Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

James R. King, Ed.D.

Keywords

Performance, Multiliteracies, Design, Composition, Attention

Abstract

In this study, I used a lens of performance theory to examine the creative collaborative processes of middle school students who composed digital videos. More specifically, I investigated the multiliteracies involved in a filmmaking camp and how students performed those literacies in ways that influenced the composition processes and the resulting texts. In order to study collaborative composition processes, I used ethnographic methods. In order to analyze data, I employed a mixed methodology of constant comparative analysis and dramaturgical analysis of interactions in three main informant groups in order to understand how students used multiple literacies to influence the composition processes and products. During these processes, students employed tactics and style to gain authority over designing group attention to their ideas. This resulted in an overall model of PAID Attention (paying attention, attracting attention, immersing attention, and designing attention).

The use of influential literacies in this project was two-fold: students used literacies to influence texts, and as a result, those texts required the students' attention. Furthermore, when the students paid attention to the emerging task-at-hand, they were able to gain authority and agency for designing attention (to their texts by an audience) through influential performances of literacies. As found in this study, these patterns were not a solid package of cultural norms. Rather, the style emerged with the text and transformed with the different multiliteracies required during composition processes as students performed literacy knowledge. This study initiated an examination of influential literacy performances as the use of creative tactics during collaborative composition processes. I recommend further work examining multiliteracies as knowledge performances in a variety of settings in order to develop models to help students influence texts with their creative ideas and gain authority in collaborative groups.

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