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Roads to travel: A historical look at African American contributions to instructional technology

, University of California, Berkeley, United States

University of California, Berkeley . Awarded


This research reveals critical moments in U.S. history where African Americans contributed to the field of Instructional Technology and the nature of those contributions. In particular, this study examines approaches to the design of instructional materials that are culturally and linguistically specific, to ascertain the needs of future instructional designs. Moreover, this research is undergirded by a desire to document the ways in which African Americans have been active participants in educating themselves and to support the inclusion of African American instructional materials into the field of Instructional Technology.

This analysis consisted of an examination of the products and processes involved in the design of instructional materials. The following products are analyzed on a macro level (using historical analysis) and on a micro level (using critical discourse analysis) to explore the social, political, cultural or economic climate that fostered the production of these materials: 1866, The Freedman's Torchlight (a newspaper/textbook); 1920–1921, The Brownies' Book (a children's periodical); and 1977, Bridge: A Cross-Culture Reading Program (a reading program). Then through field research, the developmental processes of creating instructional materials are examined through interviews with the designers of Bridge: A Cross-Culture Reading Program.

An analysis of the products of instructional technology and the process involved in creating instructional technologies offers insight into technologies' influence on the design and media of instruction and discloses the nature of culturally and linguistically specific instructional materials.

The results revealed that instructional technologies are used as tools in the design process and that they aid in the implementation of the designers' instructional vision. Moreover, the media of instruction are dictated by the available technologies in a given time period; that is, technology controls the form in which instructional technologies can be produced. In terms of the nature of culturally and linguistically specific instructional materials, this study disclosed consistencies in culture based ideologies among the three instructional materials. Furthermore, it exhibited the intricacies of African American culture as defined through instructional materials.


Young, P.A. Roads to travel: A historical look at African American contributions to instructional technology. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved April 21, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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