ERIC Number: EJ1036434
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
When Pictures Aren't Pretty: Deconstructing Punitive Literacy Practices
Fisher, Teresa R.; Albers, Peggy; Frederick, Temmy G.
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, v14 n3 p291-318 Sep 2014
Young children frequently tell visual stories, drawing pictures to record and share their thoughts, feelings and understanding. How and what young children describe through art, especially when written language is not an option, is the focus of this interpretive analysis. A series of pictures by John, a 6-year-old boy, were drawn across the academic year at challenging moments when he exhibited distressing and/or alienating behaviour. We studied John's drawings of his misbehaviour, as depicted in these action plans, over the course of 8 months, how they appeared and evolved over the year, and what we learned by doing a close analysis of these visual texts. Specifically, as teacher educators thinking back upon our own experiences as novice teachers, we wanted to know what kinds of practices, such as this discipline action plan, implemented in schools and in our classrooms use literacy practices in a punitive way? Drawing from visual discourse analysis which includes visual design, we attended to how John used colours, the intensity with which they were applied; how he used shape and line (curved, sharp), the size and volume of objects, the relationship among and between objects in the pictures, and the discourses around which he identified. We also looked across these pictures to see how certain objects (teacher, himself, other students) shifted and were retranslated across images and time, and how, collectively, these pictures wrote an ongoing narrative, one that tells a not-so-pretty story of John's representation of self in these moments. This analysis forces us to problematize the use of multi-modal literacy practices as a punitive endeavour. Encouraging teachers to evaluate critically what "behaviour interventions" actually do to and for students can provide a powerful platform for meaningful change.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Literacy Education, Young Children, Freehand Drawing, Student Behavior, Behavior Problems, Classroom Techniques, Discipline, Punishment, Discourse Analysis, Color, Geometric Concepts, Personal Narratives, Learning Modalities, Beginning Writing, Interaction, Classroom Environment, Student Attitudes, Planning, Grade 1, Elementary School Students, Visual Stimuli, Self Concept
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A