« Return to Course Catalog

Introduction to Media Literacy Education

Course Level: Basic

Course Summary

The Introduction to Media Literacy module is designed as a foundational course for the Certificate in Media Literacy Education.

This course takes as its point of departure the five key themes in the National Directory for Catechesis (USCCB; 2005) that recommends throughout, and in Chapter 10 in particular, that catechists acknowledge the media culture of students, that they teach students how to critically engage in popular culture created by media through the lens of faith, that catechists use media in their teaching, that catechists and students evangelize the media, and that, when appropriate, catechists and students be advocates of authentic media that respects human dignity and the common good.

The Introduction to Media Literacy explores the Core Concepts and Key Themes of Media Literacy and suggests a practical strategy for engaging in the media culture called "media mindfulness."

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • To introduce students to a comprehensive understanding of what media literacy education/media mindfulness is and what it is not.
  • To provide an world history of media literacy education in public education as well as Catholic and ecumenical contributions and developments and to introduce the core concepts and key questions of media literacy education;
  • To explore communications, culture, popular culture and media themes and applications in the [i]General Directory for Catechesis[/i] (1997; Congregation for the Clergy) and the [i]National Directory for Catechesis[/i] (2005; USCCB);
  • To explore further aspects of media, critical thinking and apply the media mindfulness strategy to a variety of media texts.[br]
  • To consider audiences and media and to examine best practices and learn and apply a strategy for an authentic engagement with media processes and messages.

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Hailer, Gretchen and Rose Pacatte Media Mindfulness: Educating Teens about Faith and Media St. Mary's Press, 2007 ISBN: 0884899055; ISBN-13: 978-0884899051
  • Required Book: USCCB National Directory for Catechesis USCCB Publishing ISBN: 1574554433; ISBN-13: 978-1574554434
  • Optional Book: Congregation for the Clergy General Directory for Catechesis USCCB Publishing ISBN: 1574552252; ISBN-13: 978-1574552256
  • Course Materials available at the VLCFF Amazon Store.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: What Is Media Literacy?
    • Media Literacy Education
    • The Core Concepts and Key Questions
    • Media Mindfulness
  • Week 2: An Overview of the History of Media Literacy and an Introduction to the Core Principles and Key Questions
    • A History of Media Literacy Education
    • The Church and Media Literacy
    • Media Mindfulness
    • More about the Core Concepts and Key Questions
  • Week 3: Values, Communication, Relationships and Culture for Media Mindfulness
    • Communication
    • Culture
    • Popular Culture
    • Media
  • Week 4: Navigating Media Culture
    • Critical thinking
    • Media Mindfulness strategy
    • Responding to the media
  • Week 5: Understanding Audiences and Media
    • Interpreting media
    • Parents, children and media
    • Critical methodology
    • Media literacy techniques