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Moving Ideas

Multimodality and Embodied Learning in Communities and Schools

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Mira-Lisa Katz

What does it look and feel like to communicate, create, compose, comprehend, teach, and learn with our bodies? Reaching beyond existing scholarship on multimodality and literacies, Moving Ideas expands our capacity to understand the embodied dimensions of learning and stretches our repertoires for more artfully describing them. Wresting language away from its historically privileged place at the center of social science research and practice, this collection examines the strategic layering across semiotic modes, challenging educators and researchers to revisit many of our most elemental assumptions about communication, learning, and development. The corporeal pedagogies these authors describe illuminate a powerful kind of learning that we know far too little about; in this age of accountability and high-stakes testing, failing to pay adequate attention to the promise of multimodality means forfeiting significant resources that could be used to innovatively engage people of all ages in education broadly conceived.
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12. The Embodiment of Real and Digital Signs: From the Sociocultural to the Intersemiotic

HUMAN BODIESAS SPATIALLY SITUATED SIGNSIN REAL ACTIVITY

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CHAPTER TWELVE

The Embodiment of Real and Digital Signs

From the Sociocultural to the Intersemiotic

JULIE CHEVILLE

With the emergence of new media, users are able to integrate multiple symbol systems in ways that pose distinct analytic challenges for writing researchers. In the case of video gaming and streaming video, moving images may appear in activity sequences that involve little linguistic mediation. As this chapter will indicate, the language-based analytic approaches that have traditionally framed investigations of language and literacy often do not acknowledge contexts of signification represented by many new media. The risk of these “sociocultural” perspectives is that by placing primacy on linguistic sign use, oral and print, researchers may not recognize contexts of signification in which spatially situated signs, like bodies and images, exert predominant ideational influence (Wartofsky, 1973).

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