Date of Award

Summer July 2014

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Edmundo F. Litton

Second Advisor

Philip Molebash

Third Advisor

Karen K. Huchting


Critical media literacy (Kellner & Share, 2005) may better equip children to interpret videogame content and to create games that are nonviolent and socially just. Videogames are growing in popularity in classrooms. Yet educators and parents have concerns about the violent and stereotypical content they include. An earlier study based on the curriculum Beyond Blame: Challenging Violence in the Media (Webb, Martin, Afifi, & Kraus, 2009) examined the value of a media awareness curriculum. In this mixed-method study, I explored the effectiveness of a critical media literacy program that incorporated collaboratively creating nonviolent or sociallyjust games in teaching fourth-grade students the factors of awareness of violence, marketing, and critical media literacy. Qualitative data collected from teacher reflection notes, student journals, Scratch projects, and interviews revealed the positive effects of the program. Quantitative data supported these conclusions. This highlights the need for schools to engage students in computer programming as a means to learn academics, while educating students in critical media literacy to better enable them to navigate wisely the media saturated world in which they live. In learning programming, students engage in collaborative work, their interactions helping them to collectively create meaning for the symbols they create. Set in a framework of critical media literacy and symbolic interactionism (Blumer, 1969; Mead, 1934), this study provides an innovative model for teaching computer programming and critical media literacy skills to students.