Intermediality: The Teachers' Handbook of Critical Media Literacy

Intermediality: The Teachers' Handbook of Critical Media Literacy

Intermediality: The Teachers' Handbook of Critical Media Literacy

Intermediality: The Teachers' Handbook of Critical Media Literacy

Synopsis

Intermediality: Teaching Critical Media Literacy challenges the practice of teaching the classics & the canon of acceptable literary works far removed from students' experiences, with emphasis on across-the-curriculum teaching of critical thinking, critical reading, & critical viewing skills. The authors, Ladislaus Semali & Ann Watts Pailliotet, present literacy education as "intermedial" in nature-it entails constructing connections among varying conceptions & sign systems. Reading printed texts requires more than simply decoding letters into words or sounds, it involves finding meaning, motive, structure, & affect. The same goes for reading the electronic text. Intermediality argues for the discourse of literacy to take up a critical stance by examining a whole wide array of texts that form the meaning-making process of the looming information age.

Excerpt

As Western societies have raced into an electronic era, into an information-saturated hyper-reality, schools have been slow to recognize the social and educational implications of such a historical sea change. Operating with this understanding, Ladislaus Semali and Ann Watts Pailliotet and their authors present Intermediality. The power of media and the hermeneutics of media texts have too long been ignored by a teacher education that has relegated them to the domain of entertainment. Often in my own career as a teacher educator, I have been met with combative responses to my call to add media literacy to the professional curriculum; "Why must you insist on trivializing our serious work?" my critics have asked. Semali and Watts Pailliotet adeptly respond to such myopia by delineating a justification for such analysis and offering pedagogical models for how it might be accomplished. They understand that the mediascape and its omnipresence in the lives of students demands a reconceptualization of literacy that expands the concept to include facility with the communicative arts.

The facility includes the ability to read and make meaning of language arts as well as the visual representations of drama, art, film, video, and television. In this assertion, we find Semali and Watts Pailliotet's definition of intermediality: the ability to work with diverse symbol systems in an active way where meanings are both received and produced. From the authors' perspective, such a process cannot be separated from questions of knowledge production, power, subjectivity, and justice. Thus, intermediality is ever alert to the complex ways power wielders deploy media symbol systems to win consent to their political agendas at the end of the millennium. Indeed, as Semali argues, such power-driven media work to construct hierarchies of individual worth around the axes of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

In this context, the authors use intermediality to explore the connections between students' personal experiences and their everyday encounters with electronic media. Thus, intermedial pedagogy is not an isolated school experience but a holistic encounter with the ways contemporary media mold all of us in all phases of our lives. Such a pedagogical process, the authors contend, involves the difficult task of helping students connect particular media images to the sociopolitical . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.