Journeying Beyond: Digital Storytelling with Rural Youth

Bea Staley

Abstract


This paper describes a digital storytelling project, completed with two classes of “non-college bound” Seniors at Shady Grove High School in the Midwestern United States. Using narrative inquiry as a methodological framework, student’s stories were examined and considered as meaningful contributions to current knowledge about issues in rural education. Three broad themes revealed themselves in the student’s work: 1. High school is viewed solely as a pipeline to college, 2. High school is not seen as “useful” or meaningful for students with career aspirations that do not require a four-year college degree, and 3. High school is mediated through the relationships formed there (teacher and peer). This project revealed the complex and complicated ways in which one group of rural students engaged with digital literacies to reflect on who they are, how they see themselves, and how they view their educational experiences connecting to their future selves.

Keywords


rural youth; adolesence; high school; narrative inquiry; digital storytelling

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