CHAPTER 2 – CURRICULUM TEACHING OBJECTIVES
Level : Intermediate
Objective 1: Instructors are able to define Media Literacy
Objective 2: Instructors have understood the skills to be acquired by participants
Objective 3: Instructors have understood the skills they must acquire to best teach MIL to participants
DEFINING MEDIA LITERACY
The aim of media literacy, as defined by UNESCO, is for every member of the public to be active, autonomous, and think critically about all the media documents and campaigns they consume or are the target of. The field covers all print, audiovisual, and electronic media, regardless of the technology they use (written press, radio, cinema, TV, online media, social networks, digital platforms). It does not limit itself to any one medium and, as such, encompasses the full range of communication: informative, persuasive, entertainment, and social.
UNESCO also states that media literacy should enable each individual to learn to use the language of media and its tools for interpretation, expression, and communication. In this way, media literacy prepares individuals to become responsible citizens that are able to contribute to the development of a democratic society.
As a result, media literacy is closely linked to civic education. The media habits of young people – future citizens – shape their relationship to society, freedom of expression, and culture, which is why media literacy education allows learners to challenge stereotypes, discursive traps, prejudices, and how messages are interpreted. Ultimately, the subject should provide ample inspiration to teachers and students as they develop key skills to tackle topical issues and position themselves as citizens who think critically and are active, creative, and solidarity-minded.
Perhaps, though, it is the students themselves who best define media literacy. A class at the Lycée Pierre Coubertin, a secondary school in France, described what they learned in an MIL programme as follows: We live in a society where we get news from around the world that is instantaneous and often incorrect. Everything moves very quickly, sometimes too quickly. Because of the rapid spread on social media, a chasm has opened up between traditional media and the public. Young people like us, hyperconnected as we are, are usually the first to receive and pass on information, so it is up to us to learn to decode media and information. We are the ones that need to be media literate.
MEDIA LITERACY TEACHING OBJECTIVES
Skills to be acquired by students
UNESCO has defined 6 key skills that each student should learn from media literacy training:
- Understand what a journalist does and how the media work
- Know how to get reliable news and identify its sources
- Develop critical thinking and information decoding skills
- Be wary of fake news, conspiracy theories, and hate speech
- Master digital tools using reason and responsibility
- Understand societal issues to make educated democratic choices
Skills to be acquired by teachers
Consequently, the instructor training in media literacy has the following pedagogical objectives:
- Understand how MIL can help members of the public become more active, autonomous, and critically minded toward the media and other means of communication to which they are exposed.
- Understand how MIL makes it possible to challenge stereotypes, discursive traps, prejudices, and the interpretation of a message.
- Realise that MIL can inspire young people from diverse backgrounds to understand contemporary issues and position themselves as citizens who think critically and are active, creative, and solidarity-minded.
- Understand how the media landscape has evolved; know how to approach the issue of media with young people and teach them about responsible and intelligent use of ‘new media’.
- Acquire the pedagogical knowledge necessary to teach MIL (guidelines, key concepts, developments in the field) while catering to a young audience.
- Using practical, engaging, MIL-specific activities to facilitate skill acquisition in young people, creating positive exercises that develop civic expression (for example, online media campaigns).