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Why Media Literacy Matters in American Schools


by Ladislaus Semali — 2005

To begin to unravel the challenges and dilemmas that these information technologies and media thrust upon parents, teachers, and schools, I present in this chapter arguments to support a school curriculum that might forge a life of justice as well as develop a rational, analytical, and critical understanding of media texts that students use in classrooms and in out-of-school contexts. First, I begin by laying out the rationale for why media literacy matters in schools. Second, I propose that teachers consider teaching critical media literacy as a process of curriculum inquiry or critical pedagogy that permeates the entire school curriculum to address the new languages of the media that have become the lived experience of many young people. Third, I outline examples of established criteria for questioning media texts or what I call analytical frameworks for critical media literacy education, and I offer examples of classroom activities based on these frameworks.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 104. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 13, 2005, p. 35-54
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18538, Date Accessed: 10/19/2017 8:41:57 AM

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About the Author
  • Ladislaus Semali
    Pennsylvania State University
    E-mail Author
    LADISLAUS SEMALI is an Associate Professor of Education at the Pennsylvania State University.
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