Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Connecting Literacies: Multimodal and Critical Literacies through Drama in the Early Years of School

Julie Martello.

This paper promotes process drama as the most engaging and productive pedagogy for developing multimodal literacies and critical awareness, especially in the early years of school. At a time when the home lives of many young children are rich with opportunities to use multimodal literacies as part of everyday practices, particularly in their popular culture activities, educators are searching for ways to engage students with school-based literacies. Drama is often overlooked in this search although evidence for its effectiveness abounds. Along with children's increasing access to a world of information also come increasing opportunities for commercial interests to target children as consumers of cultural product. Again, educators are looking for ways to develop children's critical abilities to assess and question the multimodal texts they encounter daily. This paper explains how drama is a critical pedagogy that encompasses multiple perspectives and allows students to examine the constructedness of all texts, whether spoken, gestural, written or visual. The paper draws on examples of drama work undertaken with young children in the first years of school and based on children's literature addressing issues of current concern in the lives of children.


Julie Martello  (Australia)
Adjunct Lecturer in Literacy and Drama Education
School of Teacher Education
Charles Sturt University

Julie Martello teaches in the teacher education courses at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia. Her research and teaching interests lie in the areas of multimodal literacies and the use of drama as a productive pedagogy. Recent published works centre on connecting children's popular culture interests with their school lives and establishing drama as a critical and productive pedagogy.

  • Multimodal literacies
  • Critical literacy
  • Home and school connections
  • Process drama
  • Drama as productive pedagogy
  • Drama as critical pedagogy
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Children as consumers of cultural product
  • Issue-based children's literature

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)