Investigating how children make meaning in multimodal maps

Diane Mavers


My interest in ?Ǩmultimodal mapping?ǨѢ has arisen from my work on two research projects. Using mapping as a means of eliciting children?ǨѢs responses was innovative, as its potential for use in research was, at that time, largely untapped. Until more recently, mapping has been predominantly word-based, although image is becoming increasingly common in the digital medium. Deriving from the European Repr?ɬsentation project (Crawford, Neve, Pearson and Somekh, 1999), the primary mode of representation in these maps was drawing. Again, this was innovative at the time. The maps produced by the children provided fascinating insights into their knowledge, experiences and perspectives, and in ways different from what they said in interviews and wrote in questionnaires.

Beyond the original aims of the projects, I have (thanks to the generosity of the project teams) been able to undertake secondary analysis of the maps. My particular interest is in children?ǨѢs graphic text-making ?Ǩ their writing, drawing and image manipulation on the page and on the screen. Taking a multimodal social semiotic approach (Kress, 1997, 2003; Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996, 2001, 2006), I examine how they make meaning in these different modes and how they combine them multimodally, and investigate the principles that guide their text-making. With regard to multimodal mapping, I am interested in the variety of ways in which children make meaning in this genre.

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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