Dr. Shelley Jones is the associate professor in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences.
Dr. Jones has extensive teaching and research experience at all levels (pre-primary to tertiary) in diverse international contexts (Tanzania, Uganda, Canada, England, and Japan) in the areas of literacy, ESL, academic writing, gender in education, educational research, and global education. Her publications include articles and book chapters on girls’ and women’s literacy and empowerment, multimodality, children’s engagement with writing, and global education. Prior to joining Royal Roads University, Shelley held the position of assistant professor at the Aga Khan University-Institute for Educational Development, East Africa (Tanzania), and at the State University of New York, College at Potsdam. Shelley earned her PhD through the Department of Language and Literacy at the University of British Columbia.
This paper reports upon an arts-based participatory action research project conducted with a cohort of 30 teachers in rural Northwest Uganda during a one-week professional development course. Multimodality (Kress & Jewitt, 2003; Kress & van Leeuwen, 2001) was employed as a “domain of inquiry” (Kress, 2011) for social semiotics (meaning-making within a social context) within which the participants both represented gender inequality as well as imagined gender equality. Multimodality recognizes the vast communicative potential of the human body and values multiple materials resources (such as images, sounds, and gestures) as “organized sets of semiotic resources for meaningmaking” (Jewitt, 2008, p. 246). Providing individuals with communicative modes other than just spoken and written language offers opportunities to include voices that are often not heard in formal contexts dominated by particular kinds of language, as well as opportunities to consider topics of inquiry from different perspectives and imagine alternative futures (Kendrick & Jones, 2008). Findings from this study show how a multimodal approach to communication, using drawing in addition to spoken and written language, established a democratic space of communication. The sharing and building of knowledge between the participants (educators in local contexts) and facilitator (university instructor/researcher) reflected a foundational tenet of engaged scholarship which requires “…not only communication to public audiences, but also collaboration with communities in the production of knowledge” (Barker, 2004, p. 126).
This paper discusses findings from a feminist participatory action research study conducted in the West Nile region of Northern Uganda with a group of 35 educators who attended a one-week intensive professional development course focused on promoting gender equality in schools. Through a theoretical and methodological framework of multiliteracies and multimodality, gender constructs were “exposed” (Butler, 1988) and “disoriented” (Ahmed, 2006), opening new spaces for the promotion of gender equality, as well as pedagogical approaches to literacy that the participants could integrate into their own teaching practice to facilitate transformative learning in their own school contexts.
Community libraries in developing countries can be important sites of knowledge exchange and acquisition for women with little or no formal education living in communities characterized by extreme poverty and gender inequities. As locally managed and operated institutions, specific needs identified by community members shape their mandates, activities, and types of resources. Community libraries also offer a “neutral” space where women can safely gather and independently or collectively pursue learning in areas of relevance and interest to them. This paper explores the impact of Kyato Community Library (KCL) on women's lives in a rural Ugandan context. It considers the questions: i) What valuable educational opportunities does KCL provide for girls and women who have been prevented from attaining adequate formal schooling?; and ii) What additional services, opportunities and qualities could KCL provide to engage girls and women in these educational opportunities? The paper argues that with careful attention paid to women's literacy needs and desires, local context, appropriate resource acquisition and community-minded personnel, community libraries can promote and support women's literacy and personal development, enabling them to cultivate capabilities needed to engage more fully on equal terms in their societies.
(Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada, 2015) Jones, Shelley; ;
Authentic literacy activities engage children with meaningful reading and writing (Duke, Purcell-Gates, Hall, & Tower, 2006), but little investigation has been conducted into the relationship of the kinds of writing children enjoy and the authenticity of the writing activity and experience. This paper reports findings from a study that investigates the question: How, if at all, does authenticity factor into kinds of writing that children like and/or dislike? Findings indicate that children enjoy writing that purposefully engages them with the real world, and is therefore authentic, and do not enjoy writing that they perceive as merely "school work".