Theories and Practices of Multimodal Education: The Instructional Dynamics of Picture Books and Primary Classrooms

The imaginative and interactive modes of communication available for children today, above and beyond print, indicate a profound shift to the nature of reading education as a whole. This article reviews the theoretical landscape involved in multimodal education, and then examines the practices that make multimodal education feasible in the classroom. Using examples from a research project in which elementary school teachers designed and implemented literacy curricula that focused on multimodal reading and writing skills, we highlight the instructional dynamics that took place in these classrooms and outline the ways in which the teachers effectively oriented their students toward the kind of multimodal and sociocognitive work that is characteristic of a larger digital culture. In the end, the implications for reading instruction are framed in terms of pedagogy of multiliteracies.

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