Making Curriculum Pop

Media Education/Literacy


Media Education/Literacy

I'm partial to Media Education, but the more popular conceptualization of these issues is Media Literacy. Join here do discuss these educational movements.

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Latest Activity: May 1, 2019

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Comment by Mary Phillips on April 18, 2012 at 7:33am

Oh, goodness! Please don't tell him I misquoted him. Yikes! I'm in my capstone, and I'm having a hard time keeping all the greats I've read straight. When I think of helping students see media through an ecological perspective, I think Bowers' work is a good start; but it sounds as though I am preaching to the choir. Before I get moderated, I'll cut this here. Next? ;-)

Comment by Antonio Lopez on April 18, 2012 at 3:18am

Mary, yes, I know Chet very well. He was on my PhD committee. He has been a great inspiration.

Comment by Mary Phillips on April 17, 2012 at 5:04pm

Oh yes, wow. Burke .... Bowers. Oops! So sorry, Mr. Bowers! Am I even close to what you were thinking? I feel like his arguments embody the argument of bringing an ecological perspective to education.

Comment by Antonio Lopez on April 17, 2012 at 2:54am

Mary, are you referring to Chet Bowers' Mindful Conservatism?

Comment by Antonio Lopez on April 17, 2012 at 2:50am

Mary,,thanks for your comment. There are basically no resources for incorporating ecology into media literacy (Project Looksharp has a few environmentally themed curricula, but I don't find them radically ecological in the sense of rethinking how we map and engage the world). It is for this reason I am developing a curriculum and will soon be testing it. If you are interested in being a "beta tester" please email me and I will put you on the list for when I announce the training: Also, thanks for the Burkes recommendation. I will check it out.

Comment by Mary Phillips on April 16, 2012 at 9:42pm


I agree that an ecological perspective is one not often taught to our students. Indeed, it is not even a consideration outside of the Earth Day reduce/reuse/recycle mantra. Sadly, we do not do enough to help students understand how our society is largely fabricated on instant-gratification and progress is good. Couple these values with forced obsolescence and you have the trifecta for a society that is ecologically unsustainable. Unless students understand where the messages come from (these values that if it's broke, I throw it away, if it's old, I throw it away, if it's not current, I throw it away), they cannot truly begin to make an impact! For this reason, I like a little bit of Burke's Mindful Conservatism thrown in the blender with a healthy dose of critical media literacy ... We need to help students see the structures that have created the society that we live in. Only by understanding how we have created a disposable society can we see how very important it is to talk back to that value and find ways to make a real impact. It has to go deeper than reduce, reuse, recycle. I hope I'm on the same page as you; I feel I am, but in this way I think it's really important that media literacy be a part of the ecology conversation. I wish I had resources to share, but truthfully, it's the first I've really thought about the connections between Burke and media literacy. Perhaps a very small place to start is by simply talking about packaging ... vast amounts of waste as the cost of "effective" marketing.

Comment by Dianna Morton on March 4, 2012 at 6:54pm

I am the radical in the room without apology-- we cannot out fight them (the industrial capitalists)-- they invented that kind of death-- but we can outhink them  (John Trudell DNA). Yes. I want children to think. And I try to shed some light on the fact that the industrial capitalists are mining them. Their minds, their souls, their lives. This is very much connected with Antonio's desire to teach ML as mediacology-- also-- the digital natives are just that-- they were born post revolution and swim in the waters of the digital world. If they have the tools-- they know how to create and therefore construct/deconstruct-- without much assistance.

Comment by Antonio Lopez on March 4, 2012 at 4:52am

Faith, I agree with the point that students need to learn how to learn. When ever possible I think we need to encourage that. From an environmental perspective, how does one get students (and educators for that matter) to see that education also teaches ecological worldviews (whether exploitative or sustainable)? If any of you are scratching your head about what I mean, then you can see how difficult it is to think about how crucial the relationship between ecology and media really is. Gregory Bateson was one of the few scholars who saw beyond the separation of ecology from all the other disciplines, and he pointed out that people who don't see themselves as ecological animals cannot be expected to spontaneously come to this awareness. It requires an intervention, and considering the scale of our global ecological crisis, this intervention will need to be massive. Now, I do believe there are ways to teach students how to see how environmental worldviews are embedded into media, but to learn how to see that is no simple trick, and at points requires some explanation, because ecological awareness is pretty much outside the paradigm of most education, and in particular media literacy. Just to give a quick example before I go. I gave a presentation at a major media education conference in London last year, but only four people went to it. Next door there was a presentation about Facebook, which had a full house of over a hundred people.

Comment by Dianna Morton on March 3, 2012 at 8:58pm

Also-- yes! I do teach from the bias perspective of social and economic justice.

I incorporate curriculum from Teaching Tolerance into ML courses.

I guess you can call it indoctrination: The life culture vs the death





Comment by Dianna Morton on March 3, 2012 at 6:06pm

Hi Faith-- short quick response is that I do not show MEF films as "the truth" but as another perspective. Students recognize these films very quickly as bias-- which makes sense; I think it is easy for them to do so because many students interpret many of these films as an attack on the cultural values that they feel very "comfortable" with. In other words, bias is sometimes difficult to recognize when one agrees with the bias perspective. Most students do not recognize bias in corporately constructed media as it has influenced (indoctrinated)  their thinking from the youngest of ages.

If showing an MEF is akin to indoctrination, we could quickly have a radically different world!


Isn't the excerpt below  WHY ML is so essential? If students do not understand the systems that the messages are created in, how will they know why they are created?

Contextual ML  moves beyond empowering students to think for themselves-- it empowers students to act on their thinking-- if they so choose. It empowers them to create their future environments individually and collectively.


The mass media should be understood as more than a collection of texts to be        deconstructed and analyzed so that we can distinguish—or choose—between them.     They should be analyzed as a set of institutions with particular economic and social    structure—structures that are neither inevitable nor  irreversible. (Jhally, 2006,p. 225)


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