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Critical Media Literacy, Democracy, and the Reconstruction of Education



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medialitinteriorpart1 qxd 3 2 2007 8 27 AM Page 3 Chapter 1 Critical Media Literacy Democracy and the Reconstruction of Education Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share Introduction The world we live in today is very different than the world that most of us remember from our childhood The twenty first century is a media saturated technologically dependent and globally connected world However most education in the United States has not kept up with advances in technology or educational research In our global information society it is insufficient to teach students to read and write only with letters and numbers We live in a multimedia age where the majority of information people receive comes less often from print sources and more typically from highly constructed visual images complex sound arrangements and multiple media formats The influential role that broadcasting and emergent information and computer media play in organizing shaping and disseminating information ideas and values is creating a powerful public pedagogy Giroux 1999 Luke 1997 These changes in technology media and society require the development of critical media literacy to empower students and citizens to adequately read media messages and produce media themselves in order to be active participants in a democratic society Kellner 1995 Kellner Share 2005 medialitinteriorpart1 qxd 4 3 2 2007 8 27 AM Page 4 Critical Media Literacy Democracy and the Reconstruction of Education Even so despite the ubiquity of media culture in contemporary society and everyday life and despite criticism of the distorted values ideals and representations of the world in popular culture media education in K 12 schooling in the United States has never really been established and developed The current technological revolution however brings to the fore more than ever the role of media like television popular music film and advertising as the Internet rapidly absorbs these cultural forms and creates ever evolving cyberspaces and



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