Multimodal approaches to the concept of citizenship in educational contexts

Date: Thursday 19th of May 2016 , 5:00-6:30 pm

Venue: UCL Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald Street, WC1N 3QS

Dr. Ioanna Noula    Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science

This seminar presents work in progress focusing on the multimodal analysis of data from a series of workshops conducted with primary school pupils in Greece in order to explore the concept of citizenship. This work follows up from my recently completed doctoral research on citizenship education, which explored pupils’ construction of the notion of citizenship in the context of everyday practices in primary school. Drawing on Dewey’s (1993) theory of education, I approached citizenship as a set of habits that prescribe what is considered “legitimate” in the public sphere, and focused on pedagogical practices and relationships within and outside the classroom, employing daily rituals as a unit of analysis. I opted for a multiple case study which ensured a greater heterogeneity amongst the 5 primary schools that formed the sample of the research allowing the investigation of the crucial parameter of participants’ socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. In this seminar, using students’ visual semiotic work and shifting the attention to an epistemological anchoring of citizenship education to multimodal social semiotics, there is an attempt to illustrate the way pupils’ experiences and opportunities shape their understanding of citizenship. Key issues to be addressed in this seminar include the socioeconomic and ethnic underpinning of students’ selection of semiotic resources, including their emphasis on different semiotic modes in the making of their visual ensembles.


The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a student run platform for academic discussion on multimodality and open to all postgraduate research students and other researchers at UCL Institute of Education and elsewhere. Participation is free. Please contact Sophia Diamantopoulou, Forum Coordinator, at for any queries.

Please note that participation is free and open to all. No prior booking is required. However, you are kindly asked to confirm your attendance, if possible.


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