Reflections on Multiliteracies

The multiliteracies literature highlights the notion that traditional education is about passive learning as the teacher (expert) transmits knowledge to the students and restated by the students for the purpose of evaluation. By contrast, multiliteracies places emphasis on the collaborative process – including analyzing, reflecting, conceptualizing – and using multimodality communication practices. As a student I found the former educational approach to be very painful – boring – and therefore, I did not complete high school. Later in life, I returned to school at the post secondary level, not having completed grade 10. I found it, for the most part, more engaging and meaningful. To this day, I find significantly more value in a dynamic learning – conceptualing, analyzing, applying, in a multifaceted way within a team because it draws upon the diversity of knowledge and skills of a team toward a common goal rather┬áthan the old hierarchical style that dictates both what the outcomes need to be and how they need to be accomplished. Interesting enough, my personal disposition did not serve me well within the K-12 system, yet it has most always served me well within the labour market. I believe the adoption and integration of a multiliteracies pedagogy at all levels of the education system will engage learners to be more active participants in the education process, thus positively influencing the retention within the K-12 system as well as the post secondary system. Naturally, employers want employees that can collaborate and think critically rather than people that need step by step directions. I am the least technologically savvy, yet I would consider myself multiliterate for my other learning and professional characteristics that underpin multiliteracies pedagogy which I believe are essential to incorporating multiliteracies into one’s work environment – be it the classroom or within educational administrative systems.

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