Abstract for “Think Before You Kick”

The project proposed and outlined in this paper is an example of a proactive step toward students becoming more media literate and an argument for teaching media literacy in our schools. The paper will argue that schools must take advantage of the time they do have with students to not only teach basic skills such as reading, writing, and computing but to educate students to be critical consumers and producers of media as it has become such an instrumental, integral, and indispensable part of students’ everyday lives. If our students are to become more responsible in terms of the choices they make as consumers and producers of media then they must become more critically literate of it.

As Buckingham explains (2007 a), the focus of digital literacy for the past 20 years has been primarily on access and the use of technology as a tool in classrooms. According to Buckingham, we must shift away from this focus and move toward educating students about the media and can only do this by giving students ways to understand and critique it. This paper will outline and describe a project for helping middle school students to become more media literate.

The paper will first lay out the key concepts in the literature that support the above claims (media literacy vs. media education) and a pedagogical approach to media literacy. Secondly, it will explain how the literature supports the goals of my thesis project titled, “Paper Dolls.” Lastly, it will include the details of the media portion of the project and how it will be woven into “Paper Dolls.’

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~ by mlbryan on December 5, 2009.

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