Five Dimensions of Critical and Creative Media Practice

  • Michelle Cannon


Chapter 6 offers a structure for literacy based on a holistic theory of media composition. Parallels are drawn between sense-making with the verbal, and how meanings are realised in material ways at the editing interface. The proposed model contains five domains for teaching and learning with digital media:
  • Iterative Practical Experiences (phronetic activities with digital tools and the environment)

  • Disposition for Praxis (reflexivity and action based on imagined possibilities)

  • Disposition for Reciprocal Communication (dialogic interactions and social collaboration)

  • Rightness of Fit (everyday artistry and rhetorical performance with media assets)

  • Spaces of Translation (dynamic pedagogies and public meaning exchanges in contextualised distributed networks)

These interrelated dimensions articulate the complex nature of the media environments in which young people negotiate and curate their identities.


  1. Anderson, C. (2008, June 23). The end of theory: The data deluge makes the scientific method obsolete. [online]. Wired. Retrieved May 20, 2018, from
  2. Anyon, J. (2009). Theory and Educational Research: Toward Critical Social Explanation. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bakhtin, M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  4. Ball, S. J., & Olmedo, A. (2013). Care of the self, resistance and subjectivity under neoliberal governmentalities. Critical Studies in Education, 54(1), 85–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Banaji, S., Buckingham, D., & Burn, A. (2006). The Rhetorics of Creativity: A Review of the Literature. London: Institute of Education, Creative Partnerships, Arts Council England.Google Scholar
  6. Barker, C. (2011). Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  7. Barrs, M., & Horrocks, S. (2014). Educational Blogs and Their Effects on Pupils’ Writing. CFBT (Centre for British Teachers) & LCLC (London Connected Learning Centre).Google Scholar
  8. Bazalgette, C. (2008). Literacy in time and space. PoV: Journal of the Media Education Association, 1(1), 12–16. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  9. Benjamin, W. (1936). The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction [online]. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  10. BFI Education and Film Education. (2012). Film: 21st Century Literacy—Integrating Film into Education [online]. London: British Film Institute, Creative Skillset, Filmclub, Film Education, First Light. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  11. Bordwell, D., & Thompson, K. (2010). Film Art: An Introduction (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  12. Bruner, J. S. (2009/1960). The Process of Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Buckingham, D. (2003). Media Education: Literacy, Learning and Contemporary Culture. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  14. Buckingham, D. (2007). Beyond Technology: Children’s Learning in the Age of Digital Culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Burn, A. (2009a). Making New Media: Creative Production and Digital Literacies. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  16. Burn, A. (2009b, December). Culture, art, technology: Towards a poetics of media education [online]. Cultuur + Educatie, 26. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  17. Burn, A. (2013, June). Six arguments for the media arts: Screen education in the 21st century [online]. NATE: Teaching English, 2, 55–60. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from Also:
  18. Burn, A., & Durran, J. (2006). Digital anatomies: Analysis as production in media education. In D. Buckingham & R. Willett (Eds.), Digital Generations: Children, Young People, and the New Media (pp. 273–293). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Burn, A., & Durran, J. (2007). Media Literacy in Schools: Practice, Production and Progression. London: Paul Chapman.Google Scholar
  20. Cannon, M. (2011). Fashioning and Flow [online]. MA Dissertation, Institute of Education, London. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  21. Claxton, G. (1998). Investigating human intuition: Knowing without knowing why [online]. The Psychologist, 11, 217–220. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  22. Cousins, M. (2012). The Story of Film. London: Pavilion Books.Google Scholar
  23. Crafts Council. (2014). Our Future is in the Making [online]. London. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  24. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  25. Cultural Learning Alliance. (2011). ImagineNation—The Case for Cultural Learning [online]. London. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  26. Cultural Learning Alliance. (2014). STEM + ARTS = STEAM [online]. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  27. Dezuanni, M. (2014). The building blocks of digital media literacy, socio-material participation and the production of media knowledge. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1–24.Google Scholar
  28. Donaldson, S. (2014). Maximums and Minimums [online]. Film Literacy Advisory Group (FLAG) Blog. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  29. Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Eisner, E. (2005/1985). Aesthetic modes of knowing. In E. Eisner (Ed.), Reimagining Schools (pp. 95–104). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Eisner, E. (2005/1993). Forms of understanding and the future of educational research. In E. Eisner (Ed.), Reimagining Schools (pp. 150–162). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Fielding, M. (2004). Transformative approaches to student voice: Theoretical underpinnings, recalcitrant realities. British Educational Research Journal, 30(2), 295–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Freire, P. (1993/1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  34. Furstenau, M., & Mackenzie, A. (2009). The promise of ‘makeability’: Digital editing software and the structuring of everyday cinematic life. Visual Communication, 8(1), 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gibb, N. (2015a). The Purpose of Education [online]. Department for Education, London. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  36. Gibb, N. (2015b). Speech on government’s maths reforms [online]. In London Thames Maths Hub Primary Conference. London. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  37. Goodman, N. (1978). Ways of Worldmaking. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.Google Scholar
  38. Haas Dyson, A. (1997). Writing Superheroes: Contemporary Childhood, Popular Culture, and Classroom Literacy. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  39. Hearing, T. (2015). The Documentary Imagination: An Investigation into the Performative Application of Documentary Film in Scholarship. PhD Thesis, Bournemouth University.Google Scholar
  40. Heikkinen, H. L., Huttunen, R., & Syrjälä, L. (2007). Action research as narrative: Five principles for validation. Educational Action Research, 15(1), 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Joaquin, J. (2010). Digital literacies and hip hop texts. In D. Alvermann (Ed.), Adolescents’ Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture (pp. 109–124). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  42. Jones, K., with Hearing, T. (2013). Turning research into film: Trevor hearing in conversation with Kip Jones about the short film, RUFUS STONE. In M. Lichtman (Ed.), Qualitative Research for the Social Sciences (pp. 184–188). New York: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  43. Kendall, A., & McDougall, J. (2013). Telling stories out of school. In G. Merchant, J. Gillen, J. Marsh, & D. Julia (Eds.), Virtual Literacies: Interactive Spaces for Children and Young People (pp. 89–100). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Lanham, R. A. (1994). The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  45. Lardoux, X. (2014). For a European Film Education Policy [online]. Paris. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  46. Lather, P. (1991). Research as Praxis. In Getting Smart: Feminist Research and Pedagogy With/In the Postmodern (pp. 50–69). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  47. Lord, P., Jones, M., Harland, J., Bazalgette, C., Reid, M., Potter, J., et al. (2007). Special Effects: The Distinctiveness of Learning Outcomes in Relation to Moving Image Education Projects: Final Report [online]. London: Creative Partnerships. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  48. Luckin, R., Bligh, B., Manches, A., Ainsworth, S., Crook, C., & Noss, R. (2012). Decoding Learning: The Proof, Promise and Potential of Digital Education [online]. London: NESTA. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  49. Marsh, J. (2010). Childhood, Culture and Creativity: A Literature Review [online]. Newcastle. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from http://www.creativity
  50. McDougall, J. (2011). Media education after the media [online]. Manifesto for Media Education. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  51. McDougall, J. (2014). Curating media literacy: A porous expertise. Journal of Media Literacy, 16(1/2), 6–9.Google Scholar
  52. McDougall, J. (2016). “Mediapting” and curation: Research informed pedagogy for (digital) media education Praxis. In J. Frechette & R. Williams (Eds.), Media Education for a Digital Generation. New York: Routledge Section 20.Google Scholar
  53. McDougall, J., & Potter, J. (2015). Curating media learning: Towards a porous expertise. Journal of E-learning and Digital Media, 12(2), 199–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. McKee, H. (2005). Richard Lanham’s the electronic word and AT/THROUGH oscillations [online]. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, 5(1), 117–129. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  55. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1964). The film and the new psychology. In H. L. Dreyfus & P. A. Dreyfus (Eds.), Sense and Non-sense (pp. 48–59). Chicago: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Moll, L. C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory Into Practice, 31(2), 132–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Monaco, J. (2009). How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  58. New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Orr, S., & McDougall, J. (2014). Enquiry into learning and teaching in arts and creative practice. In E. Cleaver, M. Lintern, & M. McLinden (Eds.), Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Disciplinary Approaches to Research (pp. 162–177). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  60. Pendleton-Jullian, A. (2009). Design Education and Innovation Ecotones [online]. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  61. Potter, J. (2011). New literacies, new practices and learner research: Across the semi-permeable membrane between home and school. Lifelong Learning in Europe, 16(3), 174–181.Google Scholar
  62. Potter, J. (2012). Digital Media and Learner Identity: The New Curatorship. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Potter, J. (2015). Forward to the New Age of STEAM(M)! Digital Media, Education and Computing [online]. Media Literacy, Learning and Curating. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  64. Readman, M. (2010). What’s in a Word? The Discursive Construction of ‘Creativity’. PhD Thesis, Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP), University of Bournemouth, Bournemouth.Google Scholar
  65. Reid, A. (2007). The Two Virtuals: New Media and Composition. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.Google Scholar
  66. Reisz, K., & Millar, G. (2010). The Technique of Film Editing. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.Google Scholar
  67. Rogers, T., & Winters, K.-L. (2010). Textual play, satire, and counter discourses of street youth zining practices. In D. Alvermann (Ed.), Adolescents’ Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture (pp. 91–108). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  68. Rorabaugh, P. (2012). Digital Culture and Shifting Epistemology [online]. Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  69. Scott, D., & Usher, R. (2011). Researching Education: Data, Methods and Theory in Educational Inquiry (2nd ed.). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  70. Sefton-Green, J. (1998). ‘Writing’ Media: An Investigation of Practical Production in Media Education by Secondary School Students. PhD Thesis, Institute of Education, University of London, London.Google Scholar
  71. Sefton-Green, J. (2000). From creativity to cultural production. In J. Sefton-Green & R. Sinker (Eds.), Evaluating Creativity: Making and Learning by Young People (pp. 216–231). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  72. Selwyn, N. (2012). Making sense of young people, education and digital technology: The role of sociological theory. Oxford Review of Education, 38(1), 81–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Selwyn, N., Cranmer, S., & Potter, J. (2010). Primary Schools and ICT. Learning from Pupil Perspectives. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  74. Sennett, R. (2008). The Craftsman. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  75. Sherrington, T. (2013). From Plantation Thinking to Rainforest Thinking [online]. Retrieved May 20, 2018, from
  76. Sivek, S. C. (2011). ‘We need a showing of all hands’: Technological Utopianism in MAKE magazine [online]. Journal of Communication Enquiry, 35(3), 187–209. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from Scholar
  77. Smith, M. K. (2002/1997). Paulo Freire: Dialogue, Praxis and Education [online]. The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education. Retrieved August 17, 2015, from
  78. Street, B. (1984). Literacy in Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  79. Street, B. (1995). Social Literacies: Critical Approaches to Literacy in Development, Ethnography and Education. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  80. Street, B. (2003). What’s ‘new’ in new literacy studies? Critical approaches to literacy in theory and practice. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 5(2), 77–91.Google Scholar
  81. Thomson, P., Hall, C., Jones, K., & Sefton-Green, J. (2012). The Signature Pedagogies Project: Final Report [online]. London and Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Creativity, Culture and Education. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  82. Van Manen, M. (2008). Pedagogical sensitivity and teachers’ practical knowing-in-action. Peking University Education Review, 1, 2–20.Google Scholar
  83. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  84. Vygotsky, L. (2002/1933). Play and its Role in the Mental Development of the Child [online]. Psychology and Marxism Internet Archive. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  85. Watters, A. (2015). Ed-Tech Guide: What Should You Know About Education Technology? [online]. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from
  86. Waugh, C. (2016). Connecting text. In J. McDougall & P. Bennett (Eds.), Doing Text: Teaching Media After the Subject. Leighton Buzzard: Auteur.Google Scholar
  87. Williamson, B. (2017). Big Data in Education The Digital Future of Learning, Policy and Practice. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  88. Yandell, J. (2014). Classrooms as sites of curriculum delivery or meaning-making: Whose knowledge counts? Forum, 56(1), 147–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Cannon
    • 1
  1. 1.UCL Knowledge Lab, Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations