Whole person hermeneutic media learning in the primary classroom: an intercultural grounded philosophy.

Zezulkova, M., 2015. Whole person hermeneutic media learning in the primary classroom: an intercultural grounded philosophy. Doctorate Thesis (Doctorate). Bournemouth University.

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ZEZULKOVA, Marketa_Ph.D_2015.pdf



Media education and media literacy research and practice arguably incline towards reductionism by being focused on a single medium (e.g. film) or a group of media (e.g. digital) and by being predominantly preoccupied with learners’ reasoning and critical thinking. Moreover, whilst literacy theory and practice is no longer seen as a causal factor but rather an enabling one (as equally discovered by this research), the direct correlation between critical and creative media literacy and individuals’ as well as society’s wellbeing seems to dominate academic, public, policy, and educational debates. Much research has therefore aimed at adapting media literacy education, which had mostly been developed at the secondary level, to younger children and primary classrooms whilst neglecting education as a staged progress and the multidimensional developmental as well as sociocultural changes novice learners arguably undergo within the first years of compulsory education. There indeed are many valuable studies about media literacy education at primary level that address these issues, yet they are often country specific and conducted in one school or one classroom. This interdisciplinary and intercultural classroom research was instead interested in the current and potential ‘media learning’ – defined as intentional and naturally occurring learning about any media with, from, in, or even without the physical presence of, any media source – and was carried out in two Czech and two US public primary (lower elementary) schools across the first three grades with six to nine/ten year olds and their teachers. The research explored media’s role in the child’s in- and outof- school collective and individual thoughts, actions, feelings, and relationships, whilst asking how the child learnt, and could learn, about media within these processes and how the teacher facilitated, and could facilitate, such media learning. ‘Grounded philosophy’ was developed as a philosophy-led, flexible and responsive research methodology suitable for intercultural inductive research that, although being grounded in participants’ individual and collective sociocultural-historical context, is capable of arriving to transferrable and holistic conceptual understanding – or ‘a grounded philosophy’ that asks ‘what is’ as well as ‘what could be’. The methodology itself represents an original contribution to knowledge. In total, twelve classrooms were observed of which the twentyfour teachers together with specialised and managerial staff were interviewed, and sixty-five children (thirty-three girls and thirty-two boys) were involved in photo-elicitation group and individual interviews. The research discovered that, firstly, the teachers aimed to holistically address the whole learner, which was believed to be achievable only through acknowledging and drawing upon the child’s unique historicity. Secondly, the child’s media life was situated within his or her holistic system in which every experience was interconnected and dialogic – their past, present and future whole being and becoming, individual and collective media experience, classroom and media learning, as well as the diverse media platforms, texts, and practices – and thus hermeneutic. Such hermeneutic experience was an unfinalisable learning experience of which long-term value is arguably difficult to immediately evaluate, and thus instead of the adult judging the child’s media life from reductionist and cause-and-effect perspectives while teaching objective truths about media, the learner shall be guided by the teacher through learning to reflect on his or her own individual and collective media experience. The original argument therefore is for replacing reductionist media-centric with holistic and hermeneutic experience-centric research and educational approach to the primary school child’s learning that blends classroom and media experiences into one continuous and dialogic whole person learning. Honouring formal education as a staged process and primary education as a foundation of lifelong learning, the proposed (media and classroom) learning proceeds critical and creative media literacy education by building a foundation for lifelong learning about media.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctorate)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Classroom research ; Media education ; Children's learning ; Primary education ; Grounded ; Intercultural philosophy
ID Code:24520
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:16 Aug 2016 12:05
Last Modified:16 Aug 2016 12:05


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