Seeing what we look at
Eken, Ali Nihat Seeing what we look at. Thinking Classroom, 5 (2). pp. 5-12.
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What educators and school administrators all over the world should recognize —especially in countries like Turkey, where media forms are on the rise but media literacy is not yet a major subject in the school curriculum—is that literacy is not limited to the printed word. It is much more comprehensive than it used to be, due to the emergence of new forms of media and new contexts of education. The demands of the future— the increasing importance of visual communication and information, the penetration of media into our central democratic processes, the management and manufacture of information by the media, the high rate of media consumption and media saturation, and various ideological influences—make media literacy an essential dimension in education that we cannot and should not ignore (Masterman, 1985). It should be kept in mind that the students who are least vulnerable to harmful media messages are the ones who can read these messages analytically and critically, because they have the necessary skills to assess and evaluate the messages for themselves instead of accepting them without question. Therefore, integrating the study of media literacy into the curriculum, at all levels of education, will help equip students with the necessary skills to cope with media messages on their own.
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