Using digital stories to develop a sense of being, belonging and becoming

ID: 52929 Type: Full Paper: Research
  1. Ruth Geer and Bec Neill, University of South Australia, Australia

Thursday, June 28 2:45 PM-3:15 PM

Presider:
Klaudia Bovermann, FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany

Catering for diversity in the classroom can be a challenge, particularly with refugee and immigrant background students being at the forefront. Although the focus for these students is English language competency, there is little recognition of their own cultural richness and experiences. Digital stories were identified as a method of engaging students and valuing their funds of knowledge while also contributing to the school community. This activity was perceived as the enacted curriculum within a Year 6/7 class in a primary school in an inner suburb of an Australia capital city. The school community incorporates families from 22 cultures and 40 home languages and various faiths. English is an additional language for 83% of the students whose life experiences often include varying degrees of trauma. These students were asked to write a procedure, both in English and preferably in their home language that could assist commencing school students to settle into school routines and culture more quickly. This paper reports on the process used and students’ reactions, experiences sharing their stories and their sense of being, belonging and becoming through this activity. The paper also highlights the impact of digital technologies in skill development and in supporting refugee and immigrant children to grow as individuals and as a part of the community.

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