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Tate Britain's Ideas Factory Action Research Project Report: A Multimodal Approach to its Impact on Children's Literacy

Diamantopoulou, S; (2007) Tate Britain's Ideas Factory Action Research Project Report: A Multimodal Approach to its Impact on Children's Literacy. Tate Britain: London, UK.

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Abstract

The Tate Britain Ideas Factory Action Research Project explored the impact that an ‘integrated approach’ to the teaching of literacy and art can have on children’s engagement with literacy, placing a particular focus on children with English as an Additional Language (EAL). The action research ran from September 2005 to June 2006 in collaboration with two primary schools, one in Newham and the other in Greenwich. The Ideas Factory Project had been operational for several years in collaboration with several Newham and Greenwich schools, as an arts and literacy project, sponsored by Tate & Lyle. It was in the last year of the project that the research element was introduced, in an attempt to explore in depth the impact of the project on the children. The project involved Year 3 and Year 4 pupils and a wide range of practitioners: artists, writers, poets, gallery educators, classroom teachers, a Tate project co-ordinator and a researcher. The main research question for the project was: ‘How can working in collaboration with artists and writers in schools and the gallery help with children’s literacy development, particularly those children who have English as an additional language?’ The purpose of the research was to establish whether the particular teaching methodology (the ‘integrated approach’) adopted by Tate Britain, as a main approach to teaching and learning in the gallery, had a significant effect on EAL students’ literacy work. The main research method is that of the action research involving a wide range of participants as researchers. As regards the main interpretative framework for the analysis of the data collected, the focal perspective has been that of multimodal social semiotics and discourse analysis. The action research team reflected on the ‘integrated approach’, as applied to the teaching of art and literacy, and pinpointed the elements that constitute this particular teaching methodology and render it successful. The research established that the context-specific integrations of expertise, spaces, practices and understandings of literacy constitute a unique resource that enhances children’s literacy practices. Moreover, the ‘integrated approach’, as a pedagogy, facilitates a multi-sensory and multimodal engagement with literacy through the arts. This report frames instances from the integrated approach and explores the way that approach resourced children’s literacy work. The research problematised the notion of ‘EAL children’s literacy development’, and directed the research focus towards the conditions that enable children’s literacy work in the classroom and the gallery. It suggests that the different institutional contexts of the school and the gallery, along with their distinct definitions of literacy, allow for different possibilities to emerge for EAL children’s meaning-making in literacy.

Type: Report
Title: Tate Britain's Ideas Factory Action Research Project Report: A Multimodal Approach to its Impact on Children's Literacy
Publisher version: http://www.tate.org.uk/download/file/fid/46403
Language: English
Additional information: This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions
Keywords: art gallery education, EAL, multimodal literacies
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045736
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