Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

Language & Literacy

First Advisor

Diane E DeFord

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the ways second grade children signaled the meanings they made from pictures and print and to identify ways they signaled new meanings when transmediations between these two semiotic systems took place. The study was a mixed methods study using qualitative methods in a case study format for the first three questions, supported by a quantitative component for the fourth question. The researcher was also the teacher, teaching and collecting data from ten second grade, African American students in an after-school bookmaking program. The ten participants were selected because they all made very low reading scores on standardized tests. Observations, video and audio recordings, memos, artifacts, interviews, surveys and standardized test scores served as data collection vehicles.

American public schools were founded on Western European written rhetoric. Because of the importance of reading, writing, math and science, a verbal mode of teaching dominates, placing great value on left-brained thinking. Unfortunately, verbocentric pedagogy is not meeting the needs of our constantly changing culture. Oral rhetoric from indigenous cultures such as American Indians, or minorities such as African Americans are based in the arts; dance, music, storytelling, and visual art of all kinds. These are right-brained functions. They are also the natural and preferred methods of communication for young children of all cultures. This study will enable the reader to reflect on their beliefs about engaging the whole mind, placing verbal and visual semiotics on an equal, parallel and complimentary plane.

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