Reaching today's writing teacher: Multiliteracies pedagogy in a National Writing Project Summer Institute




Blady, Shannon

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The meaning of literacy has drastically transformed over the past two decades, and it continues to evolve. Literacy extends beyond the traditional reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 'Multiliteracies' was coined by the New London Group (1996) and includes digital literacy, new literacy, visual literacy, computer literacy, and cultural literacy with different teaching approaches (Ajayi, 2011). Reaching today's students means understanding these complexities and meeting their needs in a diverse, digital, globally-connected society. It is essential that teachers receive professional development that helps them to reach their students' literacy needs. This descriptive, qualitative study investigated how teachers learn about the components of mulitliteracies pedagogy in a local National Writing Project Summer Institute (NWPSI).

The study found an increase in participants' confidence levels in various areas that fall under the purview of the New London Group's A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures (1996). The qualitative findings describe the contextual factors of the NWPSI that contributed to these increased confidence levels. The site strongly works within Situated Practice, Overt Instruction, and Transformed Practice as themes of relevance, differentiation, choice, scaffolding, and modeling were prevalent. The participants also shared activities that integrated technology and allowed students to work in various modes. Some aspects of Critical Framing arose, but this could be an area that the site works to strengthen.


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multiliteracies, professional development, writing project



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching