Theses Doctoral

A Critical Analysis of Youth and Adult Discourses about the Transition to High School on TikTok, School Websites, and in Counseling Texts

Shanahan, James M.

This qualitative dissertation conducted a critical discourse analysis of youth and adult discourses about the transition to high school. Despite being a well-researched field, studies of the transition to high school and interventions in the transition to high school do not prioritize youth perspectives. To remedy this shortcoming and examine youth discourses, I collected data from youth giving advice about beginning high school on TikTok.

By conducting a critical discourse analysis of these videos and comparing discourses from school website data and school counseling textbooks, I developed findings that showcase the complexities of the transition to high school and call into question views based solely on academic measures. Youth and adult discourses agree that timeliness, organization, and self-knowledge are important for a successful transition. Youth discourses uniquely focus on advice to avoid relational violence and present an ambivalent view of friendship. Discourses of school tours that showcase amenities and serve as advertising for the school are uniquely adult. I used these findings to theorize the transition to high school as a curriculum and call for a vision of youth and adults co-creating the transition-as-curriculum.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Curriculum and Teaching
Thesis Advisors
Friedrich, Dani
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
May 22, 2024