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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
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Doctoral >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17942

Title: When It's Choosing Time: Boys' Multiliteracies at Play
Authors: Bezaire, Kimberly
Advisor: Cameron, Linda
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: early childhood education
literacy
multiliteracies
play
classroom research
kindergarten
learning modalities
young children
classroom environment
pretend play
research methodology
student participation
Issue Date: 13-Nov-2009
Abstract: "Why are you researching us?" ... "Are you a spy?"..."Are you taping right now?" asked children at the ‘Community School,' in those first moments of this qualitative study. This thesis contributes to the growing body of social research in the field of early childhood education, viewing children as capable and competent meaning makers, engaging their input as ‘agentive researchers,’ and reconceptualizing research methodology, play theory, and early childhood teaching practice. Changing contexts of 21st century childhoods, as well as new theories regarding literacy and meaning making, prompted this research involving a reconceptualization of play and its value, within the context of multiliteracies theories and holistic education. This process of reconceptualization was informed by observation (playscapes, places, props, plots, partners and practices) of boys at play considering their meaning-making processes. Through participant observation in a full-day Kindergarten, play episodes were documented (i.e., digital videography, photography, audio recording, field notes, collection of artifacts) and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Three broad themes emerged. First, physical and social aspects of the Classroom Play Environment were found to be influential in creating conditions for play, influencing the quality of engagement and learning. Ample time, space, freedom of movement, and access to plentiful creative materials were important in children’s active play and meaning making processes. Common behavourist classroom management techniques were avoided in favour of social constructivist approaches, which promoted children’s self-regulation with an aim to recognize and foster their sense of agency, and support emergent play-literacy practices (Hill & Nichols, 2006). Second, children’s explanations regarding the source and inspiration of play themes and interests prompted a reconsideration of ‘spontaneity’ as foundational to a Definition of Play. Defining play processes as “multiliteracies”, and play episodes as “text”, play ideas were found to be intertextually linked to multiple texts including picture books, multimedia, and iconic texts. Third, Boys' Play was observed to involve much movement combined with rough and tumble, pretend, construction, and word play, prompting a re-consideration of ‘narrative’ within the context of play and literacy research literature. As well, boys inquired about gendered play objects and identities in complex and personal ways. This digital thesis document utilized a multimodal design, embedding visual and audio text, creating a new multimodal thesis form with an aim toward considering all modes of meaning making as equal, rather than emphasizing or privileging print text (Jewitt & Kress, 2003).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17942
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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Bezaire_Kimberly_200911_PhD_ChoosingTime.movvideo clip29.58 MBVideo Quicktime
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Bezaire_Kimberly_200911_PhD_HockeyRink.movvideo clip211.21 MBVideo Quicktime
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Bezaire_Kimberly_200911_PhD_Shipbuilding.movvideo clip281.02 MBVideo Quicktime
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Bezaire_Kimberly_200911_PhD_Robot.movvideo clip81.82 MBVideo Quicktime
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Bezaire_Kimberly_200911_PhD_BoyThings.mov203.68 MBVideo Quicktime
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Bezaire_Kimberly_200911_PhD_thesis.pdf2.19 MBAdobe PDF
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