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Teaching media literacy through critical pedagogy: an action research project in higher education

Wang, Huei Lan (2008) Teaching media literacy through critical pedagogy: an action research project in higher education. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Taiwan was liberated from strict authoritarian rule in 1987, and freedom of the press was instituted in subsequent years. This was a big step forward for Taiwan, from closed authoritarianism to open democracy. Media had a hand in pushing Taiwan forward into the democratic age. Ten years later, in 1997, cable TV was introduced and the penetration rate of cable TV in Taiwan in 2007 is now the highest in the Asia-pacific region. Soon after cable TV was introduced, the internet emerged providing leading-edge, universal media access. In this information age, the process and pace of Taiwan democracy revolutionized further changes making media, as Helmsman noted, the boat transporting Taiwan to a world of new challenges. Reversing the long-term trend that had downplayed the media environment’s importance in Taiwan, media literacy has been gaining increasing interest among educators, government, researchers and observers in recent years. Although gradually adopting western standards, Taiwan media literacy education is nevertheless still in its infancy, focusing more on primary and secondary education rather than higher education. When surveying the literature on media literacy education, still very rare are instances encountered of systematic higher education teaching - either in Taiwan or worldwide - of media literacy education. Media literacy education's introduction in higher education will be a crucial component for media development in Taiwan. Given this context, this research aims to 1) outline the concerns and importance of media literacy education in Taiwan 2) demonstrate how youth consciousness is oppressed and manipulated by ideologies of power in society and the media 3) determine effective methods for improving university students' critical thinking about television. The research method I used applies action research to develop media literacy courses based on critical pedagogy to influence university students' television- viewing critical thinking abilities. I had a group of 13 university students taking general education program courses in their first through fourth year of study in Taiwan. As the teacher, I reflected on how best to beneficially change students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviour during the course; this served to also enhance the relationship between teacher and students. The findings evidenced the effects of teaching/learning on media literacy by showing students' knowledge and critical thinking enhanced based on critical pedagogy; the findings also showed university students changing their media mindset by acquiring deeper internal media knowledge, while furthering their relationship to society and themselves through critical pedagogy; media literacy's teaching/learning effects produced through critical pedagogy were also identified. On the other hand, adoption of critical pedagogy to education - and then their dissemination into country and curriculum - needs further consideration to correspond with cultural issues

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:24

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