I submitted the second version of my Ed.D. thesis proposal a while back now. I had to re-submit as I failed the first submission. This was a bit of a shock to the system, never having failed anything academically before. It was actually partly my supervisor’s fault – who has now left the University of Durham and doesn’t have a doctorate himself… :p
I was advised to wait until I had the marks back for the thesis proposal before posting it on my blog. Upon reflection, I could see this was a sensible thing to do, so now I’ve heard back and I’ve passed I’m going to post it in its entirity. I received 63% for the following, which isn’t disastrous but less than I would have hoped for. Because it’s my second submission, however, the mark that’s recorded is 50%. At the end of the day, I’m not overly concerned: my Ed.D. overall is pass/fail… 🙂
The comments on the following were:
This is a solid proposal which provides a detailed reflection of the relevant literature in which the proposed study is to be grounded. Although covered in less detail than the literature section, the proposal provides an appropriate methodological base for the research. The proposal suggests a cross-cultural component and it is important in this context that similarities as well as ‘discrepancies’ are identified and that the study does not become unmanageable. In general this is a good solid proposal.
The proposal itself follows after the ‘tag’ cloud that is indicative of its contents (courtesy of TweetClouds)
I was up at 5am again this morning working on my Ed.D.? It’s hard when it’s so dark and it’s the end of term…
After looking at various research methodologies, I think I’m going to go for a combination of a hermenutic, philosophical and pragmatic approaches in the dialectical tradition. It could all end up a mess, but I think I’m on to something: digital literacies are culturally and very specifically situated, but have broader elements which can be discussed, synthesized and made sense of.
Here’s what I’ve been looking at today – all from the Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research:
A lot of the research I’ve been doing recently on the concept of ‘digital literacy’ either references Ilana Snyder or is in a book edited by her. Perhaps I need to get in touch, especially as according to her profile it appears she’s got a new book coming out in February 2008… 🙂
The notes I’ve made from Page to Screen: taking literacy into the electronic era (1998) and Silicon Literacies: communication, innovation and education in the electronic age (2002) can be found on my wiki.
Unfortunately, the libraries at both Durham and Sheffield universities do not stock Doing literacy online: Teaching, learning and playing in an electronic world (2004) and I’ll likely not be able to access The Literacy Wars when it comes out in February 2008… 🙁
After failing my previous Ed.D. thesis proposal (I can see why now…) I’m beginning the process of starting from first principles, this time building towards analysing the concept of ‘digital literacy’. The books I’ll be looking at today are both ones I’ve looked at (briefly) before and are both edited by Ilana Snyder:
* Page to Screen: taking literacy into the electronic era
* Silicon Literacies: communication, innovation and education in the electronic age
I met with my supervisor today to thrash out the way forward with my Ed.D. thesis proposal. It was a productive conversation and he helped me gain some much-needed focus to my sometimes rambling thoughts.
I’m going to focus on the concept of ‘digital literacy’. This, of course, means that I need to clarify exactly what I – and, perhaps more importantly, other people and organizations mean – by ‘literacy’. I’m also going to discuss whether digital literacy is a functional element which can be understood to reside under the umbrella term ‘literacy’ or whether it is something that can be considered as separate.
The scope of this thesis is potentially huge, so I’m going to have to be ruthless in keeping the whole thing focused. Whilst I can touch on things such as what it means to be ‘educated’, the purpose of education, etc. I need to make sure that it all adds up to a critical and in-depth discussion of whether the concept of ‘digital literacy’ is a useful one and relevant to what is (or should be) going on in 21st century schools.
My supervisor suggested that I might want to go with a historical approach in the introduction, perhaps looking at what ‘literacy’ and ‘to be literate’ has meant through the ages. This would help introduce the notion of literacy being dependent upon society and culture.
Other things to possibly think about and include from the notes I made during the meeting:
The Labour government seems to think it can identify the skills that will be needed by 21st century workers. Is this possible?
Habermas – argument r.e. serving the system or serving the lifeworld. Should/are students learning to make a living or learning to make a life (links to Citizenship, Every Child Matters agenda, etc.)
Is ‘digital literacy’ real or imagined? Different people mean different things by ‘literacy’, never mind ‘digital literacy’.
How and why do people respond to new technologies? (threats to established order)
Notions of ‘literacy’ are at the heart of education and always have been. Brings with it ideas of competence, being functional in society, skills, and being ‘educated’.
Schools don’t currently have a firm idea of why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Don’t cite blogs – use as second or third-stage source. Paraphrase ideas.
It’s difficult to distinguish between economic and educational importance of ‘digital literacy’ in government pronouncements -> assumption that using computers is important, therefore ‘digital literacy’ important (not necessarily the case -> counter-e.g. of Nissan car plant, Burger King, etc.)
Conlon article -> e.g. of cathedral -> each worker gives a different account of what they’re doing.
‘Digital literacy’ implies that it is a skill that can be imparted -> threatens historical concept of teacher? Access vs. connections (relationships)
Possible structure of argument:
What is literacy?
Literacy = dynamic
Why does literacy change (reflecting society vs. something ‘out there’ to be revealed)
Government policy still informed by Victorian model of schooling.
Emergence of term ‘digital literacy’.
What did it mean to be ‘literate’ before and after a new technology (e.g. printing press)
‘Functional’ aspect of literacy -> is ‘digital literacy’ just another aspect of this?
What do people mean when they talk of being ‘literate’?
What measures and tests are used for gauging whether someone is literate/’digitally literate’?
It makes sense for the government to want to improve ‘literacy’ -> but what do we mean by this?
Go back to literature -> what do we mean by ‘digital literacy’?
Are there/can there be consistent measures for ‘digital literacy’?
My supervisor also pointed me towards the following articles and books:
T. Conlon, ‘Visions of Change’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, vol.31, no.2, p.109-116)
Castells, The Networked Society
F. Coffield, ‘Running Ever Faster Down The Wrong Road’
As promised earlier, here’s the bibliography for my Ed.D. thesis proposal. This might prove handy for those looking to read up on the areas of 21st century literacy, what it means to be ‘educated’ in the 21st century, and how educational technology has impacted schools.
Abbott, J. & Ryan, T. (2000) The Unfinished Revolution: learning, human behaviour, community and political paradox
Abbott, C. (2001) ICT: changing education
Anderson, L.W. & Krathwohl, D.R. (eds.) (2001) A taxonomy of learning, teaching, and assessment: a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives
Aviram, A. (2000) ‘From “Computers in the Classroom” to mindful radical adaptation by education system to the emerging cyber culture’ (Journal of Educational Change, 1)
Barton, D. & Hamilton, M. (2000) ‘Literacy Practices’ (in Barton, D., Hamilton, M. & Ivanic, R. (eds.), Situated Literacies: reading and writing in context)
Beavis, C. (1988) ‘Computer games, culture and curriculum’ (in I. Snyder (ed.), Page to Screen: taking literacy into the electronic era)
Bigum, C. (2002) ‘Design Sensibilities, Schools and the New Computing and Communication Technologies’ (in I. Snyder (ed.), Silicon Literacies: Communication, Innovation and Education in the Electronic Age)
Blacker, D. & J. McKie, J. (2003) ‘Information and Communication Technology’ (in N. Blake, et al. (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education)
Bottino, R.M. (2001) ‘Advanced Learning Environments’ (in M. Ortega & J. Bravo (eds.), Computers and Education: towards an interconnected society)
Burnett, R. (2002) Technology, Learning and Visual Culture (in I. Snyder (ed.), Silicon Literacies: Communication, Innovation and Education in the Electronic Age)
Burniske, R.W. & Monke, L. (2001) Breaking Down the Digital Walls: learning to teach in a post-modem world
Carneiro, R. (2002) ‘The New Frontiers of Education’ (in UNESCO, Learning Throughout Life: challenges for the twenty-first century)
Carr, D. (2003) Making Sense of Education: an introduction to the philosophy and theory of education and teaching
Chaiklin, S. (2002) ‘A Developmental Teaching Approach to Schooling’ (in G. Wells & G. Claxton (eds.), Learning for Life in the 21st Century)
Claxton, G. (2002) ‘Education for the Learning Age: A Sociocultural Approach to Learning to Learn’ (in G. Wells & G. Claxton (eds.), Learning for Life in the 21st Century)
Conlon (2000) ‘Visions of Change’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, 31:2)
Conlon & Simpson, (2003) ‘Silicon Valley versus Silicon Glen: the impact of computers upon teaching and learning: a comparative study’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, 34:2)
Cornu, B. (1995) ‘New technologies: integration into education’ (in D. Watson & D. Tinsley (eds.), Integrating Information Technology into Education)
Cromer, A. (1997) Connected Knowledge: Science, Philosophy, and Education
Cuban, L. (1986) Teachers and Machines: the classroom use of technology since 1920
Davis N., et al. (1997) ‘Can quality in learning be enhanced through the use of IT?’ (in B. Somekh, G. Whitty & R. Coveney, IT and the politics of institutional change)
Davis, A. & Williams, K. (2003) ‘Epistemology and Curriculum’ (in N. Blake, et al. (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education
Delors, J. (1996a) ‘The Four Pillars of Education’, in (J. Delors (ed.), Learning: The Treasure Within)
Delors, J. (1996b) ‘Choices for Education: the political factor’ (in J. Delors (ed.), Learning: The Treasure Within)
Delors, J. (1996c) ‘Education: the necessary Utopia’ in (J. Delors (ed.), Learning: The Treasure Within)
Delors, J. (1996d) ‘Teachers in Search of New Perspectives’ in (J. Delors (ed.), Learning: The Treasure Within)
Demetriadis, et al. (2003) ‘ Cultures in negotiation’: teachers’ acceptance/resistance attitudes considering the infusion of technology into schools’ (Computers & Education, 41)
Doll, W.E. Jr. (1993) A Post-modern perspective on curriculum
Dunn, S. & V. Morgan (1987) The Impact of the Computer on Education: a course for teachers
Eraut, M. (1991) Education and the Information Society: a challenge for European policy
Eyman, D. (working paper, undated) Digital Literac(ies), Digital Discourses, and Communities of Practice: Literacy Practices in Virtual Environments
Friedman, T.L. (2005) The World is Flat: the globalized world in the twenty-first century
Glaser, R. (1999) ‘Expert Knowledge and Processes of Thinking’ (in R. McCormick & C. Paechter (eds.), Learning and Knowledge)
Golby, M. (1990) ‘The Multiple Functions of Education’ (in N. Entwistle (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Educational Ideas and Practices
Grossman, P.L. & Stodolsky, S.S. (1999) ‘Content as Context: the role of school subjects in secondary school teaching’ (in R. McCormick & C. Paechter (eds.), Learning and Knowledge)
Haymore Sandholtz, I & Ringstaff, C. (1996) ‘Teacher Change in Technology-Rich Classrooms’ (in C. Fisher, D.C. Dwyer & K. Yocam (eds.), Education and Technology: reflections on computing in classrooms)
Hoban, G.F. (2002) Teacher Learning for Educational Change: a systems thinking approach
Hogan, P. & Smith, R. (2003) ‘The Activity of Philosophy and the Practice of Education’ (in N. Blake, et al. (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education)
Imison, T. & Taylor, P. (2001) Managing ICT in the Secondary School
Johnson, Eilda, J. (1998) ‘Living on the surface: learning in the age of global communication networks’ (in I. Snyder (ed.), Page to Screen: taking literacy into the electronic era)
Kapitzke (2000) ‘Information Technology as Cultural Capital’ (Education and Information Technology, 5:1)
Kellner, D.M. (2002) ‘Technological Revolution, Multiple Literacies, and the Restructuring of Education’ (in I. Snyder (ed.), Silicon Literacies: communication, innovation and education in the electronic age)
Kenway (1996) ‘The Information Superhighway and Post-modernity’ (Comparative Education, 32:2)
Kerr (2005) ‘Why we all want it to work: towards a culturally based model for technology and educational change’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, 36:6,)
Lemke, J.L. (2002) ‘Becoming the Village: Education Across Lives’ (in G. Wells & G. Claxton (eds.), Learning for Life in the 21st Century)
Levin, B. & Riffel, J.A. (1997) Schools and the Changing World: struggling toward the future
Machlup, F. (1962) Knowledge production and distribution in the United States
Martin, A. (2003) ‘Towards e-literacy’ (in A. Martin & H. Rader (eds.), Information and IT literacy: enabling learning in the 21st century)
McCormick, R. (1999) ‘Practical Knowledge: A View from the Snooker Table’ (in R. McCormick & C. Paechter (eds.), Learning and Knowledge)
McFarlane, A. (1997)? ‘…and where might we end up?’ (in A. McFarlane (ed.), Information Technology and Authentic Learning: realising the potential of computers in the primary classroom)
Meyerson, D. & Martin, J. (1997) ‘Cultural Change: an integration of three different views’ (in A. Harris, N. Bennett & M. Preedy (eds.), Organizational Effectiveness and Improvement in Education)
Muller, J. (2000) Reclaiming Knowledge: social theory, curriculum and education policy
Newton, L. (2003) ‘Management and the use of ICT in subject teaching’ (in Selwood, Find & O’Mahony (eds.), Management of Education in the Information Age: the role of ICT)
Nichol & Watson (2003) ‘Editorial: Rhetoric & reality: the present and future of ICT in education’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, 34:2)
OECD (1994) The Curriculum Redefined: schooling for the 21st century
OECD (2001) Learning to Change: ICT in Schools
Okan (2003) ‘Edutainment: is learning at risk?’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, 34:3)
Papert, S. (1980) Mindstorms: children, computers, and powerful ideas
Papert, S. (1993) The Children’s Machine: rethinking school in the age of the computer
Phillips, J. (200) Contested Knowledge: a guide to critical theory
Postman, N. (1993), cited by R.W. Burniske & L. Monke, Breaking Down the Digital Walls: learning to teach in a post-modem world (2001: 21)
Provenzo, E.F. Jr., Brett, A. & McCloskey, G.N. (1999) Computers, Curriculum, and Cultural Change: an introduction for teachers
Reffell, P. (2003) ‘IT Skills are not enough’ (in A. Martin & H. Rader (eds.), Information and IT literacy: enabling learning in the 21st century
Robinson, B. (1997) ‘Getting Ready to Change: the place of change theory in the information technology education of teachers’ (in D. Passey & B. Samways (eds.), Information Technology: supporting change through teacher education)
Rodr?guez Illera, J.L. (2004) ‘Digital Literacies’ (Interactive Educational Multimedia, number 9 (November 2004), pp. 48-62)
Roszak, T. (1986) The Cult of Information: the folklore of computers and the true art of thinking
Rushby (2005) ‘Editorial: where are the new paradigms?’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, 36:3)
Sanger, J. (2001)? ‘ICT, the demise of UK schooling and the rise of the individual learner’ (in A. Loveless & V. Ellis (eds.), ICT, Pedagogy and the Curriculum: subject to change)
Schofield, J.W. (1995) Computers and Classroom Culture
Snyder, I. (2001) ‘Hybrid Vigour’: Reconciling the verbal and the visual in electronic communication (in A. Loveless & V. Ellis (eds.), ICT, Pedagogy and the Curriculum: subject to change)
Snyder, I. (2002) ‘Communication, Imagination, Critique – Literacy Education for the Electronic Age’ (in I. Snyder (ed.), Silicon Literacies: communication, innovation and education in the electronic age)
Somekh, B. (1997) ‘Towards effective learning with new technology resources: the role of teacher education in reconceptualising the relationship between task setting and student learning in technology-rich classrooms’ (in D. Passey & B. Samways (eds.), Information Technology: supporting change through teacher education)
Somekh, B. (2000) ‘New Technology and Learning: policy and practice in the UK, 1980-2010’ (Education and Information Technology, 5:1)
Stetsenko, A. & Arievitch, I. (2002) ‘Teaching, Learning, and Development: A Post-Vygotskian Perspective’ (in G. Wells & G. Claxton, Learning for Life in the 21st Century)
Stoll Dalton, S. & Tharp, R.G. (2002) ‘Standards for Pedagogy: Research, Theory and Practice’ (in G. Wells & G. Claxton, Learning for Life in the 21st Century)
Stonier, T. & Conlin, C. (1985) The Three C’s: children, computers, communication
Sutherland & InterActive Project Team (2004) Designs for Learning: ICT and knowledge in the classroom (Computers & Education, 43)
Tearle (2003) ‘ICT implementation: what makes the difference?’ (British Journal of Educational Technology, 34:5)
Tiffin, J. & Rajasingham, L. (2003) The Global Virtual University
Town, J.S. (2003) ‘Information Literacy: definition, measurement, impact’ (in A. Martin & H. Rader (eds.), Information and IT literacy: enabling learning in the 21st century)
Tuman, M. (1992) Word Perfect: literacy in the computer age
Underwood, J.D.M. & Underwood, G. (1990) Computers and Learning: helping children acquire thinking skills
UNESCO (1994) The Plurality of Literacy and its Implications for Policies and Programmes
Willis, P. (1990) Common Culture
Yip, C.T., Cheung, P.S. & C. Sze, C. (2004) Towards a Knowledge-creating School: a research project on paradigm shift of teaching and learning in IT education
Apologies for the lack of italicization of the titles, but it didn’t carry over from my Word document and it’s a bit of an ask to go through all of those by hand…
I’ve finally finished my Ed.D. thesis proposal! I shall be sending it off this week to be ripped to shreds. But hey, I’ve only got to pass the module – the real work starts in the summer…
If anyone fancies reading 6,000 words on what I intend to do with the spare moments of my life over the next 2/3 years, feel free to read it here. I shall post my bibliography separately online, as it may be useful for others when searching Google, etc.
This may be a quotation good enough to kick off my Ed.D. thesis:
This is a time of challenge and a time for experiment. It is a time to put existing pedagogies, practices, and educational philosophies in question and to construct new ones. It is a time for new pedagogical experiments to see what works and what doesn’t work. It is a time to reflect on our goals and to discern what we want to achieve with education and how to achieve it.
Kellner, D.M., ‘Technological Revolution, Multiple Literacies, and the Restructuring of Education’ (in I. Snyder (ed.), Silicon Literacies: communication, innovation and education in the electronic age, London, 2002)?