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Media Literacy is Elementary

Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media- Second Edition


Jeff Share

This book provides a practical and theoretical look at how media education can make learning and teaching more meaningful and transformative. This second edition includes more resources, photographs, and updated information as well as two new chapters: one exploring the pedagogical potential for using photography in the classroom and the other documenting a successful university course on critical media literacy for new teachers. The book explores the theoretical underpinnings of critical media literacy and analyzes a case study involving an elementary school that received a federal grant to integrate media literacy and the arts into the curriculum. Combining cultural studies with critical pedagogy, critical media literacy aims to expand the notion of literacy to include different forms of mass communication, information communication technologies, and popular culture, as well as deepen the potential of education to critically analyze relationships between media and audiences, information, and power. This book is a valuable addition to any education course or teacher preparation program that wants to promote twenty-first century literacy skills, social justice, civic participation, media education, or critical uses of technology. Communications classes will also find it useful as it explores and applies key concepts of cultural studies and media education.


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Foreword (Douglas Kellner)


foreword Douglas Kellner Jeff Share has long been an advocate of teaching critical media literacy to children and has seen the importance of making media studies an essential part of education from K–12 through the university level. An award- winning photojournalist whose work appeared in Life, Time, Newsweek, and many other publications, Share turned to public school teaching on the elemen- tary school level when he became disillusioned with journalism. Teaching a bilingual fourth grade class at Leo Politi Elementary School in downtown Los Angeles, Share began integrating media literacy concepts into his core curriculum. He taught his students how to look critically at images and the media that surround them. His students also became media makers and used cameras as tools to communicate their ideas and concerns with people out- side their classroom. Share’s fourth graders explored their community, their cultures, and their mediated lives as hands- on social studies researchers and language arts reporters. After 6 years of teaching, Share left the classroom to work on Project SMARTArt (Students using Media, Art, Reading, and Technology), a federal grant, training 23 teachers and artists at Leo Politi Elementary School from 2001 to 2004. xii media literacy is elementary After these years of teaching media literacy in the trenches of public schools, Jeff decided to get his PhD at UCLA in 2003, and I happily took him on as a student. Not surprisingly, Share wrote his PhD dissertation on Critical Media Literacy, which was concluded in 2006. During this...

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