Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Empowerment Pedagogy: Using Media-making to Empower Students of Marginalized Groups

Breedlove Lois.

Students from marginalized communities are often silenced by the traditional pedagogy of educational institutions. The knowledge and values of diverse communities may go unrecognized by the educational institutions, out of ignorance, or desires to achieve assimilation, or from prejudice. A pedagogy of empowerment can help these students realize that they must become actors in the society at large. One of way of accomplishing this is to empower students to tell the stories of their own lives, experiences and communities. This can be done by moving beyond media literacy techniques to media creation.

For the last seven years, the Bridges Project in the central region of Washington state has offered opportunities and tools to middle school and high school students to create media expressions of their own stories. The results show that not only do the students benefit from this, but the larger pluralistic society will be enriched as well. This paper discusses the strategies of the Bridges Project, grounding it in the theoretical approaches of multicultural education, in particular, James Banks’ theories of equity pedagogy.


Breedlove Lois  (United States)
Associate Professor in Communication
Department of Communication
Central Washington University

Lois Breedlove is an associate professor in communication with specialities in journalism and multicultural communication. She is also the director of the Bridges Project, an initiative to help empower public school students in the region -- especially those in ethnically diverse schools.

  • Media Literacy
  • Multicultural Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Media Creation

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)