Abstract: This presentation focuses on the engagement of primary aged children as they make sense of visual texts. Often these texts are completely, or almost completely wordless, adding a dimension of storytelling for the readers themselves as they think together; reasoning, justifying and possibility thinking to create meanings and make sense. Starting with 6 year-olds and their responses to a painting, the presentation will then report a project using film narratives to teach reading comprehension to 8 year-olds. Thereafter, results and reflections on a further project investigating 11 year-old children’s immersion and engagement in a digital narrative game will be presented. Then, a project on the potential of wordless narratives in the promotion of cultural literacy values and dispositions will be described. The focus in all of these projects is collaborative meaning-making, concentrating on the language of thinking together and how meanings are created in the dialogic space between text and reader, and between the readers themselves.
Biography: Dr Fiona Maine is a lecturer in literacy education at the University of Cambridge in the UK. Her research investigates the dialogic interactions of children as they make meaning together from a variety of text modes, and she explores the language of their critical and creative thinking as they collaborate together. She supports teachers to develop their literacy practices, encouraging a broad notion of literacy that incorporates visual, moving image and digital modes of text, and she highlights the possibilities afforded by working with non-verbal and ambiguous texts. She is the author of ‘Dialogic readers: children talking and thinking together about visual texts’, and is the Principal Investigator for a newly awarded Horizon 2020 project aimed at promoting children’s cultural literacy across Europe.
Everyone interested is very welcome to join the seminar!