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A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Young children and multimodal learning with tablets ARTICLE

British Journal of Educational Technology Volume 49, Number 5, ISSN 0007-1013 e-ISSN 0007-1013 Publisher: Wiley


The data reported in this paper are part of a larger case study with children from 2 to 12 years of age, that took place over 4 years. The data reported here pertains to children in the age range 4–8 years of age in Australia. The children were from low socio-economic schools in one Australian state. The study was concerned with providing empirical evidence about learning ecologies in which teachers designed multimodal experiences to support young children to become literate in the 21st century. Using a participant observation methodology, both the pedagogical strategies and learning experiences of young children were documented in the form of narratives of early childhood practices. The aim was to consider the potential for new learning [Kalantzis, M., & Cope, W. W. (2012). New learning: elements of a science of education (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press] with new technologies, and to support teachers to use tablets to transform their pedagogies and practices in the early years. The approach taken was to use the theoretical constructs of new learning and a pedagogy of multiliteracies [New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies. Harvard Educational Review, 60, 66–92] as the focus for designing the new learning ecologies. In this way, we moved away from an emphasis on digital childhoods to create contexts for multimodal learning in the 21st-century childhoods. In doing this, the documented learning stories have multimodality as a uniting element, and digital technologies are viewed as being complimentary to other resources, rather than alternatives, or in competition with, traditional modalities. The paper illustrates the ways in which these multimodal learning ecologies can work to support emergent literacy which is viewed as a foundational skill needed by all children in order to thrive in their learning.


Yelland, N.J. (2018). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Young children and multimodal learning with tablets. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(5), 847-858. Wiley. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from .