Ana Cruz and Joachim Dorsch
In this ‘post-truth’ era with instantly spreading fake news and alternative facts, intentional production of ignorance and manufactured disinformation, the rapid erosion of digital privacy, coupled with a retreat of individuals to a life in cyberspace, the need for a critical media literacy education is more urgent than ever. Being oblivious regarding these threats to the digitally networked society is not an option since the future of humankind and the survival of a viable democracy are at stake. Revamping the curriculum to include a core course on critical media literacy at the college entry-level will constitute an important step in combatting these threats and supporting a democratic society. The current historical juncture is a time of disquiet, as espoused by Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935), of restlessness and uncertainty everywhere. Critical media literacy remains the only hope in order to develop an understanding of what is happening in the rapidly changing and evolving digitally networked society. It is through a robust critical media literacy education that we will be able to learn how media is transforming not only our social world but our inner world as well.
Mary Frances Agnello and Cherie Brown
A look at a Facebook exchange about bilingual education and bilingualism prior to the last presidential election led to a polarization of bilingual empathizers with teaching backgrounds versus political conservatives promoting a pro-reactionary political agenda. Verbal jousting led to the exercise of power in racist, sexist, and classist discourses. The emergent problem of such exchanges appears to be to what degree we might consider engaging with naysayers in purposeful dialog if there is little hope of changing minds with facts. After several readings of the threaded and asynchronous conversation that ensued around postings involving the theme of acceptance of bilingual people in the U.S., three ideological impasses were found in the dialogue—attempts to be logical and open versus closed commentary with no room for discussion; attempts to consider history and current economic contexts in the U.S. versus dismissive sexist (as well as racist and classist) statements that demonize non-English speakers; and with political naysayers’ claiming bilingual education is expensive and unnecessary versus the view that bilingual education is a way forward for non-native English speakers.
In this article, teacher mobilizations in 2018–2019 are presented and analyzed as a form of critical public pedagogy. Critical public pedagogy is an important theoretical framework to understand educator radicalization in the United States, in the context of the ongoing capitalist assault on public education, increased authoritarianism, the growing climate of hostility inside and outside schools, coupled with the emboldened rhetoric of hate and bigotry that is legitimized by the highest office in the nation.
Peter Westman and Julian McDougall
As Poveda, Thomson and Ferro (2018) observe, there is a momentum in ethnographic explorations of the arts in education in which “an increasing number of researchers have turned their attention to expressive practices and artistic spaces as contexts and tools for learning, identity construction and social mobilization (p. 269).” However, the distinction between ethnography of education and education by ethnography – i.e. an ethnographic pedagogy – is at least partly maintained within this momentum.
This research attempted an ethnographic approach to pedagogy, utilising digital media literacy for creative production, to facilitate new ways for students to critically engage with their own lived experiences in relation to their participation in formal ‘schooled’ learning. The pedagogic value of this type of ethnographic approach was assessed over two years of participatory fieldwork with three secondary schools and one further education college in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom, working with teachers in multiple curricular areas using ‘low-tech’ media literacy work with students. Our findings suggest that while there are clear benefits presented by this (digital) ethnographic pedagogy, for it to work in media literacy education there is a need for the creation of critical, dynamic “third spaces” (Bhabha 1994) for students to work in. The creation of these spaces is highly contingent on the respective classification and framing (Bernstein 1975) of the subject curriculum.
This research developed out of a series of ethnographic interventions into digital media education, including a European Union funded project on ethnographic social documentary as a transferable pedagogic tool (McDougall 2013) and a large scale field review of third space media literacies (Potter and McDougall 2017, see also McDougall et al. 2018). To apply this conceptual framing to a specific pedagogic context over a longer time period, the research aimed to address the following research questions:
- 1.What pedagogical value is afforded by the use of ethnographic digital media making as a tool for creative production and critically reflexive media literacy?
- 2.How can ethnographic pedagogy, in the form of creative digital media production, enhance participation in classroom learning?
- 3.What is the potential for ‘low-tech’ creative production to transgress boundaries between curriculum areas and modes of literacy, learning and teaching?
- 4.How can ethnographic digital media-making give ‘voice’ to learners and how is ‘voice’ socio-culturally framed within pedagogic and research discourses?
Aristotelis S. Gkiolmas and Anthimos Chalkidis
In the current work, the intrinsic intertwining between Scientific Literacy and Critical Media Literacy is presented and scrutinized. The two kinds of Literacy do converge in many cases, while in others the one is a prerequisite for the other. The whole interconnection is, naturally, examined from an educational point of view, and especially the perspective of critical pedagogy is emphasized, on how these two kinds of literacy could strengthen and deepen one another even more, by pointing to certain methodological and educational praxis suggestions. A double “route” of opposing directions is presented, the route from Scientific Literacy to Critical Media Literacy and the route vice versa.
Allison Butler PhD
This article, part of a larger project, argues that critical media literacy is needed in teacher education. For critical media literacy to be sustainable, it needs a more structured starting point. The argument of this piece is that the starting point should be in teacher education. Tracing the state of media literacy and discussing the ‘critical’ of critical media literacy, this essay highlights that teacher training in critical media literacy will help propel the work of critical media literacy in the United States, will strengthen education and make it more relevant for teachers and students, and will make the work of inclusion of media literacy part of, not an addition to, teachers’ curriculum development and lesson planning.
Brian Lozenski and Guy Chinang
In this article the authors make an argument for a critical race media literacy that is attuned to the ways in which popular media are used to adhere media consumers to a taken for granted US national identity. Using the concept of “black narrative commodities”, the article suggests that black pain and/or black visibility become filters through which black lives are brought into a nationalist framing. The article uses three popular media commodities to illustrate how how pain and visibility mask a nationalist agenda, including: (1) the videotaped killing of Eric Garner, (2) the book The New Jim Crow and the film 13th: An Original Netflix Documentary, and (3) the movie Black Panther. The authors suggest that critical media literacy absent a cogent and principled interrogation of the interplay between race, class, and the nation-State is incomplete.
William M. Reynolds and Brad Porfilio
Vonzell Agosto, Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ashley White, Tanetha Grosland and Allan Feldman
We center three publicly accessible images: (1) Am I not a Man and a Brother? (1787), (2) Colin Kaepernick (2017) “Taking a Knee”, (3) Mother McDowell of the Black Student in Florida Admonished for “Taking a Knee” in school (2017). The photograph of mother McDowell is included, rather than her son, who she wanted to remain anonymous across media outlets. We draw primarily from publicly accessible media and scholarship available via the Internet (museums, newscasts, scholarly repositories) to provide a composite of kneeling discourse and counter-narratives related to race (i.e., anti-slavery, abolition, anti-racism protests) and proper behavior. Each image is situated within literature supporting analysis through concepts (time, race) visual, and textual information. Rather than detailing the images, we focus on the surrounding narratives, contemporary readings, redactions, and annotations (we create or relate to) to consider emotions as part of the context, impetus, and force behind the actions captured in them. We juxtapose, redact, and critique images and texts associated with kneeling/taking a knee by men and boys racialized as Black, but not exclusively., as the practices we illustrate in response to structural racism (i.e., discipline in schools) also bring attention to events involving other students: a Black girl and an Indigenous (Inuit) boy.