Producing media knowledge : an exploration of the instructional landscape in Austin High School media production classes
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This thesis is an exploratory study of media production classes in Austin, Texas. Through examination of Texas state standards, lesson plans, and interviews with educators, I construct a picture of the content and trajectories of media production education in Austin public high schools. The standards, teachers, production tools, and end products structure the classes toward vocational training, industrial practices, and discourses of digitality and newness. The structures avoid more traditional media study areas, such as history, criticism, and analysis. Despite some concerns about student’s vulnerability and desires to empower them, the teachers also largely avoid discourses of media literacy. This study lays a foundation for further exploration of the ways in which media production education structures students’ understanding of media, as well as for reflection on the necessity of more direct media education and media literacy intervention in young people’s highly productive and media-rich lives.
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