Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Christian Z. Goering

Committee Member

Vicki S. Collet

Second Committee Member

Jason L. Endacott

Third Committee Member

Sean P. Connors


critical digital literacies, critical media literacy, detournement, digital video composition, media literacy, secondary education


The first of the following manuscripts explores graduate-level preservice teachers’ responses to a critical digital video project in the context of a Disciplinary Literacies course. This study was particularly interested in the preservice teachers’ obstacles and collaborations they experienced while completing the project, as well as future applications they envisioned for the project in their own classrooms. Findings reveal common obstacles that many preservice teachers experienced throughout the composition process as well as key differences that contributed to some having a more favorable experience with the project than others. The study also identifies insights preservice teachers gained from the critical aspect of the project. The manuscript concludes with considerations of how their respective disciplines impacted the preservice teachers’ experiences with the project, how the instructional approach to implementing the project could be modified, why the project is relevant in a Disciplinary Literacies context, and why critical digital literacies are imperative in K-12 contexts.

The second manuscript employs a similar approach to the methods and content of the first manuscript, studying high school students’ responses to the same critical digital video project in the context of a Media Literacy course. This study was also interested in the obstacles students experienced while completing the project as well as its applications, though their applications were strictly from a student’s perspective rather than a preservice teacher’s applications for a future classroom. The study also sought to understand whether the project impacted students’ stances toward contemporary issues. Findings reveal that some obstacles were necessary to facilitate student learning, while others hindered the learning process; applications for the project were mostly confined to the classroom; and responses to the critical aspect of the project varied. The manuscript concludes with arguments for mitigating hindrances to students’ access to participatory cultures in the K-12 classroom and increasing opportunities for critical interrogation through multimodal composition.

The final manuscript studies the same high school Media Literacy students from the second manuscript, this time for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of their media literacy and critical media literacy development through the lens of their experiences in the course. Field notes and 28 students’ responses to course assignments, questionnaires, and interviews throughout the semester comprised the data set. Most students experienced slight progress in their engagement with media literacy and critical media literacy concepts, some experienced substantial progress, and others’ engagement was either unclear or ideologically concerning. Findings shed light on how courses like this can facilitate students’ development of media literacy and critical media literacy and also show promise for integrating similar courses into the K-12 curriculum more broadly.