The following is an outline of a field study I do with my Grade 11 Media Studies students. They always love doing it, and learn a great deal. The world never looks the same again.
Here is a Media Education activity to help students understand the concept of “genre”, from Chris Worsnop, retired English and Media Consultant, and education writer and consultant:
A Few Lesson Ideas for Grades 9 and 10 by Wayne McNanney
Stuck for a media exam question for your media class? Here are suggestions, by Barry Duncan.
The following article by Lewis Lapham is clearly an opinion piece, a guest column, yet appeared on the front page, which has been traditionally reserved for hard news. Students might debate its placement on the front page and suggest a more appropriate placement. There is also a subtle advert in the credit line, which informs readers of Lewis Lapham’s timely book release. Is this an opinion piece or a promotion?
Audience theory is part of a broad postmodern approach to textual studies, sometimes called the ‘cultural studies’ approach, which examines works itself as cultural phenomena – a consequence of various cultural factors, with meanings that shift according to both the writer’s and reader’s cultural position and perspective. Meanings shift and “reality” becomes a relative term, so that romance fiction, for example, can be simultaneously a racial discourse, a misogynistic conceit, and a tale of the working class.
When you spoof an ad, you take elements of the ad that give it power, turn the message around, and show that it is ridiculous or even untrue.
To demonstrate an understanding that ads tell ½ truths about the product
To increase awareness that ads are designed to deliver specific messages to consumers
Thinks reflectively and creatively to evaluate situations and solve problems (CGE3c)
Makes decisions in light of gospel values with an informed moral conscience (CGE3d)
Works effectively as an interdependent team member (CGE5a)
The following observations are designed to serve as probes and provocations to uncover the essence of some important ideas about media education and media studies. Based largely on the experience of The Association for Media Literacy during the last ten years, I hope these ideas and resources will stimulate discussion and debate.
It seems that more than ever, we need the resources of global education and the insights of media literacy to help our young people gain the knowledge and develop the values, attitudes and skills to be effective participants in a world rapidly becoming more interdependent and interconnected.