Youth Media, participatory media, media literacy, media access etc. are topics that I am very interested in and enjoy reading more about. I am always looking to more theory to help inform my practice. I really appreciate the Goodman reading for how it analyzed “critical literacy” and its importance in education.

“Educators, youth development workers, and everyone else who cares about the well-being of these kids need to develop a deeper and nuanced understanding of the forces that shape their lives – our media and consumer culture and our systems of schooling and juvenile justice – as well as a genuine respect for the creative problem-solving capacities of low-income students and their communities. So, in addition to the myriad “life skills” that are typically offered to at-risk kids, they need to be engaged in the study of the systemic roadblocks in their way – such as police brutality, unequal educational resources, substandard housing, and so on – and what sort of collective action they might take to move those roadblocks aside.” (3)

I found this call to action really powerful. I often think about media literacy and education in comparison to my experience. My high school was a very small charter school in Arizona. Our curriculum was a little interdisciplinary but surrounded the white male narrative. The “Great Works” (which they claim are the works that shape “Western Knowledge”) set the precedent for our entire education and “popular culture” was banned from our classrooms. Obviously after coming to college and gaining a critical consciousness about SO MANY THINGS I have realized how problematic my high school curriculum was. And I think that the lack of any sort of media class, or after school club even, is a real detriment to the students there.

Obviously there is much reform to be done in all educational systems, but I just really appreciate Goodman’s analysis of “critical literacy” and what that means and why it is important in the class rooms, especially for “at-risk” youth and those within the margins.

There was a lot in the Goodman reading that I also reflect on and apply to the work I’ve done and continue to do with the Indigitize Video Workshop at Sherman Indian High School. I think that Goodman gave me a lot to think about in my intentions and actions.

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About alexamuniz

Media Studies major at Scripps College '16.

One response »

  1. rbhalla2018 says:

    I really connect with your experiences about having a problematic high school curriculum. A lot of my curriculum in high school was incredibly problematic but during my four years, we were (and still are) in a period of transition in terms of getting more inclusive curriculum. All students were required to take a Freshman Seminar course based of Facing History and Ourselves, a curriculum based on stereotypes, genocide, and WWII. While this curriculum wasn’t necessarily the best it was a huge step forward. We learned a lot about media deconstruction, propaganda, and got skills that can be connected to other social justice issues.

    Many teachers at my high school were committed to developing more inclusive curriculum and by my senior year, we had an Ethnic Studies course to tackle race issues around my school. The way the course was set up was that students learned information about social justice movements and race during first semester, then second semester worked on community engagement. That way, we got to spread our knowledge learned in the classroom outside (Very Pitzer-esque).

    It might be good to suggest this curriculum to your high school.

    Here’s more information: https://www.facinghistory.org/

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