Should Media be an Integral Part of a School Curriculum?
Despite not being one of the traditional college courses available, media is now offered in a variety of colleges across the country. It's a course that's gaining popularity amongst students, and offered vital skills that can help students beyond their student life. Students that are media literate are able to better understand the world of politics, and society as a whole.
Media is becoming an increasingly important study for students and colleges in a media-centered society, and media literacy is an important skill for young people as they grow up. In a world focused on media activity, young people can benefit immensely from being able to understand media terminology, and how the media works. Especially with the rise of the Internet and other new forms of media, it makes sense for colleges to start offering these forms of study.
So how does media literacy benefit students in later life? People who understand the media and are media-minded are better able to construct ideas, see things from another person's perspective and hence have a better mindset whilst studying and constructing academic papers. Equally, those who have a grasp of media literacy are able to use techniques in their writing to convey argument better, and hence perform better academically in general.
Being aware that the media is also biased is also another benefit of being media literate, meaning that better societal awareness can be obtained in later life. With a society that's becoming media-focused through new media like the Internet, it only makes sense that colleges are able to help students get to grips with this new kind of society.
Those who are media literate are able to seek sources of information much more efficiently, too. This can easily help students in further education that are planning to go to university, when assignments become much longer and reliant on reliable sources.
In terms of new media, the television plays as important a role as the Internet. Media saturation is rife in the US, and when you consider television airtime consisting of music, news channels and media-influenced television, it becomes necessary for people to have an understanding of how the media works.
Magazines, newspapers and even video games are a form of media exposure, too, meaning that people at a younger age than ever are becoming subject to this kind of influence.
Media education first appeared within the 1960s, and even then when the media was somewhat limited in terms of its 'forms', it was considered important. It seems that as the media has become a more important element in our lives that education has dramatically decreased for some reason. The media can easily be taught through English lessons, or even social science lessons that teach the importance of citizenship. English and other mother tongue lessons can easily implement teachings surrounded by media, and in an age of computer technology, it seems important also that information technology lessons implement some kind of media awareness too.
The importance of teaching media in schools was noted in the Newsom Report of 1963, which proves how long the media has been recognized as an important part of our lives. Why has it taken so long for it to be implemented as a core part of education? It seems only sensible for colleges to make use of their facilities to implement a dedicated lesson to media studies, or for it to be included in other areas of study. As well as becoming aware in societal terms, students and young people will be prepared for the potentially harmful and controversial effects of the media. Implementing it into a college syllabus will provide the perfect preparation for adult life.