Bridging Media Literacy with Green Cultural Citizenship
Chapter One: Media, Environment, and Education
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Whether in the form of a lecture, participatory workshop, or online course, teaching is not only a kind of communication practice but is also a kind of media that involves choices about how to frame and communicate knowledge. A university based on lecture halls structures a particular communication approach, whereas outdoor classrooms or community gardens provide alternate pedagogical environments that allow for differing forms of mediation. In a formal educational setting that has strict standards and testing requirements, the curriculum’s parameters have to conform to the constraints of a particular classroom environment, including the subject matter of the course and the imposed requirements of the state. An informal setting, such as an after-school program or community arts center, affords different frameworks without the constraint of official standards.
Not surprisingly, there are similarities between education and media in how knowledge is conveyed, in particular how both have traditionally been seen as transmissive. The transmissive model is essentially linear: information moves from source to receiver, like a TV network broadcasting to a mass audience or an expert teacher lecturing to students. Transmissive education and mass media mirror industrial production and distribution. As linear systems, they reflect a 19th-century concept of knowledge in which information moves through Cartesian space. By contrast, media are now increasingly more networked and nonlinear, which in turn is leading to new educational practices.
Whether based on 19th-century or 21st-century practices, teaching and media are examples of meaning design: media and pedagogy are both efforts...
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