There is very little contestation to the notion that media representations help manufacture our view and understanding of the world. This affects children and adolescents the hardest. A K-12 system of education must integrate teaching media literacy into its curriculum. How else can we in a multicultural global society teach our students about the ways in which power generates inequities and injustices? How else can we convey to the audiovisual generation that societal conditions are directly related to issues of race, class, and gender? Recent studies by Sut Jhally, Stuart Hall, bell hooks, Douglas Kellner, Henry Giroux, Robert McChesney, and Riane Eisler among others reveal the role mainstream media play in perpetuating these unjust conditions, hence helping with maintenance of Eurocentric-capitalist systems of power. Media literacy programs will enable students to look for alternative media, which can greatly help with creating a more diverse and democratic way of constructing images and worldview that could bring us closer to a just global society. We must accept and pronounce the fact that the media are a powerful form of pedagogy—a social force. Developing a media literacy program in K-12 schooling requires a deep understanding and a critical perspective of the pedagogical role media like television, popular music, cinema, and advertising play in our society. Consider the Internet. The Internet assimilates various media forms (e.g., books, music, film, animation, advertising, journalism, etc.) and in this cyber paradigm we have much pedagogy. The notion of net neutrality must be taken seriously and defended by educators and concerned citizens. My research is looking into ways in which we can create empowering models of media literacy and education to help our future teachers and civic leaders.
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