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Educating Media Literacy

The Need for Critical Media Literacy in Teacher Education

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Allison T. Butler

Critical media literacy is a necessary part of young people’s education and can foster the space for a more thoroughly informed and involved citizenry. In order to make critical media literacy sustainable in K-12 classrooms, learning and application of it must begin with teachers, preferably during their formal schooling. Educating Media Literacy is a manifesto for the inclusion of media literacy in teacher education and, by extension, in K-12 classrooms. Through a discussion of critical media literacy’s aims and the role of teacher education in the United States, this book argues for the inclusion of critical media literacy in teacher education.

Educating Media Literacy addresses two separate topics – teacher education and media literacy – and illustrates how they are intertwined: The United States struggles simultaneously with how best to train and retain prospective teachers and how to foster a better understanding of mainstream media. These two struggles can join forces and move towards a solution through the following: The inclusion of critical media literacy in teacher education programs.

The Critical Media Literacy Guide

Engaging Media and Transforming Education

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Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share

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 Yet, most educational institutions are still teaching what and how they have for centuries, and are thus increasingly out-of-date and out-of-touch with our current needs.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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Edited by Christian Z. Goering and Paul L. Thomas

This edited collection is not a response to the 2016 United States Presidential Election so much as it is a response to the issues highlighted through that single event and since when incredibly smart, sophisticated, and intelligent members of our society were confused by misinformation campaigns. While media literacy and critical media literacy are ideas with long histories in formal education, including K-12 students and higher education, the need for increased attention to these issues has never reached a flash point like the present. The essays collected here are confrontations of post-truth, fake news, mainstream media, and traditional approaches to formal schooling. But there are no simple answers or quick fixes. Critical media literacy, we argue here, may well be the only thing between a free people and their freedom.

Democracy 2.0

Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement

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Edited by Paul R. Carr, Michael Hoechsmann and Gina Thésée

Participatory media 2.0 have shifted the terrain of public life. We are all—individually and collectively—able to produce and circulate media to a potentially limitless audience, and we are all, at minimum, arbiters of knowledge and information through the choices—or clicks—we make when online. In this new environment of two-way and multidimensional media flow, digital communication tools, platforms and spaces offer enormous potential for the cultivation, development and circulation of diverse and counter-hegemonic perspectives. It has also provoked a crisis of communication between oppositional “echo chambers.”

Democracy requires a functioning, critically-engaged and literate populace, one that can participate in, cultivate and shape, in meaningful and critical ways, the discourses and forms of the society in which it exists. Education for democracy, therefore, requires not only political literacy but also media and digital literacies, given the ubiquity and immersiveness of Media 2.0 in our lives.

In Democracy 2.0, we feature a series of evocative, international case studies that document the impact of alternative and community use of media, in general, and Web 2.0 in particular. The aim is to foster critical reflection on social realities, developing the context for coalition-building in support of social change and social justice. The chapters herein examine activist uses of social and visual media within a broad and critical frame, underpinning the potential of alternative and DIY (Do It Yourself) media to impact and help forge community relationships, to foster engagement in the civic and social life of citizens across the globe and, ultimately, to support thicker forms of democratic participation, engagement and conscientization, beyond electoralist, representative, normative democracy.

Cracking Facebook

The Importance of Understanding Technology-Based Communication

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Maria Leena Korpijaakko

This book presents a Facebook study on members of the Cusp Generation, or those born before the “great digital divide” of 1995. This delineation allows for a discussion on the possible socio-cultural implications of Facebook use for people of all ages. Members of the Cusp Generation are in a unique position as “part digital natives” to easily acquire and use new media technologies, while being more critically aware of the personal, social, and cultural effects that may arise from them thanks to having some memory of the pre-digital era. Drawing on identity theories rooted in critical theory and cultural studies, the author shows that there are potential constrictions on people’s agency in their Facebook use caused by consumer discourse, Facebook’s hyperreal nature and structure, psychological predispositions, and the potential for avatar attachment. In raising concerns over the impacts of technology-based communication, this book explores how the medium of Facebook extends and exacerbates processes of offline social reproduction and discusses how the positive social and political aspects of Facebook can be enhanced. The findings contribute to academic discussions in the fields of cultural studies and Education and can be applied to the development of critical media literacy for curriculum and pedagogy.

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James Trier

Guy Debord, the Situationist International, and the Revolutionary Spirit presents a history of the two avant-garde groups that French filmmaker and subversive strategist Guy Debord founded and led: the Lettrist International (1952–1957) and the Situationist International (1957–1972). Debord is popularly known for his classic book The Society of the Spectacle (1967), but his masterwork is the Situationist International (SI), which he fashioned into an international revolutionary avant-garde group that orchestrated student protests at the University of Strasbourg in 1966, contributed to student unrest at the University of Nanterre in 1967–1968, and played an important role in the occupations movement that brought French society to a standstill in May of 1968.

The book begins with a brief history of the Lettrist International that explores the group’s conceptualization and practice of the critical anti-art practice of détournement, as well as the subversive spatial practices of the dérive, psychogeography, and unitary urbanism. These practices, which became central to the Situationist International, anticipated many contemporary cultural practices, including culture jamming, critical media literacy, and critical public pedagogy. This book follows up the edited book Détournement as Pedagogical Praxis (Sense Publishers, 2014), and together they offer readers, particularly those in the field of Education, an introduction to the history, concepts, and critical practices of a group whose revolutionary spirit permeates contemporary culture, as can be seen in the political actions of Pussy Riot in Russia, the “yellow vest” protesters in France, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the striking teachers and student protesters on campuses throughout the U.S.

The Drama of Reality Television

Lives of Youth in Liquid Modern Times

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Danielle T. Ligocki

In The Drama of Reality Television: Lives of Youth in Liquid Modern Times, the author offers a glimpse into the lives, viewing habits, and opinions of today’s Generation Z. While reality television is quite often viewed as just a guilty pleasure, the conversations that the author had with young people show that reality television is a major pedagogical force in the lives of young viewers.

This is compounded by our current liquid modern time period; a time in which everything is fluid, there are no solid bonds and people are disposable. The author shares the incredible conversations that she had with seven honest, insightful pre-teenagers to give us a deeper understanding of the ways in which just a ‘guilty pleasure’ is working to deeply impact the lives of young people.

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Sherry Sacino

This volume constitutes a commentary on Article 17 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is part of the series, A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which provides an article by article analysis of all substantive, organizational and procedural provisions of the CRC and its two Optional Protocols. For every article, a comparison with related human rights provisions is made, followed by an in-depth exploration of the nature and scope of State obligations deriving from that article. The series constitutes an essential tool for actors in the field of children’s rights, including academics, students, judges, grassroots workers, governmental, non- governmental and international officers. The series is sponsored by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office.

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Holly J. Thornton

The impact a teacher has on students may be profound and lasting. Thus, teacher preparation is grounded in standards to assure that all teacher candidates know the content and have the skills needed to become good teachers. What makes a teacher great? The answer is not clear-cut or easily measured with tests. But we all know a great teacher when we see one. The best teachers have an It Factor that sets them apart from others. It is seemingly intangible and unteachable, as it’s often said that, “Some people are just born to be teachers.” This book challenges that assumption and uncovers the It Factor. Teacher and student voices helped to develop language and tools to examine how teachers are disposed to think and act and how this affects student learning. If we can identify what makes teachers great, we can teach it.

Students have a sea of information, opinions and messaging at their fingertips. They find themselves navigating through a myriad of facts and “alternative facts.” Opinions, beliefs, and fallacies share the same platform and status as well grounded information and vetted ideas, fueling tensions among individuals and distance between groups. Developing students who are caring, critical thinkers and problem-solvers may be more important now than ever. The teachers who are right for this challenge have more than content knowledge and teaching skills. To meet this challenge, teachers need to have “It,” that something inside that makes them not just good teachers, but great ones.