MST Times

Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Newsletter

CCTE Almuni Spotlight: Dr. Tiffany DeJaynes, Communication and Education, Ed. D. 2010

By • Jan 30th, 2013 • Category: Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design

Dr. Tiffany DeJaynes

Dr. Tiffany DeJaynes, Communication and Education, 2010, focused her doctoral research on adolescent literacies through the lens of multimodal pedagogies and digital technologies.  Before attending Teachers College, Dr. DeJaynes, a native of Kansas City, MO, earned an M.A. in English in Language, Literature, and Composition from the University of Kansas.

Currently, she teaches qualitative research at Millennium Brooklyn High School, a public school focused on project-based inquiry. Dr. DeJaynes also teaches an action research course for literacy educators in the Transformative Literacy Program at CUNY’s City College of New York.

Dr. DeJaynes chose the doctoral program at TC because it offered a significant research community and faculty with a variety of interests, as well as the opportunity for interdisciplinary study. She says, “I was able to meet my research needs because there is so much activity and many interesting things going on.” TC offered her a network of inspiring colleagues doing innovative education and literacy work around the world.

As a student, she ran the Graduate Writing Center at Teachers College for three years. Additionally, she consulted with The Center for Technology and School Change and Secondary Literacy Institute , mentoring new and experienced teachers across content areas.

“Two people who for me have been incredible advocates and mentors for me throughout my time at TC and beyond that time are Professor Lalitha Vasudevan and Professor Ellen Meier.” With Professor Vasudevan, her dissertation sponsor, she remains in conversation about youth and learning in co-authored and co-edited publications. With Professor Meier, she continues to discuss pedagogical and leadership work that needs to be happening in public schools and advocates for public school change.

Her dissertation Knowing Ourselves and Making Ourselves Known: Exploring Multimodal Literacies and Learning with Adolescents, a practitioner inquiry study with adolescents, examined writing and storytelling through a multimodal lens.  In her work, she engaged her students in music projects, blogging, social media, photography and filmmaking, considering how to build more multimodal pedagogies into everyday classroom work.

She has taught two graduate courses at TC – Culture, Media, and Education and Social Aspects of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs).

Her research interests include adolescent literacies with a focus on digital technologies and multimodal pedagogies. She says, “I am particularly concerned with how we bring new ways of learning into the classroom, through arts and creative media making, like photography, film making, and social media.”

Researching Adolescents Literacies Multimodally

She is also interested in arts and justice.  Dr. DeJaynes recently completed a book project, Arts, Media, and Justice: Multimodal Explorations with Youth, co-edited with Dr. Vasudevan, published by Peter Lang, Spring 2013.  The collection explores multiple educational studies with court-involved youth. Chapters examine multimodal pedagogies and meaning-making practices in spaces that include theater, filmmaking, and photography.

From doing qualitative work through a digital lens with young people, Dr. DeJaynes has begun to think about the changing nature of ethnographic research, specifically, how ethnographic methodologies can be developed and used to study literacies across spaces. This thread of inquiry is explored in a recent chapter with Dr. Vasudevan entitled Researching Adolescents Literacies Multimodally, published in the Sage Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses. It examines the evolving landscape of qualitative inquiry by reflecting on each of their digital dissertation studies.  In her current research course with high school students, she is developing participatory frameworks for doing ethnographic work with adolescents.

Dr. DeJaynes regularly presents in the American Educational Research Association (AERA) special interest group on Writing and Literacies.  This spring she will be presenting Composing in Mediated Spaces as part of a panel on multimodal play.

In addition, she researches with Girls Write Now, a writing and mentoring program for young women, on narrative gaming and digital publishing.  She also continues organizational support with Caras Alegres, an educational non-profit she worked with while living Guatemala.

While Dr. DeJaynes maintains an active research practice and professional career, she finds time to engage in activities of interest such as game design and web design. Her close friends and family would describe her as having a creative spirit and an endless energy for new ideas.



By Deiana Jackson, Graduate Student, Mathematics Education Ed.D.

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