The Multimodality of Mark-making in Early Childhood
Routledge – 2014 – 192 pages
Lancaster uses multimodal theory and methodology in order to comment upon the earliest stages of children’s mark-making, in this innovative new book. Based on a recently completed ESRC project directed by the author, this work demonstrates that well before the age of three, children already understand how the marks they make can refer symbolically to meanings beyond themselves. This understanding is based on an ability to draw on the kinds of concepts and structures made familiar to them from the social and bodily regularities of their everyday experience, and to apply these independently and creatively in their making of graphic signs. Evidence from this research suggests that these very young children are already well on the way toward understanding how conventional symbolic systems like writing work, and that this is a foundationally multimodal process. The diversity and complexity of the systems that they devise, and the important role that interactions with parents and siblings play in this process form the central chapters of the study.
Introduction 1. The Mind in the Body 2. Opening It All Up 3. Figure and Ground 4. Movement in Space 5. Generic Frameworks 6. System and Notaion 7. Reference and Syntax 8. Conclusion
Lesley Lancaster is Senior Lecturer, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University.