A Principal's Perspective on Multi-literacies in an Australian Show Community: Implications for Learning as Rural Engagement

Catherine Fullerton, Geoff Danaher, Beverley Moriarty, P. A. Danaher

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Abstract

The mobile community that owns and operates 'sideshow alley' in Australia's agricultural show circuits has traditionally been marginalised in terms of formal education provision. However, the establishment of the Queensland School for Travelling Show Children in 2000 reflected the aspirations of show people and sympathetic educators that education for mobile groups can be enacted differently. This different educational enactment is explored through the conceptual lens of a 'multiliteracies' framework (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000), which is used to identify and value the complex and diverse forms of sense-making that the show people deploy. This paper focuses on the perspective of the Principal of the school, who was one of the interviewees in the research reported here and also the lead author of this paper. Analysis of these data indicates that formal learning that embraces and enhances multiliteracies is one significant strategy for promoting education productively ' and potentially transformatively ' in such communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
JournalEducation in Rural Australia
Volume14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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