Presentation Details

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

Things Thicker Than Words: Integrating Multi-Media Into Curriculum For Struggling Youth

Dr Theresa Rogers, Andrew Schofield.

This paper argues for and illustrates the use of arts and multimedia for struggling youth in an alternative secondary program, particulary the use of video narratives. A teacher and researcher have worked collaboratively for three years to integrate arts and multimedia into alternative curriculum for students who have been alientated from traditional schools and practices. The narrative tours (c.f DeCerteau, 1984) the students produce provide a glimpse into their fluid visual and spatial practices as they integrate biography, identities, and in- and out- of -school lives and literacies. Students produce videos that are integrated into their curriculum in various ways (e.g. to express their cultural lives and perceptions through a film and TV course, as a way to address issues related to a cross curricular theme of aboriginality, to recreate and interpret literary works) and serve to engage them in the more traditional school based literacy practices. We argue new "spaces" are created in the imaginatively produced liminal or in-between spaces of these narratives, in which students have assembled artifacts of popular culture, their own or authored narratives, and images from their local lived-in environment. If we are to take seriously the calls for new literacy pedagogies that take into account the "burgeoning variety of text forms," the changing nature of work lives and organization, and draw on the resources of the various subjectivities (New London Group, 2000), we will have to redesign local curricula in ways that are inclusive for all of our students.


Dr Theresa Rogers  (Canada)
Associate Professor
Language and Literacy Education
University of British Columbia

Theresa Rogers is an associate professor of Language and Literacy at the University of British Columbia. Her areas of interest include (multi) literacy practices among youth, critical perspectives on adolescent literature. She is editor of the book Reading Across Cultures (Teachers College Press) and numerous articles and chapters.

Andrew Schofield  (Canada)

Newton Learning Center

  • Youth
  • Literacy
  • Multimedia
  • Multiliteracies
  • Struggling Youth
  • Subjectivities
  • Identity
  • Digital Video Technology.

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)