Friday, November 11, 2011

Multi-modal Composition

Comment: Here is the text that set me off: “Of course, this will only feel legitimate if the conversations previously described begin to challenge the traditional hegemony of print-only texts in classrooms.” P. 143.

And the particular phrase that set me off was: “…challenge the traditional hegemony of print-only texts in the classroom.” The article tried to show the “transformative” power of adding sound and pictures to poetry, multi-modal composition.

The NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) is off and running on building another castle in the air. This time it’s “multi-modal composition.” They try “multi-modal” composition in their journals by adding pictures to the texts of articles. Those pictures add not one single idea to the text. They’re useless.

Communication is based on ideas. Ideas are best communicated by words. Words are best communicated in speech (impermanent) and writing (permanent). Pictures illustrate, support the ideas in the text. I’m all about ideas and the “hegemony of print-only texts in the classroom.” Words come first, even in the movies and on TV. Sometimes the pictures contribute productively, sometimes they don’t. The ideas are conveyed in the text. That’s the first and primary thesis of English teaching. RayS.

Title: “Class-room Re-mix: Patterns of Pedagogy in a Techno-Literacies Poetry Unit.” M Callahan and J M King. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (October 2011), 134-144.

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