Tutor profile: Rae T.
What is multimodal writing?
Multimodal writing is exactly what it sounds like-- writing in multiple modes. This means that writing extends beyond the traditional written form to communicate a message. Instead, a writer can communicate using images, audio, or even interpretive dance! Multimodality as a concept honors the principle that writing is first and foremost about the rhetorical message, and sometimes the best and most effective way to get that message across to an audience is not always in the form of a traditional written essay.
What is considered "literature"?
When hearing the word "literature," many people immediately think of works from the classic authors in the literary canon, such as William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" or Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." But what about a Batman comic? Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly" album? An internet meme? Are these things "literature"? The short answer is that it depends on who you ask; obviously this is a little subjective! However, most current research in literacy argues that literature can be anything that communicates a message of some kind, no matter the format. The message might be in the form of a comic panel, a line from Kendrick's discography, and yes-- even a meme! All of these texts are valid (and valuable!) forms of literature that communicate a message to an audience.
What is one way that teachers/tutors and students can work together to create a culturally responsive learning space?
One of the core components of a culturally responsive classroom is vulnerability. Teachers and students must allow themselves the vulnerability to participate in real, honest conversations about systems of power and oppression, and in turn, use that dialogue as a vehicle for social change. Having these conversations requires teachers (and tutors) to create a democratic space where all identities are validated and all voices are heard. Students are cultural beings with unique experiences, languages, and literacies. A classroom that is culturally responsive encourages students to actively draw upon their identities in the classroom as a way of strengthening their emotional, intellectual, and sociopolitical knowledge.
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