Why Media Literacy Education Matters
Despite the significant role of media in US culture, students in US schools rarely are asked to interrogate media texts or to think critically about the role of media in contemporary culture. However, that reality is changing. All 50 states now include media literacy skills in curriculum standards. Furthermore, professional educational organizations, such as the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Science, The International Reading Association, and the National Council for the Social Studies all have professional guidelines and research strands that emphasize media literacy education in elementary classrooms and in academic disciplines.
Despite this trend, the growing emphasis on media texts and their role in literature, science, politics, health, and Information and Computer Technologies, can be problematic for educators. Most have had few opportunities to develop conceptual understandings of media or to identify appropriate methods for teaching media texts.
The Media Literacy Education specialization provides an opportunity for graduate students to investigate the processes of using popular media culture and Internet texts to support literacy growth. Students earning a degree in Curriculum and Instruction can add a 12-hour Media Literacy Specialization. Students may also elect to earn a Masters of Art in Education or a Ph. D. with a focus on Media Literacy Education. For additional information, contact Dr. Angela Kohnen.