Multi-media literacy practices of year 5-6 children at home : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Psychology at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
A child’s literacy development is significantly affected by factors that exist outside of educational settings. In recent decades, children’s life experiences have been transformed through the increased use of technology in their everyday environment. This research project uses a social practice view of literacy to explore the literacy activities of children in everyday settings, with particular attention to how they navigate and follow their interests across different formats, from traditional media such as print to multi-media. Data was collected using a mixed methods design to answer three research questions: 1) the ways children engage in literacy activities across different formats, 2) the types of literacy activities children found engaging, and 3) the reasons children engage in literacy practices in their everyday lives. Results indicate that children engaged in a variety of literacy activities across multiple formats. Findings also indicated watching videos is a popular multi-media format and this format may be influencing the types of literacy skills children value. Children engaged in literacy related activities for a number of different reasons, including: stimulation, family practices, functional reasons, social relatedness, mastery and competence, and social participation. It was concluded that children’s everyday literacy practices are influenced by a number of sociocultural and developmental factors, and that any efforts to support them will require an understanding of their complex nature and embeddedness in educational and social contexts.