As we move towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century it is relevant to reflect on the ways in which we are supporting learners to become effective citizens for new times. The growth of new technologies has shaped new learners who come to schools with funds of knowledge that are relevant to their lived experiences in classrooms, but rarely used in authentic ways. As their performance in schools comes increasingly under scrutiny with regard to heritage outcomes, they are creating knowledge building communities, both on and off line, that reflect an increased capacity to understand and make sense of their world in dynamic ways. New learners live in a multimodal world that requires them to understand and make meaning of multiple forms of texts and images as well as being able to critically interrogate a variety of media and sources of information. How can primary schools make a contribution to these new citizens and support them to acquire and use skills that will enable them to be effective learners? In this presentation I discuss what it means to be literate in new times and the ways in which teachers can provide relevant contexts that support children to become multiliterate by extending their modalities of learning. I will provide examples of new learning in primary schools which reflect new conceptualization about what it means to be literate as well as a consideration of the pedagogies used by teachers.
|Published - 2009