Transforming the Narrative Identity of a Student with Extensive Support Needs Using Multiliteracies

Sudha Krishnan, Ed. D. 
San Jose State University


This study relates the transformation of one student’s narrative identity (stories told about the student by himself and others) which took place over four months as he engaged in the pedagogy of multiliteracies while creating a multimodal book with his favorite images of family and school; videos and images of his favorite activities at home and school; an identity chart with adjectives that best described him; strengths; and a transition plan describing what he wanted to do after school that was presented at the individualized education program (IEP) meeting. Grounded theory was used to analyze the data collected through interviews, observations, and video and audio recordings. Data indicated that multiliteracies enabled student agency and offered this student with extensive support needs, who had struggled to access literacy through traditional instruction, an opportunity to change his narrative identity from deficit to competence. 

Keywords: disability, literacy, multiliteracies, narrative identity

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