There is an urgent concern among educators about the pervasive role that the media plays in all our lives today. To illuminate the issues surrounding the media and its increasing use by children and adults, and to create openings for educational interventions, The School, KFI, Chennai hosted aWorkshop on Media and Education from 4-6 January, 2002. The workshop was structured in three parts:
- It aimed at providing perspectives and insights into the functioning of various media, especially the print media and television.
- It exposed teachers to tools of analysis that could be applied to understanding the impact of different media products.
- It provided space for teachers to begin creating modules for use in the classroom. These modules were aimed at helping children develop a facility in deconstructing the structure and messages of various media products.
The eventual goal of theworkshopwas to enable teachers and students to become more informed and discerning users of the media.
The following section of the Journal is in three parts, each reflecting one aspect of theworkshop.
The first article gives an overviewof our media environment and the range of issues that it throws up at the level of the individual, school and society. It draws from the viewpoints presented by three specialists invited to speak at the workshop.
The second article develops the notion of 'media literacy' as an essential part of the school curriculum and explores the teacher's role inworking with children in this area.
These are followed by a selection of three 'modules' that were prepared collaboratively by teachers at theworkshop. The modules are aimed at analysing:a) television news programmes, b) a woman's magazine, and c) a set of print advertisements. They suggest approaches and activities, which may be developed further.