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Media Literacy is Elementary

Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media- Second Edition

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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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Chapter 3. Critical Media Literacy Is Not an Option: Overview of Media Education in the U.S. and Abroad

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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 consider 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 empowers students to create their own messages that can challenge ideological media texts and narratives. In the contemporary era of standardized high-stakes testing 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.

← 47 | 48 → In various areas across the U.S., dozens of organizations and individuals are teaching critical thinking skills about media to students, teachers, community members, inmates, health care professionals,...

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