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Media Literacy & Adolescent Development

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Renee Hobbs shares results of 3 research studies exploring how school-based media literacy programs advance critical analysis skills, promote intellectual curiosity and contribute to civic engagement.

Renee Hobbs shares results of 3 research studies exploring how school-based media literacy programs advance critical analysis skills, promote intellectual curiosity and contribute to civic engagement.

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Media Literacy & Adolescent Development

  1. 1. Media Literacy and Adolescent Development Renee Hobbs Professor of Communication Studies Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island USA Email: hobbs@uri.edu Twitter: @reneehobbs
  2. 2. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Theoretical Framework Communication & Education. Institutions of education, communication practices & democratic values are interconnected. Inquiry Learning. People learn best from experiences that are carefully supported or scaffolded to meet the needs of the learner. Critical Pedagogy. Awareness, analysis, and reflection enable people to take action to make society more just and equitable. Medium Theory. Media & technology are immersive cultural environments; media structures re-shape human perception & values. Active Audience Theory. Audiences are active; meaning-making is variable; lived experience & social context are key dimensions of interpretation.
  3. 3. expanding the concept of text
  4. 4. expanding the concept of literacy ACCESS CREATE ACT ANALYZEE REFLECT ACCESS
  5. 5. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Question How does media literacy education affect dimensions of adolescent development?
  6. 6. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Approach Participatory Action Research uses iterative cycles of planning, reflection, action and evaluation. Key characteristics: • Participants collaborate at every stage • Intended to result in some action, change or improvement
  7. 7. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Overview of Three Studies Montgomery Blair High School: How does ability grouping affect the acquisition of media literacy competencies? PBS News Hour Student Reporting Labs: What is the impact of a high school program in broadcast journalism on adolescents? Mark Day School: How can a social media pen-pal experience between American and Turkish middle-school students promote global understanding?
  8. 8. Communication Arts Program (CAP)
  9. 9. Communication Arts Program (CAP) GRADE 9 - 10 INTERDISCIPLINARY INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECTS The projects synthesize information from various disciplines into comprehensive presentations that highlight the events of the era assigned. MOVIE REVIEWS Each quarter the Students watch a movie in the auditorium that relates to the historical period focused on in History class. They write a movie review and for homework, watch movies from a list compiled by the faculty. The project entails an in depth argument and analysis for a major social issue facing humanity. A comprehensive program that connects the humanities to the media, now in its 24th year
  10. 10. Communication Arts Program (CAP) Crystal Ball Students research demographic and voter characteristics and then predict the Presidential, US Senate, US House of Representatives, and gubernatorial races throughout the United States. Critical Thinking Essay The Critical Thinking Essay requires students to select an issue of national importance and write a persuasive essay arguing one side of that issue, supported by documented and cited sources. In 10th grade, each student supports the issue from the side opposite to the one advocated in the 9th grade essay CAP Congress – Foreign Policy Students research foreign policy issues concerning seven “hotspots” from around the world, draft resolutions, debate the issues, and prioritize the foreign policy needs of the US. CAP Court Students hold mock trials on court cases drawn from each of the four 10th grade subjects: English, Government, Journalism and Media. Students act as lawyers trying the case and also role-play the defendants and witnesses. GRADE 9 - 10 INTERDISCIPLINARY
  11. 11. Selective Admission Programs Communication Arts Program (CAP) Science, Mathematics and Computer Science Magnet Program Open Admission Programs Media Literacy Entrepreneurship International Studies and Law Human Service Professions Science, Math and Technology
  12. 12. Research Design Quasi-experimental study 2 x 2 factorial Open Selective Admission Admission Media Literacy No ML ML ACADEMY CAP CONTROL CONTROL Academy Level Treatment
  13. 13. MEASURES Internet use Information Motives (U&G) Civic Engagement News Analysis Ad Analysis Media Knowledge We asked respondents to identify how much they use the Internet on an 8-point scale ranging from never to every day.
  14. 14. MEASURES Internet use Information Motives (U&G) Civic Engagement News Analysis Ad Analysis Media Knowledge To assess students’ motives to seek out information as a part of daily life, we used an instrument developed to assess Internet uses and gratifications by Papacharissi & Rubin (2000). Using a five-point scale, students were asked to respond to four statements: I use the internet: • to search for information • to see what is out there • to keep up with current events and issues • because it provides me with a new and interesting way to do research
  15. 15. MEASURES Internet use Information Motives (U&G) Civic Engagement News Analysis Ad Analysis Media Knowledge Students were asked to report if they expect to engage in the following activities when they become an adult: • vote in national elections • get information about candidates before voting in an election • join a political party • write letters to a newspaper about social or political concerns • be a candidate for a local or city office • volunteer time to help poor or elderly people in the community • collect money for a cause • collect signatures for a petition, and participate in a peaceful rally or protest. A 4-point scale was used, scaled as certainly will not do, probably will not do, probably will do, and certainly will do.
  16. 16. MEASURES Internet use Information Motives (U&G) Civic Engagement News Analysis Ad Analysis Media Knowledge In the news analysis task, students were given a short Time magazine piece (Van Biema, 2007) and asked to read it, responding to open-ended questions including: • summarize the main point of the article • identify the target audience & explain what specific information from the reading supports your answer • identify the message purpose • identify what techniques were used to attract and hold attention • list some different points of view presented • identify omitted information Scores were summed to form an additive index which ranged from 14 to 0.
  17. 17. MEASURES Internet use Information Motives (U&G) Civic Engagement News Analysis Ad Analysis Media Knowledge In the ad analysis task, students were given a print ad and asked to respond to open-ended questions including: • identify the target audience & explain what specific information from the reading supports your answer • identify the message purpose • Identify the ad’s implied message or subtext • identify what techniques were used to attract and hold attention • list some different points of view presented • identify omitted information Scores were summed to form an additive index which ranged from 14 to 0.
  18. 18. MEASURES Internet use Information Motives (U&G) Civic Engagement News Analysis Ad Analysis Media Knowledge We asked students to complete short tests relating to different facets of the media industry, including information about history, economics, institutions, audiences and effects. MULTIPLE CHOICE (6 items): • identify the main purpose of photos in a newspaper • recognize the most common kind of economic control over mass media • name the system of financing used to pay for commercial radio. TRUE FALSE (11 items) • The number of companies that own mass media outlets is growing • Newspapers make most of their money through the price paid by the consumers who buy them
  19. 19. Students in the Selective Admission media literacy program have stronger media knowledge and news and advertising analysis skills than students in other programs. Table 1 Comparing means Open Admission Program Selective Admission Program Other program ML program Other program ML program Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Media knowledge .53 (.17) .62 (.22) .71 (.17) .75 (.13) News analysis 4.80 (3.09) 4.27 (3.32) 7.60 (3.16) 8.86 (2.58) Ad analysis 8.20 (3.45) 8.38 (4.02) 9.31 (3.18) 11.10 (3.16) n = 191 n = 55 n = 87 n = 59 Students in the Open Admission media literacy program have weaker news and advertising analysis skills than students in other programs.
  20. 20. Students who participate in media literacy programs are more likely to be civically engaged than students enrolled in other programs. Predictors of Civic Engagement
  21. 21. News analysis skills, media knowledge & information motive predict civic engagement. Amount of Internet use and advertising analysis skills are not associated with civic engagement. Predictors of Civic Engagement
  22. 22. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Finding #1 How does media literacy education affect dimensions of adolescent development?  Media analysis and production activities are associated with media knowledge, critical analysis of print media, and information seeking motives, all of which contribute to civic engagement
  23. 23. www.studentreportinglabs.com
  24. 24. PILOT STUDY N = 85 HS students 61% African American 33% Caucasian 3% Hispanic/Latino MAIN STUDY N = 544 HS students 36% Hispanic 30% Caucasian 13% African American RESEARCH DESIGN Pre-Post Online Survey Teacher Interviews Analysis of Student Work Samples
  25. 25. PRODUCTION SKILLS Communication skills Technical skills MEDIA LITERACY CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Sign an online petition Express an opinion to news media Blog about an issue Write an opinion letter
  26. 26. PRODUCTION SKILLS Non-technical skills Technical skills IN-CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Gathering & Synthesizing Info Using Digital Media Revision Gathering and Synthesizing Information Percentage Analyzed videos 70% Created a story board 65% Conducted interviews 68% Fact-checked information 49% Pitched a news story 54% Discussed different points of view about social and political issues 53% Using Digital Media to Communicate Ideas Used a video camera to record visuals 69% Wrote a script 64% Performed MEDIA in front LITERACY of the camera 65% Worked behind the scenes/different roles 64% Logged footage 43% Edited visuals and sounds 68% Used images/sounds to tell a story 54% Posted videos online 38% CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Sign an online petition Express an opinion to news media Blog about an issue Write an opinion letter Engaging in Cycles of Revision & Feedback Edited reports in response to feedback 38%
  27. 27. PRODUCTION SK]ILLS MEDIA LITERACY Communication skills Technical skills] ANALYSIS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Sig an online petition Express an opinion to news media Blog about an issue Write an opinion letter
  28. 28. ATTITUDES Intellectual Curiosity Giving & Receiving Feedback Confidence
  29. 29. PRODUCTION SKILLS Communication skills Technical skills ATTITUDES Intellectual Curiosity Giving & Receiving Feedback Confidence MEDIA LITERACY ANALYSIS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IN-CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Gathering & Synthesizing Info Using Digital Media Revision
  30. 30. PRODUCTION SKILLS Communication skills Technical skills ATTITUDES Intellectual Curiosity Giving & Receiving Feedback Confidence MEDIA LITERACY ANALYSIS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IN-CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Gathering & Synthesizing Info Using Digital Media Revision
  31. 31. PRODUCTION SKILLS Communication skills Technical skills ATTITUDES Intellectual Curiosity Giving & Receiving Feedback Confidence MEDIA LITERACY ANALYSIS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Sign an online petition Express an opinion to news media Blog about an issue Write an opinion letter IN-CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Gathering & Synthesizing Info Using Digital Media Revision
  32. 32. OTHER VARIABLES THAT DID NOT AFFECT CIVIC ENGAGEMENT • Attitudes Towards School • Leadership • Cynicism towards Media • Vocational Interest in Media • News Media Use
  33. 33. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Finding #2 How does media literacy education affect dimensions of adolescent development?  Media pre-production activities support media analysis skills and contribute to intellectual curiosity, practices of creative collaboration & civic engagement
  34. 34. University-school partnership program Six-week pilot project designed to explore media literacy pedagogy in the context of global communication Subjects: Middle-school children ages 11 – 13 and their teachers • SAINT MARK’S SCHOOL – San Rafael CA USA • Gokkusagi MIDDLE SCHOOL, Canakkale, Turkey Method Interviews with teachers Analysis of student work samples Classroom observation
  35. 35. 1. Getting to Know You 2. Learning about Two Countries 3. Analyzing TV Shows that Feature High School 4. Discussing Current Events
  36. 36. American students have only basic information about Turkish history, daily life and culture
  37. 37. Information sharing about Turkey includes student-curated images and links
  38. 38. American students lack knowledge of Turkish history, life and culture
  39. 39. As a result of popular culture, Turkish students have significant information about American culture
  40. 40. Students recognize how values are (mis) represented in entertainment television
  41. 41. Feelings of social and emotional connectedness
  42. 42. ANALYSIS OF POPULAR CULTURE IN SCHOOL. Students can identify cultural values in the representation of school in popular television programs. They can identify misrepresentations only from home country programming. DISCUSSING CURRENT EVENTS IN SCHOOL. Turkish students are not comfortable talking about the current political situation in their country. MEDIA LITERACY SUPPORTS CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE. For adolescents, the asymmetrical knowledge gap between Turkish and U.S. students can be mitigated through media literacy activities involving online interpersonal communication. American students gain new awareness of the power imbalance in their own lack of access to global popular culture.
  43. 43. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Finding #3 How does media literacy education affect dimensions of adolescent development?  Social media activities that involve global dialogue & critical analysis of entertainment media promotes an awareness of inequalities in information flows
  44. 44. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Overview of Findings How does media literacy education affect dimensions of adolescent development?  Media analysis and production activities are associated with media knowledge, critical analysis of print media, and information seeking motives, all of which contribute to civic engagement  Media pre-production activities support media analysis skills and contribute to intellectual curiosity, practices of creative collaboration & civic engagement  Social media activities that involve global dialogue & critical analysis of entertainment media promotes an awareness of inequalities in information flows
  45. 45. PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING Future Questions How could news and current events best be used in the classroom to promote intellectual curiosity, critical analysis & civic engagement? How could critical analysis of entertainment media be incorporated into work with younger adolescents? How do teacher motivations for the use of digital media & technology shape their instructional practices? What are best practices in teacher professional development in implementing media literacy programs?
  46. 46. Martens, H. & Hobbs, R. (in press). How media literacy supports civic engagement in a digital age. Atlantic Journal of Communication. Hobbs, R. & Tuzel, S. (2014). The Use of Media Literacy Instructional Strategies for Promoting Intercultural Communication in U.S. & Turkish Middle Schools. Paper presentation to the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS). Providence, RI. August 1, 2014. Hobbs, R., Donnelly, K., Friesem, J. & Moen, M. (2013). Learning to engage: How positive attitudes about the news, media literacy and video production contribute to adolescent civic engagement. Educational Media International 50(4), 231 – 246. Hobbs, R. (2013).“Kids Who Produce News Become Better Citizens,” Panel presentation, SXSWEdu, Austin, TX, March 6. Hobbs, R. & Donnelly, K. Friesem, J. & Moen, M. . (2013, August). Evaluation of PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. Kingston, RI: Media Education Lab. University of Rhode Island. Hobbs, R. (2013). “Global Developments in Media Literacy Education,” Media and Digital Literacy Lab (MDLAB). Keynote address at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. August 18. Hobbs (2011). “How Digital and Media Literacy Supports Global Understanding,” Arab-US Association of Communication Educators (AUSACE), Beirut, Lebanon, October 30. Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Beverly Hills: Corwin/Sage. Hobbs, R., Clay, D., Clapman, L. & Cheers, I. (2010). PBS News Hour Student Reporting Labs. [News reporting and production curriculum.] PBS News Hour: Washington, D.C. www.mediaeducationlab.com
  47. 47. Media Literacy and Adolescent Civic Engagement Renee Hobbs Professor of Communication Studies Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island USA Email: hobbs@uri.edu Twitter: @reneehobbs

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