Media literacy education in Texas high schools : a multiple case study.


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Media literacy is an expansion of literacy where one has a proficient capacity to read, write, listen, and speak with the skills to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and participate across arenas of life using all forms of communication. While intended to sharpen awareness of media influence, effects, and relationships, media literacy education (MLE) serves to stimulate critical thought both as consumers and creators of media. If media literacy education has so much to offer, are schools using it to its full capacity? If they are, what are they doing to make it happen? If they are not, what is preventing them from doing so? The problem, given recent updates in MLE standards is that nothing is available to describe the extent to which media literacy standards are implemented by high school English language arts and reading (ELAR) teachers, and students need media literacy education to advance thinking for civic engagement and social justice, personal values, moral development, identity formation, critical thinking. Consequently, teachers do not receive the support, students do not experience media literacy, and schools continue to move away from preparing both teachers and students for a media rich world. The purpose of this research was to investigate MLE implementation in a secondary school setting in a selection of Texas urban and suburban schools using a multiple case study methodology. The research question and sub-questions examined two major categories: 1) what do teachers know about MLE and do in their classrooms for media literacy? 2) what support, if any, do they receive from department, campus, district, and outside resources to understand and implement media literacy? Through data collection efforts via interviews, focus groups, and documents as artifacts, the researcher arrived at several findings. Findings imply that teachers had inconsistent instruction and ignored understanding and knowledge of media literacy. Teachers also demonstrated a mixed sentiment in the valuing of media literacy instruction although they seemed to have a “felt sense” that media literacy was missing. Other findings suggest that teachers had an underlying lack of support for media literacy education and confronted challenges and barriers for media literacy implementation.



Media literacy. Multiple case study. Secondary school education.