Critical Literacy: Evaluating Information and Media

"The challenge for education today is thus to promote multiple literacies to empower students and citizens to use new technologies to enhance their lives and to create a better culture and society based on respect for multicultural difference and the fuller democratic participation of individuals and groups largely excluded from wealth and power in the previous modern society"(Kellner, 1998:119).

Douglas Kellner, Dean of Education at UCLA, believes that educating "global citizens" is part of a broader educational process. He argues that we are in the midst of one of the most dramatic technological revolutions in history and that this "great transformation" poses tremendous challenges to the restructuring of education and that the great danger facing us is that the new technologies will increase the current inequalities based on class, gender and racial divisions.

What is Information Literacy?

Briefly, Information literacy introduces students to the processes of finding, organizing, using, producing and distributing information in a variety of media formats, including traditional print as well as computer databases; students acquire experience with resources available on the Internet; students learn to evaluate the quality of information, to work ethically and professionally, and to adjust to rapidly changing technology tools.

Other sites on information literacy to look at are:

Access to Information: Filtering and Hegemonic Construction of Topic Headings Used in Indexes

Search Strategies

Evaluation of Internet Sources

Media Literacy and the Politics of Information

What is Media literacy?

To critically evaluate media, one must have a grasp of who owns and controls the media and information sources in any given society. What are the global divisions of material resources these media and information sources are bound to?

Test Your Understanding of Information and Media Literacy

Works cited:

Berger, Arthur Asa. Seeing Is Believing. Mayfield Publishing Company, 1998.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing, reprint edition. Viking Press, 1995.

Kellner, Douglas. 1998. "Multiple Literacies and Critical Pedagogy in a Multicultural Society," Educational Theory, Vol. 48, No. 1, Winter: 103-122.

Males, Mike. Framing Youth. Common Courage Press, 1999.

Meyers, William. Image Makers. New York, 1984.

Russell, Kathryn. MultiMedia Project on Prejudice and Discrimination []

Ontario Ministry of Education, Intermediate and Senior Divisions. Media Literacy Resource Guide. 1989.

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