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Media Arts: Arts Education for a Digital Age


by Kylie A. Peppler — 2010

Background/Context: New technologies have been largely absent in arts education curriculum even though they offer opportunities to address arts integration, equity, and the technological prerequisites of an increasingly digital age. This paper draws upon the emerging professional field of “media arts” and the ways in which youth use new technologies for communication to design a 21st-century K-12 arts education curriculum.

Description of prior research on the subject and/or its intellectual context and/or policy context: Building on sociocultural theories of constructionism as well as Dewey’s theories of the arts and aesthetics as a democratic pedagogy, this study draws upon over three years of extensive field study at a digital design studio where underprivileged youth accessed programming environments emphasizing graphics, music, and video.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of the Study: This study documents what youth learn through media art making in informal settings the strengths and limitations of capitalizing on youth culture in media art production, and the distinct contributions that media arts education can make to the classroom environment.

Research Design: A mixed-methods design was utilized that analyzed data from participants and professional interviews, an archive of youths’ media art, and videotape documentation of youth at work on their projects.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Findings point to the ways in which youth engage with technology that encourages active learning and how new types of software can be used to illustrate and encourage this process.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 8, 2010, p. 2118-2153
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15945, Date Accessed: 2/23/2017 1:38:03 PM

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About the Author
  • Kylie Peppler
    Indiana University, Bloomington
    E-mail Author
    KYLIE A. PEPPLER is Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. As a visual and new media artist by training, Peppler engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, new technologies, and informal learning. A Dissertation-Year Fellowship from the Spencer Foundation as well as a UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship supported her early work in these areas. Peppler's recent work has appeared in the Cambridge Journal of Education, Learning, Media and Technology, E-Learning, and the International Journal of Learning and Media. She also has a new co-edited book titled, The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities (Teachers College Press, 2009). Currently, Peppler is a co-PI on two studies funded by the National Science Foundation (CIS# 0855868/0855773/0855886 and CIS# 0855852) on creativity in youth online communities as well as a PI on a grant from the Catherine T. and John D. MacArthur Foundation to develop a curriculum to foster systems thinking using new design technologies in schools and after-school settings.
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