Gaming Literacy: Rethinking Teaching and Learning in the Culturally Diverse Urban Classroom
Schools in culturally diverse urban areas can and should be capitalizing on the linguistic wealth their local communities offer and the digital practices encouraged by popular culture to prepare students for a globally connected world. The educational agenda in Ontario, however, does the reverse, reshaping children's home and community repertoires towards a paper and pencil linguistic monoculture that will respond positively to test mechanisms. At Joyce Public School in Northwestern Toronto, our teacher-researcher consortium has been experimenting with socially and culturally responsive literacy engagement by designing narrative projects that provide multiple "access points" to knowledge and learning for students. Projects situate children's creative and productive capabilities within a curriculum that is both grassroots and "user generated": students creatively design narratives through ludic approaches that re-make and re-mean for them. This paper describes our current entry into creating gaming formats for narrative learning utilizing community languages.
Keywords: Multimodal Literacies, Gaming, Elementary Education, Collaborative Research, Multilingualism, Narratives
Dr. Heather Lotherington
Professor, Faculty of Education, York University
Dr. Jennifer Jenson
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, York University