Multimodal Literacies of Young Children and their Becoming Identities

This cross-case qualitative study draws on poststructural notions of identity to explore the relationship between multimodal literacies of young children and their becoming identities. Although research focuses on the products or texts of multiliteracies, more research is needed to examine shifting identities in the process of students creating. This study uses mediated discourse analysis to analyse interactions across one school year in a kindergarten (five- and six-year-olds) and a second-grade (seven- and eight-year-olds) classroom. Four insights are discussed across cases: (1) understanding and recognition of shifting identities, (2) the children becoming and doing teacher, (3) being a multimodal visionary and (4) living as a mentor designer and teacher. Insights highlight a ‘multimodal as agency’ stance, suggesting that through the process of creating multimodal forms of literacy, positions were instantiated and identities were re/negotiated. We encourage early childhood educators to create multimodal curricular spaces to facilitate young children’s agency and becoming identities.