February 27 | Critical Literacies in the Age of Fake News, Algorithmic Culture

  • Kellner & Share (2007) – Critical media literacy, democracy, and the reconstruction of education.
  • Luke et al. (2016) – Digital ethics, political economy and the curriculum: This changes everything. 

Kellner & Share (2007) explore the theoretical underpinnings of critical media literacy by “combining cultural studies with critical pedagogy” (p. 2). They argue:

“critical media literacy aims to expand the notion of literacy to include different forms of media culture, information and communication technologies and new media, as well as deepen the potential of literacy education to critically analyze relationships between media and audiences, information and power” (p. 2).

Kellner & Share (2007) also explain the importance of multiple perspectives within media literacy, by highlighting that critical media literacy should address multiple larger issues such as gender, race, class and power (p. 2). In exploring these issues, the interconnected domains of “media literacy, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy” can be explored (p. 2).

Through media production, students can engage in critically challenging media texts and narratives “that appear natural and transparent” (Kellner & Share, 2007, p. 4). It is important that these critical media literacy is integrated with a cross-curricular approach. From my personal experiences of media literacy, teachers tend to not take this strand as seriously as others within the Language curriculum. This important strand is treated as a simple unit that is often overlooked in favour of basic reading or writing. However, media literacy has greater potential for students ot engage their reading and writing (literacy) skills, while also engaging their critical making and critical thinking skills. This goes back to De Castell’s ideas about production pedagogies and Papert’s vision of constructivism.

Luke et al. (2016) argues for a “refocusing of teaching and learning across the curriculum on foundational questions about ethics in digital culture” (p. 1). They advocate for classroom practices that are framed around critical digital literacies (p. 1). The foundational claims presented by Luke et al. (2016) are meant to instill critical self-consciousness.

In conclusion, Luke et al. (2016) importantly state, “the new kinds of social actions, political concerns, participatory dynamics made possible by the internet have not erased but rather reframed and negated classical debates around the relationship of truth to untruth, right and wrong and what it means to be a citizen in democratic societies. These things still count – and how they count in a digital culture should be at the core of the curriculum” (p. 15).






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