Research & Theory

New Curriculum and Media Literacy

In 2007, Bennington College President Liz Coleman led a re-structuring of the entire curriculum. With its renewed focus on problem-solving and empowerment, Bennington is joining a growing number of educational institutions which are fashioning a curriculum radically different from what’s been taught in 20th century schools.  First, we survey the structure and curriculum at several schools to arrive at an overview of New Curriculum principles. Next, we reveal how media literacy instruction embodies them.

Monsters and Media Literacy

We discuss why zombies are relevant to the philosophy and purposes of media literacy education. In our second article, we focus on the pedagogical applications of horror texts, including media production and building students’ awareness of the role they play as media audiences.  

Media Violence

We survey media violence research, examine the debates that make media violence a “hot” topic, and explain why media literacy education is a game- changing strategy which re-frames the terms of debate.  

Media Violence and Media Relationships

We discuss the four effects of media violence, and review recent media effects research, as well as research supporting media literacy as an educational intervention.  In our second article, we apply theories of audience response to violent media to the American action film.  And we examine the possibility that media producers may be shaping audience views of what constitutes realistic media violence.  Also Conducting a Close Analysis of a media text teaches fundamental skills for media literacy. 

Media Literacy and Media Construction

Critical construction of media is a vital and necessary step towards digital citizenship and full participation in our media culture. In this issue, we discuss the benefits of critical media production programs for students, and demonstrate how they can be successfully implemented in K-12 schools. In our research section, we explore the theory and practice of critical media construction in schools, including the responsibilities implied by global distribution of student content. Media literacy pioneer Barry Duncan passed away in June.

Media Literacy and the Common Core

We present some of the basics for integrating media literacy education into the Common Core.  And we interview teacher educator Jeff Share from the UCLA Center X Teacher Education Program (and CML alumnus), who speaks to the possibilities for shaping implementation of the standards to meet the needs of media literacy educators.  

Media Literacy and Risk Assessment

Media literacy training helps consumers of all ages make reasoned, reflective decisions of all kinds in a society where media frequently supply our sources of information. Media literacy instruction helps us understand how media can affect us emotionally, how they can color our perceptions, and how they can shape our choices. Based on our years of experience in the field, many children don‘t believe that the media influence them at all. Yet research shows that media are a primary socializing agent in society.

Len Masterman and Big Ideas

In this issue of Connections, we examine the founding principles and ‘big ideas’ of media literacy which Len Masterman developed to prepare students for life in the 21st century.   The Voices of Media Literacy project includes interviews from international pioneers in the field.  

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