Exploring how primary school educators might evaluate multi-literacy progression frameworks…

for children centered digital-physical narratives

Planet Earth Institute sponsored the #ScienceAfrica UnConference held in July 2017. It was a day-long conference, with an emphasis on the informal exchange of information and ideas between participants.

Activities included nine workshops. These workshops were participatory. They were centered on Social Impact Ideas that cross over between the UK and Africa.  The issues addressed by participants in the workshops range from integration of gender thinking into innovation processes to education policy, and practice.

We responded to a competitive call-out by Planet Earth Institute. We were invited to deliver a workshop themed Educators perspectives on how children absorb meaning from multi-format narratives; to inform the design of multi-literacy progression frameworks.

We explored how UK teaching traditions inform the evaluation of multi-literacy progression frameworks for diversity and pedagogy, in a digital age.

Problem space

We assume primary school educators bring an intuitive knowledge of kids’ interpretative abilities to inform literacy progression frameworks. *Research demonstrates this is less so with digital narratives that combine text, speech, moving images, sound, and physical artifacts. Our hypothesis is this; digital-physical narratives as content are likely to be part of multi-literacy lesson planning for future primary school environments.

Cross-curriculum content as a function of learning mediated by digital and physical artifacts is in transition. The implications of these developments for pedagogy and multi-literacy curriculum design in the UK is evolving.

It is an issue defined by cultural, economic, political and socially situated contexts where technology is in transition. How 21st-century skills, computing capability, participatory learning, multiple literacies informs the teacher’s evaluative role in class is in flux.


We adapted participatory and interactive approaches to get perspectives from teachers about the extent to which they understand how children absorb meaning, from the interplay between physical and digital narrative formats. This includes how kids’ life stories are shaped by the interplay of digital and physical formats.

Using digital content as prototypes we kicked off with this line of inquiry; what types of data might inform progression frameworks that educators use to assess how 7-11-year-old kids absorb the meaning. We also looked at this issue in the context of kids’ capability to read, interpret and produce meaning, across physical and digital narrative formats.

Take away

Precise nature of cultural and social lives of children and skills they draw on to make sense of televisual, physical artifacts and print text needs to be better understood.

Educators who are aware of the semiotic processes required to decode televisual, physical artifacts and print text are better positioned to inform multi-literacy progression frameworks.

Insights into what literacy progression frameworks might look like for educators need to be informed, by broader geographical research into how kids consume digital-physical narratives.


1. Children, Film, and Literacy by Dr. Rebecca Parry 2. Film Education, Literacy and Learning by Dr. Rebecca Parry. 3. The Digital Age and its Implications for Learning and Teaching in Primary School by Cathy Burnett (A report for the Cambridge Primary Review Trust) and UK Literacy Association 2017 Publication. 

Project Team

Research Workshop Advisory: Leeor Levy, Project Mgr & Workshop Facilitator: Ayodeji Alaka, Observation Documentary Film Maker: Caroline Deeds, Proposal Review: Dr. Rebecca Parry, Outcomes reviewed by Dr. Rebecca Jones, Workshop Sponsor: Planet Earth Institute 2017 #ScienceAfrica UnConference, Minimum Viable Experiment Produced by FOF Project Team, Supported by NFTS Incubator.

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