Television Critical Viewing Skills Education: Major Media Literacy Projects in the United States and Selected Countries

By James A. Brown | Go to book overview

administrators espouse open-ended study of media with true freedom for students to develop processes of thinking and judging by exploring and discovering for themselves. They see this as the goal of critical thinking -- using media as the matrix -- instead of attempting to indoctrinate students with what is considered "good" or "not good" aesthetically, socially, or otherwise. Useful printed support material promotes flexible adaptation by local teachers. The entire project assumes teachers to be well informed, balanced, creative, and able to stimulate students to look below the surface of media appearances and to question mass media processes, content, and forces -- including big business, government, and audiences, as well as creative media practitioners. But nowhere does the curriculum promote an activist stance.

* * *

Beyond the context of formal institution-mounted programs reported in this chapter, other forms of teaching critical viewing skills are carried on with little or only indirect administrative support. Chapter 7 reports projects mounted by individual researchers and teachers. (Chapter 10 explores institution-related programs around the world.)


NOTES
1
The 68-page typewritten manuscript by the New York City Board of Education ( 1978) was made available to this researcher by the Television Information Office of the National Association of Broadcasters.
2
Quoted by New York City Board of Education ( 1978, p. 27).
3
Canavan ( 1975/ 1979, p. 49) cited as source Boutwell ( 1962).
4
Canavan, Slattery, Tarrant, and Threlfo ( 1974/ 1979 and 1975), and Canavan, McGuiness, Blaney, and Davis ( 1974/ 1978 and 1975/ 1978). Entering 1989, those original curriculum guidelines were still sed without revision, according to personal correspondence to this author from Kelvin Canavan, dated September 29, 1988 (but received January 4, 1989).
5
The Curriculum Development Centre at Canberra provided $1,800 funds for the slide-tape package produced in 1978. In 1979a similar package was produced with the support of $3,000 donated by the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations to the Child, Education & Media Sub-Committee of the International Year of the Child; it was distributed by the Catholic Audio Visual Centre.
6
See Canavan ( 1978/ 1979), p. 2 of folder accompanying the slide/sound package.
7
Source: Kelvin Canavan, Executive Director of Schools, Catholic Educa­

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