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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.