Multimodality in Early Childhood Education

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Kelsey Crane-Deklerk


The purpose of this paper is to explore the uses of multimodality within early childhood education classrooms for the purposes of literacy education. Wohlwend (2008) urges educators to keep age-appropriate practices in place, even amid a shift in educational requirements and expectations. In this paper, the use of age-appropriate, multimodal practices for young learners is explored. Though there is not necessarily research specific to multimodality in early childhood, the literature shows that multimodality is present in forms of play; the use of toys, devices, and technology; drama; and social interactions. Through these modality-rich avenues, literacy development can still be achieved through engaging structures for children. Multimodality creates opportunities to position the student as the expert in their own learning and create collaborative learning environments. Potential issues with these uses of multimodality include conflicts around devices in the classroom and negative social interactions. Additional research is needed to connect the fields of multimodality and early childhood education.


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