Meaningful literacy: how multimodal literacy engages all learners
There is a strong divide between the literacies educators are teaching students in the classroom and the twenty-first century literacy skills students need. While the definition for literacy is constantly changing it currently refers to anything that is either visual or auditory that can be used to make meaning (Wissman & Costello, 2014). Despite this the current education system focuses primarily on reading and writing skills (Shaw, 2014; Smith, 2014). In order to address this problem, this study focused on the history of multimodal literacy, how it is currently being used in classroom, opposition to its uses, and ways to expand multimodal literacy in education. This study examined two research questions. First, does incorporating multimodal literacy into the English classroom make lessons more engaging and meaningful? Second, does multimodal literacy help retention of knowledge? The participants in this study were 33 high school students enrolled in junior level English during 2016. The results were compared to 2014 and 2015 baseline data. Data was collected through regular classroom assessments and student surveys. This data lead to the following themes: twenty-first century literacy, student engagement, and meaningful learning experiences. These themes will help educators understand how to effectively incorporate twenty-first century literacy skills in a way that engages students and produces meaningful learning experiences.
Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction