Multimodal texts in kindergarten rooms

This article provides an overview of the results of our project “The Kindergarten Room: A Multimodal Pedagogical Text”. Our major initiative was to investigate what the multimodal texts in kindergarten represent and the extent to which they reflect and provide attributions to the children’s activities. In addition, we wanted to investigate whether kindergarten walls and floors can be called ‘pedagogical texts’, and the extent to which texts on walls and floors establish a particular text culture. The study is being carried out in Norway. Our analytical approach is situated within the theoretical framework of Michael Halliday’s social semiotics and systemic functional linguistics. A kindergarten room is a composite design that spatially utilises the co-deployment of various semiotic resources, such as architecture, language and visual images, and is thus viewed as a multimodal text. Our multimodal analysis is primarily based on the work of Kress and van Leeuwen. Our research is a qualitative study of three kindergartens. The material consists of video observations, photographs, field notes, documents and interviews with teachers and children. We believe that our analysis contributes to the body of knowledge regarding texts in the kindergarten room, the purpose of these texts, and thus the factors that influence the composition of kindergarten rooms.

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