Pop Culture Pedagogies: Process and Praxis

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A Journal of the American Educational Studies Association




As Miller (1999) explained, “it is increasingly important for educators to take seriously the processes by which media texts are produced and disseminated, and to understand the ways in which media images and constructions pervade all our lives” (p. 234). Taking popular culture seriously means making a purposeful commitment to bring popular culture into the classroom. Rather than scripted instructional strategies based on generalized research, context-driven critical approaches are needed to empower particular learners to engage with popular culture in in meaningful ways. However, an understanding of popular culture and its pedagogical functions is necessary to provide a foundation for developing these approaches to bringing popular culture texts into classrooms. Toward that end, in this article, we explore the depth and breadth of contemporary popular culture, describe some of the ways that popular culture functions pedagogically, and outline a framework for self-study that, when practiced by educators, can serve as a locus for instructional decision-making and a catalyst for enacting critical teaching and learning approaches we call “pop culture pedagogies.”