NCTE Commission Recommends Media Education

The Media Commission of The National Council of Teachers of English met at the NCTE conference in Seattle in November 1991 to explore and evaluate a number of issues central to the future of media education in the United States. The Commission is a special interest group and advisory body for the NCTE that issues an annual "Trends and Issues Statement" on media as it relates to the Language Arts. The Media Commission issued the following recommendations to encourage:

  1. Portfolios of student work that include a wide variety of media forms, as a welcome and healthy trend in teaching and evaluation.
  2. Materials to help teachers address, evaluate, discuss and monitor representations of gender, class, race, age, ethnic backgrounds, etc. in classroom media.
  3. The NCTE to provide teachers with materials to support the high quality analysis of television commercials, their messages and effects.
  4. That NCTE teacher accreditation standards require teachers to be knowledgeable in critical analysis of media and that this requirement is treated seriously through teacher workshops, training, materials and guidelines for media education.
  5. That increased uses of non-print media within school systems (laser discs, interactive media, etc.) should be understood as a wave of the future and that uses of these media need to be incorporated intelligently within curricula.
  6. Materials and methods that alert students to the perspectives and limitations of television's constructed presentations of people and events.
  7. Media education must clearly be recognized as "teaching about" the media, not simply as inclusion of an occasional film or tape within a class lesson.
  8. The clarification of "rulings" regarding copyright so that teachers will fully understand how to incorporate media literacy materials into their curricula.
  9. The empowerment of teachers through networking and work toward the creation of a network of teaches and professionals nationally and internationally, who will enrich and enliven media education.
  10. Media production in schools as an absolute necessity wherever possible, since students need to develop essential critical thinking skills that working with a medium provides. Students also need to tell their own stories in their own voices and through their own eyes, whether in print or in any of a host of other media.