Media Literacy Education

These principles were initially shared with me at the Making Media Matters conference hosted by the Center for Social Media at American University.
As a constructor and consumer of media, I am aware of the impact what I’m watching and reading for entertainment is having on my perspective and attitudes. I frequently vary the types of media that I consume and am always impressed by the differences in how the messages are relayed. The medium is indeed part of the message.

The following is excerpted from the document CORE PRINCIPLES OF MEDIA LITERACY EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES, by the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

The purpose of media literacy education is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, and active citizens ( digital citizens) in today’s world.

Core Principles of Media Literacy Education:

  1. Requires active inquiry & critical thinking about the messages we receive & create.
  2. Expands the concept of literacy (i.e. reading & writing) to include all forms of media.
  3. Builds & reinforces skills for learners of all ages.
  4. Develops informed, reflective and engaged participants (digital citizens)
  5. Recognizes that media are a part of culture and function as agents of socialization.
  6. Affirms that people use their individual skills, beliefs and experiences to construct their own meanings from media messages.

Effective media inquiry is based on the following concepts:

  • All media messages are constructed.
  • Each medium has different characteristics &  a unique“language” of construction.
  • Media messages are produced for particular purposes.
  • All media messages contain embedded values & points of view.
  • Media and media message can influence beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors.

Bibliography and Additional Resources

National Association for Media Literacy Education

Center for Media Literacy

Media Literacy from Wikipedia

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