Our image-rich, media-dominated culture prompts critical thinking about how we educate young children. In response, this volume provides a rich and provocative synthesis of theory, research, and practice that pushes beyond monomodal constructs of teaching and learning. It is a book about bringing “sense” to 21st century early childhood education, with “sense” as related to modalities (sight, hearing), and “sense” in terms of making meaning. It reveals how multimodal perspectives emphasize the creative, transformative process of learning by broadening the modes for understanding and by encouraging critical analysis, problem solving, and decision-making.
The volume’s explicit focus on children’s visual texts (“art”) facilitates understanding of multimodal approaches to language, literacy, and learning. Authentic examples feature diverse contexts, including classrooms, homes, museums, and intergenerational spaces, and illustrate children’s “sense-making” of life experiences such as birth, identity, environmental phenomena, immigration, social justice, and homelessness.
This timely book provokes readers to examine understandings of language, literacy, and learning through a multimodal lens; provides a starting point for constructing broader, multimodal views of what it might mean to “make meaning;” and underscores the production and interpretation of visual texts as meaning making processes that are especially critical to early childhood education in the 21st century.
Table of Contents
Foreword; Mary Renck Jalongo.- Preface; Marilyn J. Narey.- Introduction.- 1. The Creative “Art” of Making Meaning; Marilyn J. Narey.- Part One: Beyond Words.- 2. Drawing to Learn; Margaret Brooks.- 3. Sacred Structures: Assembling Meaning, Constructing Self; James Haywood Rolling, Jr.- 4. Creating a Critical Multiliteracies Curriculum: Repositioning Art in the Early Childhood Classroom; Linda K. Crafton, Penny Silvers, and Mary Brennan.- 5. Drawing as a Relational Event: Making Meaning through Talk, Collaboration, and Image Production; Kristine E. Sunday.- Part Two: Contexts and Layered Texts.- 6. “Look Mother! Mother Look!” – Young Children Exploring Life with their Mother; Susanna Kinnunen and Johanna Einarsdóttir.- 7. Young Children’s Drawings and Storytelling: Multimodal Transformations that Help to Mediate Complex Sociocultural Worlds; Rosemary D. Richards.- 8. Children, Elders, and Multimodal Arts Curricula: Semiotic Possibilities and the Imperative of Relationship; Rachel Heydon and Susan O’Neill.- 9. Children's Engagement with Contemporary Art in the Museum Context; Brigita Strnad.- 10. Children in Crisis: Transforming Fear into Hope through Multimodal Literacy; Donalyn Heise.- Part Three: Visions.- 11. Studio Thinking in Early Childhood; Kimberly M. Sheridan.- 12. “Uh oh” Multimodal Meaning Making during Viewing of YouTube Videos in Preschool; Christina Davidson, Susan J. Danby, and Karen Thorpe.- 13. Empowering Pre-service Teachers to Design a Classroom Environment that Serves as a Third Teacher; Katherina Danko-McGhee and Ruslan Slutsky.- 14. Stretching toward Multimodality: The Evolution and Development of a Teacher Educator; Kelli Jo Kerry-Moran.- 15. “Struggling Learner”… or Struggling Teacher?: Questions Surrounding Teacher Development for Multimodal Language, Literacy, and Learning; Marilyn J. Narey.- Conclusion.- 16. Multimodal Visions: Bringing “Sense” to Our 21st Century Texts; Marilyn J. Narey.
What People are Saying About This
“The diverse voices of the contributing scholars honor the creative work of young children through rich visual and verbal examples that serve to bring meaning to the proposed conceptual ideas. Many chapters will push readers past familiar ideas and into a critical examination of contemporary literature and constructs to build broader conceptions of literacy and early learning experiences…a welcome new edition to a respected work that previous students have found very applicable.” (Angela Eckhoff, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA)
“It is the only book that I know of that specifically focuses on early childhood in exploring the ways in which children make meaning using multiple sign systems. This is of utmost importance as 21st century literacies are moving more toward multiple literacies such as the visual, rather than literacy understood only as print on a page… I will use this book in my classes for teaching literacy in the content areas, so it appeals to teacher educators not only in early childhood, but also elementary.” (Lucy Spence, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA)
“The book addresses multimodal approach to meaning making/learning in the times where international trends in education threaten arts-based approaches to education. Even though teachers who deal with children arts know how important multidisciplinary, multimodal and arts-based forms of learning are for the children and themselves, are still influenced by these trends. Narey articulates these challenges so well in her chapters. Narey’s strong voice binds the chapters together, framing the book’s content according to the contemporary challenges in early childhood education. The originality of the volume, among other things lies in its timely relevance.” (Biljana Fredriksen, University College of Southeast Norway, Norway)