“Past the Point of Messing with it”: Exploring the Digital Video Composing Processes of an After-School Film Club
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This ethnographic case study explores the experiences of the Rolling Hills High (RHH) after-school Film Club as they engaged with film both as consumers and creators. Created by the students of RHH, the Film Club was a space in which they could explore the compositional process outside of academic pressures. Current educational research focused on the use of digital video (DV) in classrooms tends to place emphasis solely on students’ academic gains. This study adds to the scholarship by drawing attention to the ways that DV composition can provide students with opportunities to explore their identities and social positions. Observational data, including audio, video, interviews, fieldnotes, and artifacts, were collected over 9 months in an after school Film Club advised by RHH’s 9th grade ELA teacher, Johnson. Focal participants include Johnson, as well as DJ, Mortimer, and Ophelia, three student members of the club. Data reduction and analysis included open and thematic coding, as well as positioning theory analysis. These procedures allowed the researcher to explore the relationship between Johnson’s pedagogical stance, students’ composing processes, and shifts in identity positions as a result of their participation in Film Club. Findings reveal that Johnson’s pedagogical stance, as well as his contributions to the space of Film Club, created an opportunity for students to not only retain autonomy over their compositional choices and processes, but to also navigate their identities as composers of film. In addition, because of their membership and participation in Film club and its activities, DJ, Mortimer, and Ophelia experienced shifts in the way they positioned themselves both in and out of Film Club. This study highlights the ways that collaborative space and DV composition can be used in conjunction to positively support student exploration and autonomy.