chapter  1
21 Pages

Teaching Critical Media Literacy Using Popular Culture Texts

ByDonna E. Alvermann, Jennifer S. Moon, Margaret C. Hagood

This chapter introduces what we mean by critical media literacy and the different interests and cultural resources. It lays out a rationale for teaching critical media literacy using popular culture texts and offers several scenarios designed to engage readers in experiencing some of those texts. Critical media literacy is about creating communities of active readers and writers who can be expected to exercise some degree of agency in deciding what textual positions they will assume or resist as they interact in complex social and cultural contexts. This conception of critical media literacy follows up on what Allan Luke and Peter Freebody have referred to as the move away from psychological and personal growth models of reading toward the view that reading is a social and cultural practice. The abundance of media messages in the home and community suggests that there is an urgent need to help students learn how to evaluate such messages for their social, political, and aesthetic contents.