnish core curriculum emphasizes, has been one of the measures taken towards meeting these changes. The role of the teacher is central in promoting multiliteracy, as the given support and guidance affect the child's motivation, attitudes and interest in the learning process. The aim of the study is to explore how teachers in early childhood education, pre-primary and primary education (Year 1-2) define multiliteracy and how their understanding is reflected in different teaching practices, which aim to promote children's learning opportunities in the area of multiliteracy. The need for this study is important as little research exists on teachers' understanding of the concept of multiliteracy in their teaching. This study draws upon a research and development program The joy of learning multiliteracies (MOI), at the University of Helsinki. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the pedagogy of multiliteracy and the dynamic literacy theory. The qualitative research design was selected to get an insight into teachers' experiences and thoughts. The study has been conducted by using semi-structured interviews based on video-stimulated recall and a group interview to investigate seven teachers' definition on multiliteracy. The results of the study suggest that the teachers have formed their own views of the concept multiliteracy and that these interpretations are visible in their teaching practices. Multiliteracy was defined by the teachers as a wide multimodal ability to express oneself, which requires children to be able to analyse, interpret and apply diverse forms of information and communication. The children's curiosity and joy are perceived as the foundation for promoting multiliteracy. The teachers' own commitment and enthusiasm were considered crucial. Digital tools and implementing of media education were emphasized as one of the development areas regarding multiliteracy. The ability to take into account the cultural contexts of texts, were in accordance with the Finnish curriculum, yet the teachers did not recognise it as a part of multiliteracy. Cultural literacy is however an important part of the pedagogy of multiliteracy. The results of the study confirm that further reinforcement of teachers' expertise in developing multiliteracy is essential both in working life and in teacher education, especially regarding how to include and promote cultural literacy.