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The human senses have always been vital to literacy practices but are seldom acknowledged within literacy studies in education. Historically, the senses have been central to the aesthetics of representation across cultures (Howes & Classen, 2014). The senses are essential to everyday communication practices, necessitated by an expanding range of new technologies that interact with a greater range of the sensorium. Devos (2014, p. 68) contends: “Sensory perception constitutes the primordial channel through which a person acquires knowledge about the material world.” So too, the senses are primordial to channels of communication with the world and with others. What is needed in current understandings of literacy practices is systematic attention to the role of the full sensorium evoked in the process of meaning making.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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