By Renee Hobbs
Media Literacy IN ACTION
Questioning the Media
HOW DO PEOPLE BECOME MEDIA LITERATE?
Consider how people use the process of asking critical questions about media to deepen their active participation in society and culture
Understand why media literacy is a expanded conceptualization of literacy that involves many types of reading and writing practices with print, visual, audio and digital texts, tools, and technologies
Examine how media literacy changes in response to changes in technology, culture, and society
Appreciate how media literacy education supports public,health and global citizenship
People develop intellectual curiosity by asking critical questions
and creating media, in and out of school
CREATE TO LEARN
Conduct an Interview
How do educators and learners in your community understand the value of media literacy education? Working individually or with a partner, interview someone who has experience in either media or education: this might be a former teacher, a librarian, a local journalist, graphic designer, YouTuber, musician, or someone else.
Create a list of five questions to ask before you conduct the interview, using some of the concepts from this chapter to guide your inquiry. Listen carefully to each answer and ask a follow-up question that deepens the quality of the information you receive. Use your cell phone voice recorder to make a simple recording and if you like, add an opening introduction with music, transitions in between the questions, and a thoughtful conclusion. Upload your audio or video recording and use the #MLAction hashtag to share your work with a global community of media literacy learners.
I'M AN ORIGINAL CATCHPHRASE
REFLECT ON THE 7 GREAT DEBATES
What is your opinion on the “great debates” of media literacy education? Consider one or more of the great debates of media literacy below and provide your point of view using
reasoning and evidence.
1. Should media literacy be designed to protect students from negative media influence?
2. Should media production be an essential element of media literacy education?
3. Should media literacy focus on popular culture texts?
4. Should media literacy have a more explicit political and ideological agenda?
5. Should media literacy concentrate on reaching students in formal public educational environments or work instead with people outside of school?
6. Should media literacy be a specialist subject or integrated into existing curriculum?
7. Should media literacy be supported financially by media and technology businesses?
After you identify the question you are addressing, share your thoughts in a brief oral presentation. You can also view and respond to comments of other people who have offered thoughtful reflections on the great debates in media literacy education. You can even pose new questions needed to advance the future of media literacy education.
"I am not interested in the slightest in students replicating the views of their teachers (though this is precisely what is aimed for in many other subjects). What I have advocated over my professional lifetime is the importance of students’ developing their own critical autonomy, by having access to a wide range of critical questions to which they will have to provide their own answers. Media education is nothing if it is not an education for life."
--Len Masterman, 2010
Learn more about how Len Masterman influenced a generation of media literacy educators, researchers & activists