Rationale for Teaching film, meda, tv in school
Looking at the Language Arts curriculum at St. Louis Park, there is a great emphasis on Core Knowledge text and the traditional Cannon of literature. There is also the desire, as a school-wide building goal, to improve reading test scores as a result of word recognition and improved literacy skills. Along with these agendas, there is a future goal of incorporating the IB program into the middle school, as it exists in the high school and elementary schools. Given the nature of this existing curriculum, and where we hope to go as a district in the future, it is essential to incorporate a wide-range of media into our Language Arts curriculum. Using Media to support our curriculum will foster student-centered learning, challenge high-level thinkers, and engage low-level readers and writers in their learning.
It is estimated that majority of kids 3rd-12th grade spend an average of 6 hours per day engaging in media. Media is the key to engaging reluctant learners, and challenging high-level learners to a new level of active thinking. Media should be used as an enhancing tool to the current traditional literature and curriculum that exists in the Middle School.
To put this media-enhanced curriculum in a classroom setting perspective, perhaps lets take a look at a traditional novel unit such as To Kill A Mockingbird. Media can be used to spark creative and high-level thinking as well as engage the struggling reader. Students can ask questions and blog responses on the classroom website. Students could create their own website, while challenging them to look at the deeper meaning of the piece of literature, but engaging them in a medium they can relate to. Another option would be to present the ideas of critical literary analysis in the form of an itunes playlist. Students must explain how their songs represent as certain theme or a characterization from the novel.
These are just some beginning examples of how media can be used alongside traditional curriculum. Media can be used to spark creative thinking, foster student-centered learning, and engage and challenge learners of all levels.