Using a multiliteracies approach in a Malaysian polytechnic classroom: a participatory action research project

Puteh-Behak, Fariza (2013) Using a multiliteracies approach in a Malaysian polytechnic classroom: a participatory action research project. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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This participatory action research project investigated how students in a Malaysian polytechnic classroom context, who were used to examination-based learning, negotiated learning using a multiliteracies approach (The New London Group, 2000). The study explored 12 students’ experiences in learning English as a Second Language (ESL) and drew on qualitative methods including classroom observations,
informal conversations, a research journal, professional discussions and classroom artefacts. With two polytechnic lecturers involved as part of the research team, the
study also investigated the research team’s experiences in engaging in a collaborative research process in two cycles of planning, action, observation and reflection.
This study was framed within Vygotsky’s (1978) socio-cultural theory that states that human learning and development is mediated by historical and cultural artefacts
in the socialisation process. Guided by these principles, the study examined the ways that students’ socio-cultural perspectives and practices influenced their learning
using the multiliteracies approach. In addition, the researcher investigated how the research team’s cultural perspectives and practices influenced the research processes
and outcomes of the participatory action research. Data were analysed through a critical reflective analysis because of the emphasis on reflection in participatory
action research. The study highlighted the consequences of implementing a Western based teaching approach and research methodology in a Malaysian context.
During the first cycle of the study, the students faced challenges in negotiating learning for acquiring 21st century knowledge and skills, such as using technologies,
oral presentation, critical thinking, peer-collaboration and active participation in designing their own learning. After considering the students’ examination-based
learning experiences, the research team designed a second multiliteracies module that focussed on fusing the students’ cultural learning with the components of a
multiliteracies approach. During the second cycle, the students had enhanced learning experiences, where they demonstrated better negotiations with learning the
21st century skills.
The study contributes to the area of using multiliteracies approach in a Malaysian context, showing how the students’ examination-based learning and cultural practices can be incorporated with a multiliteracies approach to enhance the
students’ negotiation of learning 21st century skills. It also maps out the journey of the research team members whose roles were initially influenced by their positions in
the hierarchical structure that is ubiquitous in social, institutional and organizational contexts in Malaysia. As the research team became more engaged with the
collaborative research process, they were empowered to challenge their roles and to become active co-researchers in analysing data and contributing to decision-making

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Supervisors: Henderson, Robyn
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 05:31
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2016 01:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: action research; examination-based learning; multiliteracies; ESL; English; second language; Malaysia
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130207 LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Maori)
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes

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