Giovanna Lucci will be presenting her dissertation proposal on Friday, June 16, 2023 at 11:30AM in PCN 1306.
All are welcome!
Supervisory Committee: Dr. Maureen Kendrick (supervisor), Drs. Margaret Early and Kathryn Accurso (committee members)
Dissertation Title: A Community of Stories: A Case Study of Multimodal Storytelling and Collaboration in an Elementary Classroom
Human beings are storytelling animals (Gottschall, 2013). Our stories are the combination of everything we see, hear, think, feel, and say over the course of our lives (Storr, 2020). They help us navigate life’s complex social problems, allowing us to connect socially and emotionally to each other, and prompting us to take action and change the world for the better (see Bishop, 1990; Leland et al., 2018; Purnell et al., 2007; Short, 2009). Hence, the starting point of this research is the idea that all stories matter and that it is only when people’s identities are accepted, respected, valued, and welcomed by others that bonds may be strengthened, and a sense of community may surface.
This research project is a metastory and as such, it will tell an overarching story about the different kinds of stories that emerge during the research process as children work collaboratively. Previous research in education has extensively explored the affordances of using multimodal children’s literature in English language teaching and learning contexts (see Bland, 2019; Larragueta & Ceballos-Viro, 2018; Reyes-Torres & Raga, 2020). However, there is still limited research that focuses specifically on the how multimodal storytelling can be incorporated into classrooms for collaboration and community-building. Although studies indicate that reading multimodal texts can promote social-emotional learning and promote children’s multiliteracies development (Arizpe & Styles, 2015; Harper, 2016) through a dialogic approach (Garner & Parker, 2018), there remains a gap when it comes to connecting language and literacy education and classroom community wellbeing with children’s literature and stories created by children in a collaborative manner.
To address this gap, this proposed research will take an ethnographic case study approach to understanding a collaborative unit of study focused on storytelling in a culturally and linguistically diverse elementary classroom in Vancouver, Canada. It will adopt a multi-method data generation approach (i.e., ethnographic observations, informal interviews, surveys, digital-recordings, collection of multimodal artifacts, and so on) to look at children’s collaborative creative processes, how they decide to build individual and collective stories and how they choose to tell them. The study will use multimodal storytelling (i.e., the stories students will read, listen to, create, tell, and share during the research activities) as a tool for understanding: (1) how students’ identities and interests are embedded in the stories they create, tell, and share; (2) how an exploration of the affordances and limitations of different modes can impact children’s meaning-making and the ways in which they express their ideas; (3a) how they multimodally negotiate meaning when working collaboratively with other students in their class and (3b) how collaborative creation processes can impact social relationships and the classroom community. The main objective is to understand whether the collaborative exploration of various modes of storytelling can be used in classrooms to help students enhance their multimodal literacy learning and if multimodal storytelling can serve as a tool to create more welcoming classroom communities (i.e., where children feel respected and safer to take risks, make mistakes, and use multiple modes to make meaning, learn, and communicate ideas so that they can thrive.
The intended contribution of this research is to: 1) illuminate what children from diverse backgrounds bring to classroom storytelling practices (e.g., their funds of knowledge, literacies, interests, and learning needs); 2) gain an understanding of their collaborative practices, how their individual competences can be combined when collaborating in a project, and how diversity can be built on and honoured through multimodal storytelling; and 3) reveal how children’s collective meaning-making and choice of modes might impact their social relationships and the classroom community.