On February 11, PLS’ Director of Curriculum and Staff Development, Mr. Chris Sperry, launched a video training titled Constructivist Media Decoding. Via the internet, he delivered the first of a two-session course that supported his goal: to integrate media literacy into teacher education classes.
At the Antioch New England Graduate School of Education in Keene, New Hampshire, Chris virtually joined the classroom via Adobe Connect. In his first session, Sperry focused on explaining the rationale and pedagogy for integrating the analysis of rich media documents into the classroom, and further explained how they tie into Common Core literacy and/or content standards. The tasks these education students of Professor Karlan’s design class for secondary environmental studies participated in include: decoding and debriefing a video of classroom practice, and utilizing two media literacy frameworks. This session ended with an assignment to (a) identify one or two media documents for analysis tied to a specific student audience and curriculum goals, and (b) develop initial questions and a plan for leading the decoding.
In the second session on March 3rd, with Chris Sperry reviewing and participating, two student volunteers will teach brief decoding activities, while the rest of the classroom role-plays students. Sperry will provide a resource guide and rubric to support the student teachers in their preparation.
This pilot program in Constructivist Media Decoding benefits the teacher education students and faculty. It provides the students with hands-on experience tied to content and standards, resources to continue this work, a pedagogy for integrating critical analysis of diverse texts, and much more. Meanwhile, the teacher education faculty witnesses and receives support for integrating media literacy into their curriculum.
After a successful first go at this program, Sperry will continue to adapt and improve the course. The goal of this video training is to further integrate media literacy analysis and critical thinking into the classroom with teacher education curriculum, and Sperry will continue to do this as he spreads the importance of media literacy worldwide.
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