Researching Multimodal Childhood

Early childhood is the most critical period for children’s development. An overwhelming body of evidence has shown the importance of quality early childhood experiences to children’s learning and well being in later life. The development of high-quality early education, care, and effective early intervention programs requires empirical evidence and robust research. Early childhood education research, however, is facing increasing challenges due to rapidly changing technological and social landscapes. One of the best terms to capture the complexity of contemporary childhood is multimodal: children experience the world through interactions with multimodal technologies such as touch devices, augmented or virtual realities; they communicate on various media platforms with multilingual speakers using multimodal meaning-making resources, and they – assisted by new technologies – express themselves and reimagine our world by creating various multimodal artefacts.

Researching Multimodal Childhood (RMC) symposium aims to:

• showcase cutting-edge methodological developments in multimodal childhood research;
• generate new knowledge of how to conduct research and foster learning with new technologies (e.g. virtual reality) and in emerging contexts (e.g. design labs & maker space);
• establish multimodal methodologies as a new theme for multimodality research;
• facilitate discussions on how to increase social impacts of early childhood research;
• develop strategies for collaborating with public and tech sectors;
• provide knowledge exchanges and training opportunities for the upcoming generation of researchers.