Presentation Details

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

Critical Media Literacy and Urban Youth

Dr. Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade, Dr Ernest Morrell.

This panel will present two papers that each deal with an aspect of critical media literacy—that is empowering ways of consuming, producing, and distributing new media—and its possible applications for revolutionary literacy instruction with urban adolescents. The first of the papers, Critical Media Literacy and Urban Youth: Re-reading the World of Video Games, Music, Television, and Film will draw from a synthesis of media and cultural studies, critical pedagogy, and sociocultural theory to examine 21st century media texts popularized among urban youth. Building on this meta-theoretical foundation, the paper will present ethnographic data from urban Los Angeles classrooms, students and teachers to examine three questions: 1) What media literacies are urban youth investing themselves in?; 2) Why are they investing themselves in these areas?; and 3) How can those literacies be used to develop social justice pedagogies that equip young people with increased academic and counter-hegemonic media literacy skills? The second paper, Critical Media Literacy and Urban Youth: Toward a Critical Media Production will consider how teachers can engage urban youth as new media producers. Specifically, this paper will draw upon popular media texts and ethnographic data to examine the practices surrounding digital filmmaking, cyberactivism, and underground hip-hop culture as forms of critical media production. Together, the panel embodies the spirit of Freire and Macedo (1987) who advocate for literacy pedagogy that leads to a re-reading and re-writing of the world while also accounting for the changing nature of literacy in this new media age (Kress, 2003).
Background: According to Nielsen’s “Report on Television” (1998) the average child watches three hours of television a day. The Kaiser Foundation (1999) reports that this engagement with electronic media more than doubles to six and one half hours per day when various forms of electronic media are included (i.e. television, movies, video games).


Dr. Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade  (United States)
Director of Urban Teacher Development
Institute of Democracy, Education and Access
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr Ernest Morrell  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Teacher Education, African-American and African Studies
Michigan State University

Ernest Morrell is an assistant professor at Michigan State University. His work examines ways to incorporate non-school literacies into traditional classroom practices. He is the author of two books, Linking Literacy and Popular Culture: Finding Connections for Lifelong Learning and Becoming Critical Researchers: Literacy and Empowerment for Urban Youth.

  • Critical Media Literacy
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Urban Education
  • Popular Culture
  • Adolescent Literacy
  • Urban Youth
  • Composition
  • Hip-Hop Culture

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)