Using Multicultural Literature as a Tool for Multicultural Education in Teacher Education Juli-Anna Aerila

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ICT and literacy education: Past experience and designing the future (1/2)

Nikolaj F. Elf
Abstract: Invited Pre-SIG symposium on ICT and literacy education.

Nikolaj F. Elf, University of Southern Denmark,

Dimitrios Koutsigiannis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,
This symposium takes as a point of departure that complex developments of homogeneity and heterogeneity are taking place in L1, and that information and communication technologies (ICT) – and in particular, digital media – function as one of the main actors of this development.

Research suggests, roughly, that media change the patterns of communication as well as notions of ‘language’ and ‘literature’ outside and within school, including but not limited to the school subject L1. However, further empirical research is needed for understanding better the complex relationship between ICTs and teaching practices driven by the two main actors of teaching, students and teachers. As suggested in the conference keynote by Daniel Cassany, one global question which has to be explored locally and in situated ways is how students use digital resources on a daily basis through informal and formal learning practices. What do they do with ICT in and out of the classroom? What are the empirical findings in local contexts, and how do they relate to findings in other national and international contexts? In and out of school, how do kids and teens construct their identities online, develop digital activities that produce digital content, and use language norms (spelling, syntax, lexicon, politeness) that align, or do not align, with norms of the L1 curriculum? Also, we need to explore what is acknowledged by teachers, functioning in local school settings, as technologically mediated subject-related meaning-making and knowledge production. How do teachers sponsor, promote or otherwise facilitate or constrain new and old technologies and literacies? On a more abstract paradigmatic level considering the discourse of L1 research, we should ask how the recontextualization of communication media in student and teacher practices impact L1 development. What are the implications for the understanding of the subject’s whats, hows, and whys - and for future notions of ‘literacy’ or ‘competence’ development within the subject? How could we imagine and design the future of L1 and literacy education, in general, considering new media? The invited symposium comprises six paper presentations which address these questions from different perspectives. These presentations are introduced below; see also abstracts.

First session:
1) Media and Technology in L1: A Review of Empirical Research Projects in Scandinavia


Nikolaj Frydensbjerg Elf*, University of Southern Denmark,

Håvard Skaar*, Oslo and Akershus University College,

Per-Olof Erixon, University of Umeå,

Thorkild Hanghøj, Aalborg University,

*Presenting authors.

Short introduction: Elf et al. present findings from a review of 56 empirical research projects in Scandinavia focusing on media and technology. The presentation suggests a theoretical framework for clarifying ‘what we talk about when we talk about media and technology’, which could be used for discussing the following presentations in the pre-SIG.

2) Punctuated equilibrium – digital technology in schools’ teaching of the mother tongue (Swedish)

Author: Per-Olof Erixon, University of Umeå,

Short introduction: Erixon deals with how teachers and pupils in primary and lower secondary education (7th to 9th grade) in Sweden look upon and relate to new digital technology in the teaching of the mother tongue (Swedish) now and in the future.
3) How a multimedia learning platform can support heterogeneous teacher trainees’ French writing proficiency and grammatical knowledge


Isabelle Gauvin, Université du Québec à Montréal,

Renée Lemay, Université du Québec à Montréal,

Short introduction: From a Canadian context, Gauvin & Lemay reflect on how a multimedia learning platform can support heterogeneous teacher trainees’ French writing proficiency and grammatical knowledge.
Second session:
4) Student work and student production in the 21st century: Quantitative and qualitative analysis


Marie Falkesgaard Slot, University College Lillebælt,

Rune Hansen, University College Syd,

Jesper Bremholm, University College Capital,

Short introduction: Based on a research and development project in Denmark, Slot, Hansen & Bremholm analyze around 950 student productions from 16 schools and present coding procedures and findings.

5) Teaching and playing Minecraft in L1 primary education: Framing students’ game literacies in relation to teachers’ curricular goals

Authors: Thorkild Hanghøj*, Aalborg University,

Heidi Hautopp, Aalborg University,


Short introduction: In a qualitative case study, Hanghøj & Hautopp explore framings and game literacies in an intervention project focusing on teaching and playing the “sandbox” computer game Minecraft as a part of L1 in Danish primary education.
6) Layered simultaneity in using ICT for Teaching Greek as L1

Author: Dimitrios Koutsogiannis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,

Short introduction: Koutsigiannis suggests a model for understanding L1 in an ICT perspective analyzing indicative events from teachers’ teaching practices in a Greek context in order to highlight what Blommaert has called “layered simultaneity”.
Finally, the discussant, Daniel Cassany, will offer a discussion of the symposium theme in light of presentations opening up for questions and comments from the presenters and the interlocutors.
Relation to SIG on ICT and literacy education:

This invited symposium and a number of other presentations in the program are framed within a so-called 'pre-SIG' on ICT and literacy education. The presentations comprise a diversity of research designs and a variety of methodological approaches to ICT and literacy education within a L1 context. This includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, exploratory and intervention-oriented, and empirical and theory-developing studies on different levels of education, from primary to upper-secondary education and teacher education. Furthermore, the presentations reflect teaching and research practices embedded in different regions and national contexts. By framing the symposium and other presentations as a pre-SIG on ICT and literacy education, the organizers wish to initiate a forum for a shared research interest within IAIMTE. The goal is to establish a formalized forum for such a research interest, that is, a Special Interest Group (SIG) on ICT and literacy education (see program for business meeting with this theme).

Keywords: literacy, ICT and media, paradigm shifts, global, local, teacher uncertainty

  • Nikolaj F. Elf & Thorkild Hanghøj & Per-Olof Erixon & Håvard Skaar

  • At IAIMTE 2013 Elf & Hanghøj presented a pilot study exploring how a review of empirical research projects on media and technology in L1 in a Scandinavian context could be conducted, focusing on Danish studies as a pilot case. In this paper, results from the completed review of all relevant studies in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are presented.

  • The point of departure is that during recent decades several Scandinavian research projects have had an explicit focus on how technology intervene with L1 practices in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish educational contexts, and how this may have impact on the understanding of the subject. However, there exists no systematic overview of the documented possibilities and challenges related to the use of technology in L1. At the same time, there is terminological confusion in relation to the use of ‘technology’ and related concepts in L1. Finally, there is a general lack of critical reflection on the relation between technological developments, political rhetoric, and the development of L1 teaching and learning as a social practice related to specific contexts and actors.

  • Thus, the review attempts to answer three, interrelated research questions: 1) What do we talk about when we talk about ‘technology’ in L1? 2) Based upon a systematic review of empirical studies, what characterizes the research field? And 3), for discussion, what broader implications does the systematic review suggest for a rethinking of L1 in terms of practice and research?

  • Introducing the notion of educational boundary objects (Star & Griesemer, 1989), a theoretical framework is developed, which suggests four metaphors for understanding technology within L1: as tool, as media, as socialization, and as literacy practices. These are found useful for analyzing and comparing both theoretical perspectives and empirical research on L1.

  • 56 studies are included in the review. A key finding is that although the studies are characterized by a large degree of diversity, the conceptualization of technology as media is a dominating approach, which downplays aesthetic, critical and tool-oriented perspectives. Another finding is the large amount of studies, which focus on student practices within L1 and the relationship to out-of-school literacy practices. A final finding is the emphasis on teacher uncertainty on how and why to integrate technology within existing paradigms of the subject.

  • Presenting authors: Nikolaj F. Elf and Håvard Skaar.

  • Keywords: review methodology, metaphors of technology, out-of-school literacy practices; teacher uncertainty

  • References:

  • Star, S. L., & Griesemer, J. R. (1989). Institutional Ecology, 'Translations' and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39. Social Studies of Science, 19(3), 387-420.

  • Per-Olof Erixon

  • This presentation deals with how teachers and pupils in primary and lower secondary education (7th to 9th grade) in Sweden look upon and relate to new digital technology in the teaching of the mother tongue (Swedish) now and in the future. The investigation is based on interviews with and observation notes from 10 different lower secondary schools spread all over Sweden, and constitutes part of the research project “School subject paradigms and teaching practice in the screen culture – art, music and Swedish under the influence”, which was funded by the Swedish Research Council 2010–2012. The project’s point of departure is that different school subjects have different attitudes to (new) technology and that the incorporation of digital media looks different in various school subjects (Hennessy, 2005; McEachron, 2003). The result shows that the educational discourse is being challenged as regards both the classification and framing of the subjects (Bernstein, 2000), but that the awareness of this among both teachers and pupils seems to be limited. This implies that teachers of Swedish on the whole take a positive attitude to introducing new digital technology in their teaching and that it generally contributes to making the teaching more effective, even if the supply of in-service education and equipment is limited. There is also a common opinion among both pupils and teachers that those educational activities that have been traditionally conducted should be able to continue in roughly the same way, although now with the aid of modern digital technology, at the same time as great changes are taking place in relation to both subject content and teaching practice. The development might now be approaching a stage where the gradual change, ‘evolution’, that has taken place through all the invasive ‘forms of media’ that have been added to the teaching environment, will now contribute to a rapid change, i.e. a punctuated equilibrium, which will hopefully lead to a new inner stability or homeostasis, i.e. a paradigm shift.

  • Keywords: teachers and pupils in primary and secondary education, paradigms, educational discourse

  • Presenting author: Per-Olof Erixon, University of Umeå,

  • References:

  • Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research and critique (revised ed.). London: Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield.

  • Hennessy, S., K. Ruthven and S. Brindley (2005). Teacher perspectives on integrating ICT into subject teaching: commitment, constraints, caution, and change. Curriculum Studies, Vol. 37, No. 2, 155-192

  • McEachron, G., Baker, C., & Bracken, B. A. (2003). What classroom environments tell about the pedagogical aspects of subject matter. School Psychology International, 24(4), 462-476.

  • Isabelle Gauvin & Renée Lemay

  • In the Quebec teacher-training context, university teaching programs are responsible for ensuring an acceptable level of writing proficiency in French, the future teachers’ language of instruction (MELS, 2001). However, upon entering university, the quality of their written French and grammatical knowledge are often lacking, with a wide variability between them (Duchesne, 2012). As ICTs are more and more present in teacher training and in everyday life, and since these technologies allow for a personalized training path adapted to a trainee’s needs (e.g., Altabach, Reisberg, & Rumbley, 2009), using a multimedia platform to support the development of French writing proficiency and grammatical knowledge seems to be a promising avenue for teacher-training programs.

  • Hence, within a development research (Richey & Klein, 2003), our project aims to (1) develop, (2) use and (3) evaluate a multimedia-learning platform, which includes various training modules. Since this research is still at the developmental stage, we will present the first module, a diagnostic training module offered in a hybrid mode. This module aims to obtain a picture of the trainees’ writing proficiency and grammatical knowledge, and to suggest an individualized training path within the platform.

  • The presentation will focus on the theoretical underpinnings of the platform’s content and its teaching methods. Firstly, the diagnostic module will be presented in terms of the relationship between the proposed content and principles of modern pedagogical grammar (e.g., Boivin & Pinsonneault, 2008), which is a didactic transposition (Chevallard, 1985/1991) of modern linguistic descriptions (e.g., Chomsky, 1957). Secondly, the suitability of the teaching methods, based on current knowledge about French grammar didactics (e.g., Gauvin, Marcotte, & Villeneuve, 2013; Nadeau & Fisher, 2006), will be presented. We will also explain how the learning platform can be adjusted according to the heterogeneous trainees’ writing proficiency and grammatical knowledge.

  • This project involves 13 researchers (Gauvin, Beaudry, Collin, Fournier, Mercier, Nadeau, Tremblay, Fisher, Boutin, Bergeron, Harvey, Vincent & Boyer) from six universities across the province of Québec (UQAM, UQAC, UQAR, UQAT, UQO, UQTR).

  • Key words: grammatical knowledge; multimedia; diagnostic modules

  • Presenting authors:

  • Isabelle Gauvin, Université du Québec à Montréal,

  • Renée Lemay, Université du Québec à Montréal,

  • References:

  • Altabac, P.G., Reisberg, L., & Rumbley, L.E. (2009). Trends in Global Higher Education : Tracking an Academic Revolution. Paris, France : United Nation Education.

  • Boivin, M.-C., & Pinsonneault, R. (2008). La grammaire moderne. Description et éléments pour sa didactique. Montréal, Québec : Beauchemin.

  • Chevallard, Y. (1985/1991). La transposition didactique. Du savoir savant au savoir enseigné. Paris: La Pensée sauvage.

  • Chomsky, N. (1957). Syntactic Structures. La Haye: Mouton & Co.

  • Duchesne, J. (2012). Les erreurs d'orthographe grammaticale dans les rédactions de futurs enseignants. Mémoire présenté comme exigence partielle de la maitrise en linguistique. Page consultée le 15 avril 2014 :

  • Gauvin, I., Marcotte, S., & Villeneuve, K. (2013). Les raisonnements grammaticaux : un outil pour développer les compétences à écrire des étudiants du postsecondaire. Correspondance, 19(1), p.3-7.

  • Nadeau, M., & Fisher, C. (2006). La grammaire nouvelle. La comprendre et l'enseigner. Montréal, Québec : Les éditions de la Chenelière.

  • MELS (2001). La formation à l’enseignement. Les orientations. Les compétences. Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l’Éducation.

Emotions in the mother tongue classroom

Mabel Encinas Sanchez
Abstract: This paper discusses how Vygotsky’s (1997 and 1999) work supports the understanding of the role of emotions in mother tongue teaching and learning practices in the classroom. The question addressed is: How does a perspective built on a Vygotskian tradition help to understand emotions in the mother tongue classroom?

In the paper, examples of the analysis of emotions as part of the pedagogic practices that take place in classrooms are presented through drawings and texts. Emotions are shown as situated in the classroom context, where pedagogic practices take place in microhistorical time. The empirical analysis offers the basis to sustain that teachers accompany, encourage and contain or regulate emotions while they are engaged in mother tongue teaching practices. As a consequence, teachers ‘teach’ how to deal with emotions, and this process is basic to support their practices within the discipline, in this case Spanish.

Throughout the paper, the sociocultural underpinnings of the study of emotions with an all-embracing historical psychological approach are discussed (Engeström, 1996; Cole, and Gajdamashko, 2008). In relation to emotions, this approach allows overcoming the dichotomy of their physiological and cultural aspects, as much as the separation of their individual and social aspects. Also, the way in which learning curricular contents and emotions and intertwined is addressed. With this approach, the study of emotions becomes an investigation of what emotions ‘do’ in social contexts and interactions in the classroom, rather than the study of what emotions ‘are’.

Two sources of data are used in order to construct microsituations: video recorded interactions in the classroom and field notes. Videos and notes were recorded during the observation of lessons of four Spanish teachers, working in a Mexican secondary school (12 to 15 year-olds). Each of the teachers was working with one of their groups. Microsituations are short video excerpts (within half a minute and three minutes), which have a beginning and an end that are identifiable during a lesson. The microsituations present classroom interactions in great detail. The field notes had a complementary role, offering information that supported interpretative descriptions and explanations that helped to make sense of the situations presented in the videos.

All in all, this paper discusses how students learn how to deal with emotions such as enjoyment, embarrassment, anger or fear, among others, while they work in the curricular content. Consequences of this approach are discussed in terms of teaching practices in mother tongue classrooms, and future research.
Keywords: Secondary school (12 to 15 year-olds), emotions, history, psychology, adolescent development.

Cole, M. and Gajdamashko, N. (2008). 'The concept of development in culturalhistorical activity theory: Vertical and horizontal'. Learning and expanding with activity theory, 129-143.

Engeström, Y. (1996). 'Development as breaking away and opening up: A challenge to Vygotsky and Piaget'. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 55, 126-132

Vygotsky, L. S. (1997). 'Chapter 15. The historical meaning of the crisis in psychology: a methodological investigation', The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky. Volume 3. Problems of the theory and history of psychology. London: Plenum Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1999). 'The teaching about emotions. Historical-Psychological Studies'. In L. S. Vygotsky and R. W. Rieber (Eds), The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky. Vol. 6, Scientific legacy. (pp. 69-235). New York ; London: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers - Electronic version pp. 1-139.

Student’s reading acts – a performative view of reading strategies

Liv Fabrin
Abstract: What do students do when they learn how to read and which literacy identities are produced together with the actions that students perform in school?

In this study ethnographic methods and performativity theory are employed in order to explore students' literacy acquisition in the Danish context of educational reforms influenced by recent PISA surveys and a political discourse on literacy crisis (Holm & Laursen 2011). The empirical basis is a range of ethnographic data which are produced among students during their years 1 to 7 in a multilingual school environment. The focus is on “reading strategies” and the study aims to work on the development of an empirically based concept of these actions for the teacher to use.

In educational policy teaching cognitive reading strategies has been introduced as one possible answer to Danish students' apparently poor performances in reading. However, the cognitive approach as well as the functional view that informs the current policy discourse on literacy has been criticized from the perspective of New Literacy Studies (Street 2003) for not taking in to consideration the sociocultural context and the complex social and linguistic practices in which literacy is taught and learned. These are processes and sometimes second language learning processes that students actively invest in when they learn (Pierce 1995) and when they engage in meaning making through the semiotic resources that are available to them in their social environment (Kenner et al. 2004).

Performativity theory (Butler 1990, 1993) appears to afford an approach that can grasp these perspectives. It implies seeing literacy acquisition processes as practices where subjectivities are produced while leaving room for the exploration of how students engage themselves in these meaning making processes.

The study is guided by the following preliminary research questions:

• Which are the performative acts that students do when they read and relate to reading. Can these acts be described as reading strategies?

• Which literacy identities are produced when the students use reading strategies?

• How can a performative concept of reading strategies unfold?

Keywords: Literacy identity, reading strategies, performativity, ethnography, post structuralism

English@Rochinha longitudinal Project in a Portuguese kindergarten: its impact on children, teachers and parents

Carla Ferreira
Abstract: English@Rochinha (E@R) Project aims to promote children’s cognitive and language growth through access to another language (English) in their daily context. It’s implementation focuses on access to the language within the children's routines and school's daily activities. E@R implemented an experimental design, in 2011-2012, with a training component for teachers and their assistants, involving a two-language model for children of early childhood care age, preschool and kindergarten The project targeted the development of the assistants' language fluency, the parents’ awareness and beliefs about the project and children's reactions and language acquisition. At this stage of the study we are considering how to evaluate E@R Project impact on children included in this project since 2011-2012, as well as its impact on their teachers’ linguistic input and pedagogy and on parents’ expectations The sample includes 53 children aged 3 to 6 years, and their parents. It also includes 9 teaching assistants, and 3 kindergarten teachers. Because we earned an Erasmus + Mobility grant, all the staff will be receiving training in the UK, Finland and Latvia, between January 2015 and November 2016 and we need to evaluate the impact of this too. Thus, in the beginning of the year school – October and November 2014 (pre-test), we applied a battery of instruments: an adapted Portage assessment scale, a children's self E@R assessment, and a Parents’ Survey. We will apply the same battery at the end of the year – June and July 2015 (post-test). So far, the pre-test results on the assessment of children's perceptions, language knowledge and goal-oriented behaviours show differences between younger children who were exposed to the project since they entered Rochinha and older ones that were not exposed to the program in the first year they entered Rochinha. Specifically, the younger ones strive to communicate using language expressions rather than isolated words whereas the older ones are more focused on learning vocabulary words, either in isolation or in the context of specific thematic units. This finding is congruent with parents’ expectations for their children’s language development. Data related to the spontaneous use of English in the classroom and in daily routines is still being analysed.
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