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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 7. Teacher Education: A Launching Pad for Critical Media Literacy


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A Launching Pad for Critical Media Literacy

Teaching critical media literacy can seem like an overwhelming and difficult task (at least in my case) to take on. For me, this is because I haven’t seen it done very much, or at all really, in any elementary classes (until this year). This class convinced me that not only is critical media literacy necessary and important in student development, but also that it is do-able and accessible to me as an educator. (Castro, 2012)

As this pre-service teacher comments about the critical media literacy course she took in her teacher education program, it is crucial that new teachers are specifically taught how to teach their K–12 students these ideas. This means that schools of education responsible for training the new wave of teachers must be up to date, not just with the latest technology but, more importantly, with pedagogy that will help teachers and students think and act critically, with and about information communication technology (ICT), media, and popular culture. Unfortunately, there are few teacher education programs anywhere in the world that are teaching this (Hobbs, 2007). In Canada, where media literacy is mandatory in every grade from first to twelfth, most new teachers are not receiving media literacy training in their pre-service programs (Wilson & Duncan, 2009). Researchers investigating media education in the United Kingdom (the place where many of the ideas about media literacy first ← 171...

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