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Media Texts and Subtexts: The Hybrid Space of American Studies for Media Literacy Education

When/Where: Sunday, 1:15-1:40pm in Ballroom A2.

Presenters: Annie Peshkam, Northwestern University. Presider: Caitlin Barry.

Objectives: This presentation responds to a call for investigating classroom implementations of MLE in the content-areas by unpacking the types of domain-specific strategies teachers and students recruit when reading and analyzing media messages.

Audience: PK-12 Schooling

Description

Many content-area teachers in the US incorporate media messages (e.g., news articles, advertisements, documentaries, film, TV shows) alongside standard classroom texts (e.g., Hurrell, 2001; Trier, 2006; Sommer, 2001).  Yet, many of these media materials are used in less than optimal ways (Hobbs, 2006).  The goal of this study is to examine an interdisciplinary setting in which a variety of sources are used in ways that appear to facilitate media literacy education.  In particular, the aim is to look at how the hybrid space of literature and history can provide a wide set of disciplinary tools for examining media texts in ways that align with media literacy education.

Two American Studies classrooms (i.e., 11th grade interdisciplinary American- literature and -history) were observed over a nine month academic year.  Video was recorded of classroom discussions to assess the disciplinary reading strategies revealed during instruction.  Thinkaloud tasks (i.e., voicing thoughts immediately after reading a sentence aloud) were administered to students at the beginning and end of the school year to assess the development disciplinary strategies over time.  Preliminary evidence suggests that (1) five key disciplinary reading strategies (i.e., attending to source, audience, rhetorical strategies, text structure, and context) from literature and history are brought to bear, (2) the use and complexity of these strategies varies as a function of medium and genre.

The findings from this study provide greater detail as to the impact of the disciplinary reading strategies within literature and history on students’ reading experiences of media messages.

Hobbs, R. (2006). Non-optimal uses of video in the classroom. Learning, Media, & Technology , 31, 35-50.

Hurrell, G. (2001). Intertextuality, media convergence and multiliteracies: Using The Matrix to bridge popular and classroom cultures. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 44, 481-483.

Sommer, P. (2001). Using film in the English classroom: Why and how. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 44, 485-487.

Trier, J. (2006). Teaching With Media and Popular Culture. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(5), 434–438

Participant Involvement

The goal of this presentation is to show findings from a year-long dissertation project in a lecture format with questions at the end.

Presenter(s)

  • Annie Peshkam, Northwestern University: Annie Peshkam is a PhD Candidate in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. She has observed various media programs inside and outside schools in the Chicago area. She chose to focus her dissertation on exemplary content-area classrooms that attempt to engage students’ critical thinking about media messages.
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