Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms

Education through time – A continuous call for change in curriculum

July 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

First of all, I believe that this a great article to end this class with as it speaks to our efforts to improve the curriculum by incorporating multiliteracies  in our ELA  classrooms. Hannah Arendt, a well spoken political theorist, once said,“…we are all the same, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same as anyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live.” We need to realize the uniqueness not only of students and ourselves, but also the uniqueness of the era we live in.

Kress (2000) argues that our current educational system is in a stagnant state in that it is entrenched in educating a 19th century audience for the stability of the times, rather than catering to our 21st century students with, “an education for fluidity, for instability” (139). I believe that one needs to adopt a growth mindset in order to contend and take into consideration the claims expressed within the contents of this article. Kress notes that we live in a pluralistic society and I consider this characteristic as a requirement for change as action often comes from the plurality of society. It is within these societies that individuals collaborate to exchange views and build something new, something that is reflective of our current state. In addition, I would like to believe that educators always want to improve not only their lessons, but also more importantly, their approach to meet the needs of today’s students.  We undoubtedly belong to a profession that consists of lifelong learners. However, in all fairness, it is important to note that it may take anywhere between 20-30 or even 40 years before meaningful change takes place with regard to establishing a new and successful literary approach in our schools (Mackey, 2012). Nevertheless, we need to consider ourselves as designers who not only shape the leaders of tomorrow, but who continually design as, “designs speak of choices: choices which reflect the interests of their designer…”(143). Let then our interests lie in adapting our work, in whatever role we find ourselves, so that our pedagogy is consistent with the demands of today’s world.

In continuation on the theme of change, Kress notes that, “ ‘To learn’ was not supposed to mean ‘to change’” (140). We as educators are privileged with the role of educating the leaders of tomorrow, people who will implement change, if necessary, wherever they may find themselves. It is also our responsibility to act as role models so in a sense, we ourselves should not be afraid to seek and speak of change, if not implement change within our practice. It may be argued, that teachers are not administrators or that first year teachers should “go with the flow,” but as we become more experienced and develop our networks, we too may be in a position to if not directly implement change, to influence the process of change. Over time we may develop the courage to speak with our department heads and/or administrators about particular approaches, programs or even the selection of available books and resources.


Kress, Gunther. “A curriculum for the future.” Cambridge journal of education 30.1 (2000): 133-145.

Mackey, M. (2012). Mixing Media. In James, K., Dobson, T.M., Leggo, C., Eds. English in Middle and Secondary Classrooms: Creative and Critical Advice from Canada’s Teacher Educators. Toronto: Pearson.


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