The Critical Media Literacy Guide

Engaging Media and Transforming Education


Over half the world’s population is now online, interconnected through a globally-networked media and consumer society. The convergence of information, media, and technology has created the predominant ecosystem of our time. Yet, most educational institutions are still teaching what and how they have for centuries, and are thus increasingly out-of-date and out-of-touch with our current needs. The Critical Media Literacy Guide: Engaging Media and Transforming Education provides a theoretical framework and practical applications for educators and teacher education programs to transform education by putting critical media literacy into action in classrooms with students from kindergarten to university. Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share lay out the evolution of thinking and development of media and cultural studies, from the Frankfurt School to current intersectional theories about information and power that highlight the importance of race, gender, class, and sexuality. They provide insightful and accessible entry into theorizing education and information communication technologies through linking the politics of representation with critical pedagogy.

The increase in fake news, alternative facts, bots, and trolls, challenge our abilities to judge credibility and recognize bias. Kellner and Share present a critical lens and strategies to contextualize and analyze the dominant ideologies going viral across social media platforms and disseminated globally from enormous transnational corporations. The Critical Media Literacy Guide is a powerful resource to analyze and challenge representations and narratives of multiple forms of identity, privilege, and oppression. Since the struggle for social justice and democracy require new theories and pedagogies to maneuverer the constantly changing terrain, this book is essential for all educators.

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Douglas Kellner, Ph.D. (1973), is George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and is author of many books on social theory, politics, history, and culture. His most recent books are American Nightmare: Donald Trump, Media Spectacle, and Authoritarian Populism (Sense Publishers, 2016); and The American Horror Show: Election 2016 and the Ascendency of Donald J. Trump (Sense Publishers, 2017).

Jeff Share, Ph.D. (2006), University of California, Los Angeles, is a Faculty Advisor in the Teacher Education Program. He has published and taught widely about critical media literacy, including Media Literacy is Elementary: Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media (Peter Lang, 2015).
Allan Luke

1 Towards Critical Digital & Media Literacies
 Media Literacy: An Unfulfilled Challenge
 Overview of Critical Media Literacy
 Pedagogical Antecedents of Critical Media Literacy
 Reconstructing Critical Media Literacy in the 21st Century
 New Technologies/New Literacies
 Media, Power, and Ideology

2 Ideology & the Politics of Representation
 Standpoint Epistemologies
 Questioning Power
 Representations of Class
 Looking Closely at Race and Racism
 Problematizing Gender & Sexuality

3 Putting Theory into Practice
 Teaching & Learning in an Image-Based Culture
 Everyone Today Is a Photographer
 Aural Literacy
 Multimodal Literacy
 The Dynamics of Digital and Networked Media
 Learning CML through Media Production & Praxis

4 Preparing Educators to Teach Critical Media Literacy
 Teaching Teachers CML
 Exploring Identity & Media Representations
 Engaging Race and Gender
 Challenging Advertising and Consumerism
 Creating Critical Media Literacy Lessons
 Social Media and Partnering Pedagogy
 Lights, Sound, and Multimedia Action
 Challenges for Creating Social Justice Educators

5 Environmental Justice Is Social Justice
 News Reporting on Environmental Problems
 Fake News & Climate Change
 Creating Media to Challenge the Problems
 The Power of Visual Imagery
 Fedora Schooler, Middle School English/Social Studies Teacher
 Nick Kello, Elementary School Music Teacher
 Using Digital Media to Participate in Civic Society

6 Concluding Thoughts
 Challenging the Myths of Neutrality and Objectivity
 Fostering Democracy and Global Citizenship

People interested in The Critical Media Literacy Guide are K12 teachers, university students and professors studying education, cultural studies, critical pedagogy, information studies, and teacher education. Also, anyone interested in media and cultural studies.
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