Transforming Students: Identity, Media Creativity and Environment Issues in the Everyday Lives of Secondary School Students in Malaysia
In the current turbulent times, young people growing up with new media in Malaysia face very challenging moments in making choices about their lives. Apart from the obligations of study and chasing A-grades, students in Malaysia are also grappling with different views and struggles of local and world communities in enhancing environment awareness. In this paper we report the findings of a study that emphasised new media literacy and environment awareness among secondary students - giving attention to engaging with new media in a participatory way. More specifically, the ways the students author their identities and their own narratives within the complex learning Malaysian setting reveal some of the ways which complicate the identity issues linked to their interests of “glamour” and “celebrity” with those creative expressions that they believe will contribute seriously to the enhancement of their environment awareness. Of particular interest is the ways the students become content producers, using their artistic, musical, dramatic, and other talents to deliver vital information to the community. We argue that providing media spaces for students will not only allow them to use their creative talents, arts and performances but also draw attention to situated learning practices, social media literacies, and mobilized forms of media engagement that are deemed as essential skills of the present learning milieu.
Shanthi Balraj Baboo
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Dr. Ambigapathy Pandian
Professor/Dean, School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, Universiti Sains Malaysia