Bronwyn's Library Blog

Monday, June 20, 2005

Critical literacy covers all media

Wonderful article from Karen Orr Vered in the current issue (Vol 19 Issue 2 2005) of Access. The title says it all: "Beyond books: Electronic entertainments as supplements not substitutes, to literacy." And I quote excerpts from her introductory paragraph ... "It is increasingly acceptable to claim that recreational media use is taking up time that children could be devoting to more worthwhile pursuits such as reading and healthy physical activity ... Claiming that media use is displacing or replacing other activities is to proffer a substitution thesis: media use and media play are substitutes for other activities. ... The essay deconstructs the substitution thesis to broaden our view of literacy so that we can more readily recognise how print literacy and media literacy are two parts of a much larger social practice of literacy."

As a normal media user and parent, I find her thesis a useful peg on which to hang my unarticulated feelings. As a librarian, I was inspired by her examples of how teachers and librarians can build literacy. But my major concern with this issue, is as a parent. In my last post for my personal blogI thought aloud about making children aware of the processes they can use in search and research on the internet. And I guess that underlying that thought is a hope that this sort of self-consciousness will also help protect against the ugly and unscrupulous. Hopefully the use of critical literacy techniques applied to media, both at home and at school, will do the same. Thanks Karen.


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