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Rewriting the Script: Multiple Modalities in a High School Humanities Classroom

Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education Volume 11, Number 2, ISSN 1946-7109


In this article, Joshua Block states that his high school students are creators discovering how to express their ideas and emotions in multiple, complex ways. He teaches students who write their lives through words on pages as they fill journal after journal. There are others who constantly write and create in the form of tweets, photos, videos, status updates, and texts that tell their stories and define their worlds. There are also those who do not regularly express themselves but spend much of their time observing and developing their own private ideas. Block's goal is for students to develop unique, individual voices and discover multiple avenues for communicating their ideas as they present their work to public audiences using multiple modalities. New modalities have changed research and allow students to individualize content and express themselves in multiple, new, innovative ways, and yet the tensions, struggles, and rewards of meaningful intellectual work remain. Block concludes that it would be foolish to argue that technology somehow simplifies the challenges faced by educators and students. Yet it would be even more foolish to ignore the possibilities and opportunities for meaningful engagement, choice, audience, and discovering voice that technology and multimodal works present to educators, creators, and citizens of the world.


Block, J. (2014). Rewriting the Script: Multiple Modalities in a High School Humanities Classroom. Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, 11(2), 70-77. Retrieved June 15, 2019 from .

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