ERG SES E 08, Literacy and Education
With the advent of new, multimodal media forms, the engaged reader, one who reads frequently and finds satisfaction in reading, may have diversified their reading to include digital texts (Baker et al., 2012, p.192, Kucirkova et al., 2015). In this study, constructing reading engagement as a multidimensional construct forms the theoretical perspective of ‘the engaged reader’ and what fuels that learner’s inclination to read often and widely (Baker et al., 2012, p.192). ‘Engaged readers are those who want to read, who choose to read and find satisfaction in reading’ (Cremin et al., 2014 , p.6).Becoming literate in the digital age means that learners read and ‘make meaning’ through multiple modes of meaning, including the ‘spoken, printed, visual and digital’ (Marsh and Hallet, 2008, p.123). The digital age is characterised by the predominance of technology in resource rich societies where computer screens and images increasingly frame communications (Pahl and Rowsell, 2012).
The focus of this research is on teachers, and how they can support learners engage in reading in the digital age. Teachers need to access their professional knowledge base in a number of domains so that they can support learners’ reading engagement (Fenstermacher, 1994). Those knowledgeable domains include their pedagogical knowledge, technological knowledge and their knowledge of children’s texts.
This study proposes that teacher knowledge is essentially the total knowledge and insight that underlies teachers’ actions in practice (Verloop et al., 2001), or a ‘knowledge of practice’ (Fenstermacher, 1994). Teachers’ knowledge of practice includes their practical experiences, day to day practices and formal teacher education (Verloop et al., 2001). In supporting reading engagement in the classroom, teachers construct their knowledge by accessing organised systems, that emanates from both their formal teacher education and their practical experience (Fenstermacher, 1994). Teachers also often engage in continuous professional development (CPD) over the course of their teaching careers and according to Verloop et al. (2001), CPD should focus on deepening teacher knowledge to foster teacher learning and changes in practice. In particular, this study will focus on the ways in which teachers develop their knowledge base in relation to the changes within their professional practice, in particular the changing nature of literacy, technology and children’s texts in the Irish educational system.
Some of those changes in teachers’ professional practice refers to the changing nature of literacy in the field of new literacies studies, which some would argue, is in a constant state of flux (Pahl and Rowsell, 2005). Similarly, there have been changes in education with the advent of the digital age, where learners increasingly make meaning from multimodal texts, including digital books (Kucirkova et al., 2015). It will be the role of the teacher to make available these new media forms to learners, including multimodal text, so that learners become ‘knowledgeable in domains which the society regards as crucial’ (Kress and Selander, 2012, p.268).
This research is necessary, as there is a lack of evidence concerning the ways in which teachers support reading engagement in Irish primary school classrooms. The literature suggests that, in Irish primary schools at least, teachers may not have sufficient knowledge in a number of domains to support reading engagement in the digital age. For example, the use of technology in schools is currently at a ‘technology literacy level’, which indicates that teachers are using technology, but to complement existing practices and traditional teaching methods (Cosgrove et al., 2014, p.29).
This leads to the formulation of the research question: ‘What are the ways in which Irish primary school teachers support reading engagement in the digital age?’.
Baker, L., Afflerbach, P. and Reinking, D. (2012) Developing engaged readers in school and home communities. Routledge. Best, R., Floyd, R. G. and McNamara, D. S. 'Understanding the fourth-grade slump: Comprehension difficulties as a function of reader aptitudes and text genre'. 85th Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Casey, L., Bruce, B. C., Martin, A., Hallissy, M., Shiel, G., Reynolds, A., Brown, C. and Coffey, L. (2009) 'Digital literacy: New approaches to participation and inquiry learning to foster literacy skills among primary school children'. Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2000) 'Research Methods in Education [5 th edn] London: Routledge Falmer', Teaching in Higher Education, 41. Cosgrove, J., Butler, D., Leahy, M., Shiel, G., Kavanagh, L. and Creaven, A.-M. (2014) 'The 2013 ICT Census in Schools–Main Report'. Cremin, T., Mottram, M., Collins, F. M., Powell, S. and Safford, K. (2014) Building Communities of Engaged Readers: Reading for Pleasure. Routledge. Creswell, J. W. and Miller, D. L. (2000) 'Determining validity in qualitative inquiry', Theory into practice, 39(3), pp. 124-130. DES, Skills, T.D.o.E.a. (1999) Primary school curriculum: The Stationary Office, Dublin. DES (2015) Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Enhancing teaching, learning and assessment. DSOD (2014) Digital Schools of Distinction. www.digitalschools.ie (Accessed: 2016. Fenstermacher, G. D. (1994) 'The knower and the known: The nature of knowledge in research on teaching', Review of research in education, 20, pp. 3-56. Gee, J. P. (2004) Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. Psychology Press. Gee, J. P. (2014) Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. Routledge. Gee, J. P. and Levine, M. (2008) 'Let’s Get Over the Slump', Education Week, 28(4), pp. 32. Kress, G. and Selander, S. (2012) 'Multimodal design, learning and cultures of recognition', The Internet and Higher Education, 15(4), pp. 265-268. Kucirkova, N., Littleton, K. and Cremin, T. (2015) 'Young children’s reading for pleasure with digital books: six key facets of engagement', Cambridge Journal of Education, pp. 1-18. Marsh, J. and Hallet, E. (2008) Desirable literacies: Approaches to language and literacy in the early years. SAGE. Pahl, K. and Rowsell, J. (2012) Literacy and education. SAGE Publications Ltd. Punch, K. F. (2009) Introduction to research methods in education. Sage. Sarantakos, S. (2012) Social research. Palgrave Macmillan. Verloop, N., Van Driel, J. and Meijer, P. (2001) 'Teacher knowledge and the knowledge base of teaching', International Journal of Educational Research, 35(5), pp. 441-461.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.