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ERIC Number: EJ847812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8204
Performing New Geographies of Literacy Teaching and Learning
Vasudevan, Lalitha
English Education, v41 n4 p356-374 Jul 2009
In this article, the author explores the ways in which new teaching and learning geographies were crafted by adolescents and adults through the engagement and performance of multimodal literacy practices. They did so by communicating and representing knowledge through the manipulation of multiple expressive modalities, including pens for writing and drawing, voices for storytelling, cell phone cameras for sharing photos of family and friends, paint for self-portraits and other scenes, and the body for embodying new ways of being within the classroom walls. To examine how ordinary locations can create new spaces by the people who inhabit them, the author draws on the lenses of spatiality and multimodality. In saying so, the author is referring to the confluence of practices, interactions, and relationships that were "lived" at Alternative to Incarceration Program (ATIP). Thus, this article is a discussion of how teaching and learning geographies at one educational setting were transformed with the presence of multimodal and multispatial literacies. In this site, the broader landscape of adolescents' emerging literacies (e.g., texting, social networking, video and photo sharing, etc.) was organically integrated into the larger context of these new geographies as teachers placed primacy on knowing their students in order to teach them. The author presents two examples of new teaching and learning geographies. The first explores the pedagogy of Tony, the teacher who Joey describes in the opening vignette. Play is a hallmark of Tony's dynamic teaching practices, which are produced through a careful orchestration of performance, recognition, and humor. The second example comes from a theater elective in which some ATIP participants collaborated to compose and perform a play on stage in the theater district of a large northeastern city. In the theater project, it was in between moments of explicit direction and performance that the space of teaching and learning existed. That is, this terrain was lived across classrooms, subways, and a professional theater. In both cases, multimodal literacy practices were embedded in youths' in-class performances and in teachers' expectations. (Contains 2 tables and 3 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York