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.