Media education
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Media Literacy and the Common Good: A Link to Catholic Social Teaching

Los Angeles/Brussels, October 6th, 2015 (Maria Rosalia Tenorio De Azeved/SIGNIS) Recently, Maria Rosalia Tenorio De Azevedo presented her doctorate on media Literacy at the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles (US). The starting point and bases of her research is that it is paramount for teachers to be media literate in order to effectively teach students how to critically consume media. She used the critical literacy based on the research of Paolo Freire as a theoretical framework for a case study.

In her first chapter she highlights children’s skyrocketing, unguided, media consumption and the concerns it raises for their wellbeing. It discusses the social justice implications of media literacy. The case study goes on to introduce faith-based media literacy as a possible tool to address some of the concerns, also providing its development as an academic discipline in the United States and abroad, and finally exploring the link between media literacy education and Catholic Social Teaching, which drive the main research questions for her study: How does a faith-based media literacy training program promote Catholic Social Teaching? and How does a faith based media literacy training program influence participants’ understanding of media literacy and its link to Catholic Social Teaching?

Tenorio De Azevedo’s case study investigated a 60-hour teacher training program in media literacy promoting Catholic Social Teaching and how undergoing this training has influenced teachers’ perceptions of media literacy, Catholic Social Teaching, and the link between the two. As a researcher, she performed participant-observation as a trainee in the program. Five teachers, alumni of the program, participated in this study: one middle school teacher, three high-school teachers, and one college professor, all of them taught at Christian private schools. She recorded how participants applied the Media Mindfulness—a faith based media literacy strategy—in their practice as a response to the Church’s call for Catholic teachers to engage in media education.
Her findings show how the Media Mindfulness method helped teachers integrate media literacy in their practice, promoting student empowerment and character education.

Her work is an excellent base for a follow up action research at a Catholic high school where teachers are trained in Media Mindfulness to find out: how the training influenced teachers’ confidence in integrating media education into their practice; to what extent students’ assimilation of Catholic Social Teaching concepts resulted from the teacher training program, and how training teachers in the media mindfulness model influenced the school’s culture in addressing social justice issues?

To consult her thesis, click here (PDF)


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