Access Denied: How Internet Filters Impact Student Learning in High Schools

by Lynn Sutton

Table of Contents




List of Figures

Chapter One – Introduction

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Study

Chapter Two – Framing the Question: A Review of the Relevant Literature

Internet Use in Schools

School Media Centers

The Digital Divide

Filtering Technology

How Filters Work

First Amendment Issues

Intellectual Freedom in Libraries

Where is the Harm?

Summary of Literature Review

Research Questions

Chapter Three – Methodology

Rationale for Qualitative Methodology

Site Selection

Participant Selection

Role of the Researcher

Data Collection

Data Analysis


Prolonged Engagement


Referential Adequacy

Reflexive Journal


Significance (Implications for Leadership)

Chapter Four – Internet Searching at Lakeside High

A Tale from the Field: Julie and the MPAA


Class Profiles

Rhetoric Class

Basic Composition Class

Central Issues for Filtered Internet Use



Getting Around the Filter

How Students Feel About Blocking

Overall Assessment of the Filter

Alternate Solutions

Answers to Research Questions

Nature of Internet Use

What is the Nature of Internet use for Term Paper Research?

Who are the Actors?

What is the Setting?

What are the Activities?

To what Extent is there a Digital Divide in the School?

Evaluation of Internet Use with Filters

What Sorts of Barriers to Legitimate Information Exist with Filtered Computers?

How do Students Overcome these Barriers?

To What Extent do Outside Influences Reach into The Day-to-Day Library Research of Students?

Intellectual Freedom Issues

To what Extent does Filtering Infringe on Students’ First Amendment Rights?

Do Inadvertent Contacts with Controversial Material Harm Students?

Chapter Five – Implications and Suggestions for Further Research

Summary of Findings

Implications for Policy and Practice

Guidelines for Decision Making

Prospects for Generalizability

Suggestions for Further Research


Appendix A – Recruitment Script

Appendix B – Guidelines for Student E-mail Assignment of Internet Search Experiences

Appendix C – Protocol for Focus Group Interviews with Students

Appendix D – Interview Protocol for Teachers

Appendix E – Interview Protocol for Librarians/Media Specialists

Appendix F – Interview Protocol for Technology Director

Appendix G – Data Sources

Appendix H – Profile of Bess Filter




© Cambria Press, 2020. Innovative Publisher of Academic Research. /About Us/ Contact Us/ Privacy.