Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Darci J. Harland


The problem addressed in this qualitative project study was the inconsistency in media literacy instruction provided by high school teachers and librarians when teaching students how to curate and create digital media. With the increase in technology and social media platforms in the 21st century, educators are expected to instruct students in the use of these new literacies. However, many are ill-prepared to teach media literacy. The study was grounded in the conceptual framework of critical media literacy pedagogy and research questions were designed to reflect teachers’ perspectives about and use of elements of critical media literacy pedagogy. A purposeful sampling procedure was used to identify those teachers of English and librarians who had taught at the high school level for at least 1 year in the partner district. Interviews with 10 high school English teachers and one librarian were conducted using a basic inquiry research design. Data analysis involved 2 cycles of coding, a priori coding and axial coding, followed by theme development. The findings from this study reflected 3 themes that indicated a lack of specific curriculum, district policy, and support for the teaching of media literacy. The resulting project based on elements of these themes was a curriculum plan that spans Grades 9–12. The plan is comprised of unit and lesson plans that apply research-based pedagogy and scaffolded technology skills, which can be implemented in conjunction with the current district curriculum. This curriculum will inform best practices for teaching media literacy which will impact the school culture as teachers implement it and affect the local community by providing students the media literacy tools to be positive social change agents.