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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Integrating digital literacies into school-based learning: A study of media production, student agency, and school change
by Parker, Jessica Katherine, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2009, 243; 3411242
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation analyzes the benefits of and potential obstacles to integrating out-of-school literacy practices into academic literacy learning in secondary education. Drawing on sociocultural theories of learning and literacy as well as media education scholarship, this study reveals the ways in which both practices of media production and an integrated media class are divergently shaped by normative discourses of school-based learning yet potentially provide a new literate space for students. It illustrates the iterative and collaborative processes of filmmaking, the complex learning and problem solving required by students' multimodal projects, and the agentive opportunities students exploited within such processes.

The foundation of this 11-month ethnographic study rests on the view that literacy and media participation are social practices situated within complex understandings of what it means to be educated and literate in the 21st century. The findings demonstrate that even as the high school adopted a philosophy of multiple literacies, the 12th grade media class was not positioned as an academic class and was viewed by most students as a fun, informal learning environment. The analysis of classroom data suggested that the greatest benefits of incorporating digital media into the school curriculum were the expanding notion of literacy that these multimedia projects generated, and the third space created when teachers acknowledged, appreciated, and engaged in the discourses of students and youth culture in general.

The findings of this study highlight the need for teachers and students to examine their guiding assumptions concerning a dominant discourse of schooling if new media literacies are to be integrated into school-based learning. They also illustrate how teachers can routinely cross the border from a normative school-based discourse upholding "the teacher as expert" to a discourse of collaborative media production based upon peer feedback and critique. It also suggests students can become deeply engaged in multimedia production and analysis that encourages them to think critically, work collaboratively, and express themselves creatively.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hull, Glynda
School: University of California, Berkeley
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Secondary education, Educational technology, Curriculum development
Keywords: Agency, Digital literacies, Digital video, Media literacy, Multiple literacies, School change
Publication Number: 3411242
ISBN: 978-1-124-03818-6
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