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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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Chapter 6. Photography as Pedagogy with Praxis


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Digital photography provided young children with the opportunity to present their views “about things that matter” in a medium taken seriously by adults and older children, as demonstrated by positive responses from older students at the school and the enthusiastic comments from the Kindergarten parents about the “professional” look of the children’s photographs. (Schiller & Tillett, 2004)

Today, the camera is more than ever a powerful pedagogical tool because of its ubiquity in society, low price, ease of use, and democratic potential. What had for years been too expensive or difficult to utilize in the classroom is now an invaluable teaching aid that educators should integrate throughout their curricula and encourage students to analyze and use. Photographs have become so pervasive these days that neither adults nor children are accustomed to questioning the construction or bias of the pictures that surround them. When using a critical media literacy framework, photography can also support democratic pedagogy by providing teachers and students with a tool they can use to co-construct knowledge and create alternative representations of their world.

← 147 | 148 → The Power of Photography

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