Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type



You have to know where you are to know where you’re going. This is the approach I attempt to take to understand next steps in media literacy education and policy. Little research has been done to understand the current state of media literacy education, what is actually happening in the classrooms and education system, to better judge more intentional interventions in the future.

This dissertation explores the current issues in media literacy education in our public schools. I combine the strengths of a qualitative investigation of published public school media literacy curricula with survey data measuring the perceptions of students’ experiences in the classroom with media literacy curriculum. The first study explores the current curriculum found on states’ official education department websites. The second study uses the first study to inform a survey of high school aged kids from across the country. Because this project serves as an entry point into future research on media literacy education, I only focus on the United States currently. However, there is certainly room to expand this type of work and compare media literacy education across nations.

Together, these findings assert that the schools are trying to implement curriculum that is necessary to create media literate students. Further, findings show that there are groups of students that are getting instruction. With even more research to fill in further gaps that these studies did not focus on, there could be implications for education policy and teacher preparation programs.



Committee Chair

Porter, Lance