When it comes to standard curricula taught in most K-12 schools, it’s easy to think about media literacy purely in terms of language arts. But this does a huge disservice to the breadth and scope of the fundamentals of media literacy, which begin with critical thinking skills that are (or should be) stressed in every facet of basic education. Like math.
In an age where STEM is everything, no one disputes the value and importance of teaching math, and the discipline gains an extra boost because proficiency in it can be easily captured in standardized tests. In contrast, media literacy does not sort nicely into a standardized test format, so it can easily be lost when educators feel pressured to “teach to the test” rather than take a more holistic approach. That’s why we’re really excited that today, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) released a curriculum map yoking Common Core math standards and 21st century learning together on the same path. As it happens, The LAMP already uses many of the examples in the P21 map–depending on the workshop, students keep journals of the media they encounter on a regular basis, ask questions about data and sources of information and understand how and why pieces of information are used to construct a specific message with a specific audience and intent.
For more, check out the document from P21. The media literacy-specific stuff is on pages 21-23, but in truth, you can find elements of media literacy throughout the whole map. If only we had this when we were kids…
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