Teaching Note Global Perspectives: Developing Media Literacy Skills to Advance Critical Thinking Cheryl l. radeloff and BarBara J. Bergman Women's studies and feminist curricula have been lauded for the development and application of critical thinking skills for social and political change in its students (Fisher; Kellner and Share; Mayberry). Critical thinking can be defined as the ability to identify and challenge assumptions, to search for alternative ways of thinking, and to summarize a reflective analysis (Ore). Yet for feminist pedagogues, the challenge of encouraging students to develop practical skills alongside knowledge of key concepts can be daunting. To address this issue, an existing course was redesigned to integrate critical thinking skills through media literacy activities. Inspired by Second Thoughts: Critical Thinking for a Diverse Society (Teays), the focus on increasing undergraduate students' media literacy was chosen because we agreed that "being literate in the media age requires critical thinking skills that empower us as we make decisions" (NAMLE). To this purpose, the course instructor worked with the media services librarian to integrate media formats--websites, maps, a graphic novel, documentaries and feature films--and increased library instruction into the course content of a women's studies class in order to facilitate
Feminist Teacher – University of Illinois Press
Published: May 15, 2009
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