Teaching Critical Visual Literacies through #Selfies

  • Janette Hughes
  • Laura Morrison
Keywords: visual literacies, digital literacies, language arts, Critical Visual Literacies, 21st Century skills, digital citizenship, global competencies


This qualitative, ethnographic case study investigated the use of selfies in the development of middle school students’ critical visual literacy skills in the digital age. The data collected included the students’ selfies and the video/ photo recordings of the students during their selfie creation and analysis processes. Data was coded thematically (Charmaz) and analyzed using critical visual methods discussed in Rose’s An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials and also using visual narrative analysis (Riessman), with a focus on creative production, community sharing, and critical deconstruction. Findings from the study indicate that a lesson on selfies can encourage reflection, critical thinking, and effective communication—twenty-first-century skills and competencies.


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2018.0015

Author Biographies

Janette Hughes

Janette Hughes is Professor and Canada Research Chair, Technology and Pedagogy, in the Faculty of Education. Her research focuses on maker pedagogies and critical digital literacies. She is the recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Early Researcher Award and the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence Award.

Laura Morrison

Laura Morrison is a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education. She is also the project manager of research for Dr. Janette Hughes’ STEAM-3D lab. Laura completed her Master of Arts with a focus on the impact of digital literacies in education, and she is currently completing her Ed.D. at the University of Calgary.

How to Cite
Hughes, J., & Morrison, L. (2019). Teaching Critical Visual Literacies through #Selfies. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 10(2), 9-41. Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/427