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Just Hands-On Isn't Enough: Mutlimodal Learning Environments and Their Implications for Teacher Education
Unformatted Document Text:  & Reinking, 1999, Luke, 2003). Because multi-modal and multi-literacies are argued as being important for urban student learning (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Kress, 2003), this study is significant because it demonstrates the nature of curricular units that can realize these multi-literacy-science characteristics. It also provides insights into how to create such learning environments, the nature of student learning within them, and implications for teacher education C. Contribution One question related to the strand under which we are submitting this proposal, Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers, is concerned with what forms of literacy will be necessary for students’ future success, and how do we assure that teacher candidates are able to prepare their students to be multi-literate? This proposal directly relates to this question. Through our university/teacher-researcher collaborative, we investigated how to effectively develop and implement a multimodal, technology infused unit of instruction on “Levers and Pulleys” for upper elementary students. Through an analysis of classroom discourse and student created artifacts, our research illuminated the multiple literacies the students used to make meaning as they engaged in this unit of study. These analyses directly relate to the first part of the question, because it enabled us to illuminate the nature of learning in a multimodal learning environment and how learning in this context facilitates the skills and knowledge students will need for their future success in our information age society. Through thematic analysis of both collaborative curriculum planning meetings and student artifacts, the outcomes of this research provided insights for teacher educators regarding how to prepare teachers to create multimodal science-based inquiry curriculum. For example, the 5 th grade students did not necessarily evidence “mobility” on their own as they attempted to integrate and make meaning of multimodal resources. Rather, it became necessary for the teacher to provide explicit scaffolds in order for her students to reflect on what they had learned from the integration of these multimodal resources. The nature of these scaffolds has important implications for teacher educators as they prepare teacher candidates to create and implement multimodal units of instruction. D. Relevance This presentation uses qualitative evidence to inform practice and exemplifies successful practices related to creating and implementing multimodal inquiry units in an upper elementary classroom. Results of a thematic analysis of collaborative curriculum development meetings between university and school researchers will be discussed in order to describe how multimodal resources were accessed and integrated into an existing hands-on science curriculum. Results of classroom discourse analysis and thematic analysis of children’s written texts and graphical interpretations will be discussed in order to explore the nature of student learning in a multimodal learning environment. Specifically, presenters will describe the strategies the students’ employed in reading the various multi-modal texts available in the unit; the ways in which they gathered and organized information from these resources and the hands-on explorations; and the kinds of science discourse genres and multimodal techniques and artifacts they appropriated as they presented their findings in their inquiries. E. Implication for Action 2

Authors: Smolin, Louanne., Pappas, Chris., Varelas, Maria. and Mohammed, Tina.
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& Reinking, 1999, Luke, 2003). Because multi-modal and multi-literacies are argued as
being important for urban student learning (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Kress, 2003), this
study is significant because it demonstrates the nature of curricular units that can realize
these multi-literacy-science characteristics. It also provides insights into how to create
such learning environments, the nature of student learning within them, and implications
for teacher education
C. Contribution
One question related to the strand under which we are submitting this proposal,
Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers, is concerned with what forms of literacy
will be necessary for students’ future success, and how do we assure that teacher
candidates are able to prepare their students to be multi-literate? This proposal directly
relates to this question. Through our university/teacher-researcher collaborative, we
investigated how to effectively develop and implement a multimodal, technology infused
unit of instruction on “Levers and Pulleys” for upper elementary students. Through an
analysis of classroom discourse and student created artifacts, our research illuminated the
multiple literacies the students used to make meaning as they engaged in this unit of
study. These analyses directly relate to the first part of the question, because it enabled
us to illuminate the nature of learning in a multimodal learning environment and how
learning in this context facilitates the skills and knowledge students will need for their
future success in our information age society.
Through thematic analysis of both collaborative curriculum planning meetings and
student artifacts, the outcomes of this research provided insights for teacher educators
regarding how to prepare teachers to create multimodal science-based inquiry curriculum.
For example, the 5
th
grade students did not necessarily evidence “mobility” on their own
as they attempted to integrate and make meaning of multimodal resources. Rather, it
became necessary for the teacher to provide explicit scaffolds in order for her students to
reflect on what they had learned from the integration of these multimodal resources. The
nature of these scaffolds has important implications for teacher educators as they prepare
teacher candidates to create and implement multimodal units of instruction.
D. Relevance
This presentation uses qualitative evidence to inform practice and exemplifies successful
practices related to creating and implementing multimodal inquiry units in an upper
elementary classroom. Results of a thematic analysis of collaborative curriculum
development meetings between university and school researchers will be discussed in
order to describe how multimodal resources were accessed and integrated into an existing
hands-on science curriculum. Results of classroom discourse analysis and thematic
analysis of children’s written texts and graphical interpretations will be discussed in order
to explore the nature of student learning in a multimodal learning environment.
Specifically, presenters will describe the strategies the students’ employed in reading the
various multi-modal texts available in the unit; the ways in which they gathered and
organized information from these resources and the hands-on explorations; and the kinds
of science discourse genres and multimodal techniques and artifacts they appropriated as
they presented their findings in their inquiries.
E. Implication for Action
2


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