Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media- Second Edition
Chapter 3. Critical Media Literacy Is Not an Option: Overview of Media Education in the U.S. and Abroad
· 3 · critical media literacy is not an option Overview of Media Education in the U.S. and Abroad For most of the 54 million students in kindergarten through high school in the U.S., critical media literacy is not an option because it is not available; it is not even on the radar. Unlike educators in Canada, Great Britain, and Australia, many in the U.S. are not informed enough about media literacy to even con- sider it. Yet, in today’s multimedia world, it is insufficient to teach literacy that only addresses traditional concepts of print while ignoring the other major ways we engage with, receive, process, and create images and information. Critical media literacy is an educational response that expands the notion of literacy to include different forms of mass communication, popular culture, and new technologies as well as deepens the potential of literacy education to critically analyze relationships between media and audiences, information and power. Along with this critical analysis, alternative media production empow- ers students to create their own messages that can challenge ideological media texts and narratives. In the contemporary era of standardized high- stakes test- ing and corporate solicitations in public education, the question we must ask is not whether critical media literacy should be taught, but instead, how it should be taught. 48 media literacy is elementary In various areas across the U.S., dozens of organizations and individuals are teaching critical thinking skills about media to students, teachers, com- munity members, inmates, health care professionals, and others....
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