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Multimodal Literacy

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Carey Jewitt and Gunther Kress

Multimodal Literacy challenges dominant ideas around language, learning, and representation. Using a rich variety of examples, it shows the range of representational and communicational modes involved in learning through image, animated movement, writing, speech, gesture, or gaze. The effect of these modes on learning is explored in different sites including formal learning across the curriculum in primary, secondary, and higher education classrooms, as well as learning in the home. The notion of literacy and learning as a primary linguistic accomplishment is questioned in favor of the multimodal character of learning and literacy. By illustrating how a range of modes contributes to the shaping of knowledge and what it means to be a learner, Multimodal Literacy provides a multimodal framework and conceptual tools for a fundamental rethinking of literacy and learning.
The Editors: Carey Jewitt is a researcher at the Institute of Education, University of London, and an editor of the journal Visual Communication. She has written widely on multimodal learning and teaching. Her recent publications include Multimodal Teaching and Learning: The Rhetorics of the Science Classroom (2001) with G. Kress, J. Ogborn, and C. Tsatsarelis and A Handbook of Visual Analysis (2001) co-edited with T. van Leeuwen.
Gunther Kress is Professor of Education and English at the Institute of Education, University of London. He has an interest in the interrelations in contemporary texts of different modes of communication and their effects on forms of learning and knowing. His recent publications include Reading Images (1996) with T. van Leeuwen; Before Writing: Rethinking the Paths to Literacy (1997); Multimodal Discourse (2001) with T. van Leewuen; and Literacy in the New Media Age (2002).