UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Being tough, staying good, and playing inside the box : an ethnographic case study of one boy's multimodal textmaking Collier, Diane R.


This study of multimodal textmaking is focused on how resources from home and from school are used by one child in the middle years of elementary school. Kyle is the primary participant in this ethnographic case study, which spanned two school years. Analysis focused on how texts change, how resources and identities are constructed and reconstructed, and which texts and textmaking practices are valued and which are not. In response to the need to understand more fully how hybrid or ‘relocalized’ (Pennycook, 2010) texts are made, this study undertook an examination of a wide range of textmaking processes. Kyle’s use of the cultural resources of professional wrestling, amongst others, to make narrative and performative hybrid texts, is traced. His ‘rescripting’ of everyday experiences, in playful and parodic ways, is explored. Kyle’s writing within a mandated writing process, performance-based assessment is also examined and a sociocultural understanding of creativity is proposed. Insight into permeability of home and school boundaries is offered. An expanded definition of text to include multimodal forms suggests that all texts are multimodal, but also that many children are excluded from successful textmaking at school because the modes, forms, and resources with which they are familiar or have had success, are not included amongst the valued texts at school (Luke, 1997; Marsh, 2006; Nixon & Comber, 2006). Powerful practices and interpersonal influences are made visible in a way that is not possible when only polished or final versions of texts are considered. The potentials and possibilities offered by play and improvisation within textmaking, both in and out of school, are emphasized.

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