Lori McKee

Curriculum Studies and Studies in Applied Linguistics

Lori McKee

Curriculum Studies and Studies in Applied Linguistics

I am a third year PhD candidate within Curriculum and Applied Linguistics, working under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Heydon.

My research interests extend from my experiences as an elementary educator. Within my teaching practice, I became intrigued by the diverse ways that children acquire print literacies (i.e., reading and writing).  This interest led to my Master’s research and thesis entitled Print literacy opportunities for young children in a multimodal literacy ensemble.

In my doctoral work, I plan to build on this previous research and examine how early primary educators can integrate digital and multimodal resources into their classroom pedagogical literacy practices supported through a Community of Practice (e.g., Lave & Wenger, 1991). This is important as “there is ambivalence toward incorporating new technologies into early literacy education” (Flewitt et al., 2014, p.2) even though new technologies have become increasingly accessible to many classrooms (Lynch & Redpath, 2014).  My study questions examine the ways educators can combine traditional and multimodal resources to support children’s literacy learning, the learning opportunities afforded through a classroom curriculum that integrates these resources, and the implications on multimodal literacy practices and children’s literacy learning. I draw on a theoretical framework of multimodal literacy to recognize the expansive meaning making opportunities available in a digital age through various modes and media (e.g., Walsh, 2011) and the theory of placed resources to focus the lens for study on the ways people use multimodal resources for meaning making within a particular context (Prinsloo, 2005; Rowsell et al, 2013). I draw on ethnographic and narrative methods (Dyson & Genishi, 2005; Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) to construct a case of the ways educators can combine digital and multimodal resources within classroom literacy (i.e. meaning making) practices.


Clandinin, D.J. & Connelly, F.M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Dyson, A. H.  & Genishi, C. (2005). On the case. NewYork: Teachers College Press

Flewitt, R., Messer, D., Kucirkova, N. (2014). New directions for early literacy in a digital age: The iPad. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. [advanced online publication] doi:10.1177/1468798414533560

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lynch, J., & Redpath, T. (2014). ‘Smart’ technologies in early years literacy education: A meta-narrative of paradigmatic tensions in iPad use in an Australian preparatory classroom.  Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 14(2), 147-174.

Pahl, K. (2007). Creativity in events and practices: A lens for understanding children´s multimodal texts. Literacy, 41(2) 86-91.

Prinsloo, M. (2005). The new literacies as placed resources. Perspectives in Education, 23(4), 87-98.

Rowsell, J., Saudelli, M.G., Mcquirter Scott, R., & Bishop, A. (2013). iPads as placed resources: Forging community in online and offline spaces. Language Arts, 90(5), 351-360.

Walsh, M. (2011). Multimodal literacy: Researching classroom practice. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association (e:lit).

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Rachel Heydon, PhD