multimodal picture books, culturally inclusive/responsive teaching, funds of knowledge, multiliteracies, transformative learning, anti-oppressive practices, early childhood education
Multimodal picture books are a critical component of children’s literacy development, and in a multicultural province such as Ontario, it is vital that literacy development include cultural literacy. The demographics of the province’s classrooms are increasingly diverse; however, minoritized cultures are underrepresented among teachers, and there are sparse training mandates related to cultural inclusion. Thus, Ontario’s culturally diverse student body is encountering a number of barriers related to gender, ethnicity, perceived race, sexual identity, ability, class, and other social markers. To provide teachers with the tools needed to support their students, the current study utilizes a theoretical framework derived from anti-oppressive practices to identify where students encounter barriers. The work examines the strengths and limitations of the traditional canon of children’s multimodal picture books and explores the ways in which more inclusive works can support a culturally inclusive learning environment. Based on this, a culturally responsive selection process is outlined. The study employs a multiliteracies framework to propose classroom activities and assessment models that promote and assess literacy development. Transformative teaching approaches are also recommended to help teachers broaden their understanding of culture. Additionally, recommendations are made regarding mandated cultural training for pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as curriculum reform.
Dr. Christopher Greig
Dr. Kara Smith
Master of Education
Major Research Paper
Accessibility Commons, Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Early Childhood Education Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, Elementary Education Commons, Gender Equity in Education Commons, Indigenous Education Commons, Language and Literacy Education Commons, Urban Education Commons