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Charting transformative practice : critical multiliteracies via informal learning design

  • Author(s): Clark, Kristen Radsliff
  • et al.
Abstract

With a core aim of mitigating disadvantage associated with the digital divide, this study attempts to articulate perspectives on intervention design that support transformative practice - those activities that extend children's knowledge and forms of expertise. With this primary goal in mind, recent critical research in multiliteracies, new literacies, and popular literacies is drawn on to support the articulation of a Critical Multiliteracies (CritMLs) framework for informal learning design. Using Fifth Dimension (5D) afterschool programs as laboratories for intervention design, CritMLs-informed activities were implemented to explore the extent to which youth cultures and literacies can be used as textual gateways to more educative practices associated with the Age of Information. Research in boundary crossing provided a theoretically guided approach to assessing the impact of designs on participants. Findings suggest that boundary crossing represents a useful unit of analysis for exploring children's uptake of new practices and movement toward mastery of existing competencies. Study results also indicate that youth cultures and popular literacies can be leveraged as powerful and relevant components of learning design but there are limitations to their utility due to their location in gendered ecologies that limit the existence of relationships between play practices and adult forms of expertise

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