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Friday, July 08, 2016

View Media with a Critical Lens

We must teach students to view the media with a critical lens?

How do we do this?

I want to think about this in the days ahead, but for starters, there are questions that lead this effort:

How many?

How often?

Who specifically?

How does this compare to other events in size, numbers, cause, effect?

What news is reported?

What news is not reported?

What's important to you, and is that reported in the media?

I can imagine media analysis exercises in schools--exercises where students compare multiple media outlets to notice what is reported and what is not reported. This analysis could also include the words used and visual images. There could be a comparison of television media versus radio versus print. Students could look at who watches/reads which media, and what the commercials are like. Who is the media targeting.

We need to teach students how to critically view their world in multiple ways. The more our students clearly understand the world around them and that which influences their worldview, the better they will be able to make good choices, contribute, and advocate for what is right and good for their lives and the lives of others.

What we teach and how we teach it is a critical factor all schools must consider. When we dilute our content and efforts, we diminish what's possible with regard to a good education. It's within our grasp in the United States to teach every child with great depth and breadth. It is a civil rights issue if some children are receiving rich, deep, inclusive educations while others are not--this is what our unions keep discussing as they work to keep the cap on charter schools, demand high quality educator credentials/training, and advocate for fair, just, and positive work environments, structures, schedules, compensation, and rights.

The potential for good is amazing. There is so much positivity already happening. Educators hold great potential for leading our students, communities, and country forward, but to do this well we must teach and bring a critical eye to the media and other institutions/organizations that discuss, make decisions about, and contribute to education.