Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Media Studies

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Amanda Grzyb

Abstract

This thesis investigates whether or not the Ontario English as a Second Language/English Literacy Development (ESL/ELD) curriculum imparts the critical literacy skills necessary for students to deconstruct the multimedia messages with which the contemporary world is saturated, in order to function as informed, agentic citizens of Ontario society. Using foundations of cultural theory, radical critical pedagogy, and critical race theory, particularly the work of James Paul Gee, Henry A. Giroux, Paulo Freire and Michael Apple, this thesis explores the ways in which the current ESL/ELD curriculum can be found lacking due to its enforcement of the banking model of education, which devalues student experience and enforces dominant Western ideologies. The final chapter recommends an experiential, media literacy-based curriculum that validates student experience and empowers students to become both critics and producers of media texts and culture writ large.