My Journey Home Armando Pena Andrew Lam Faith Adiele
Your Journey HomeFor TeachersAbout the film
For Teachers
My Journey Home and Media Literacy
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Social Studies Curriculum
Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: Expectations of Excellence

Media literacy in the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is not as specific as in the Language Arts curriculum. Some states like Wisconsin now include media literacy in their Social Studies standards (For a diagram, check out wisconsin.htm).

The national standards do not make specific reference to television, computers, the Internet, music, radio or the movies; but instead, they treat media as one entity.

To understand how media literacy might fit under the Social Studies curriculum, it is best to examine the national standards to see how media literacy is compatible with their 10 thematic strands.

Ten Thematic Strands in Social Studies:

  • Culture
  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • People, Places, and Environment
  • Individual Development and Identity
  • Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
  • Power, Authority, and Governance
  • Production, Distribution, and Consumption
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Global Connections
  • Civic Ideals and Practices

In reviewing the standards, we can find three examples of where media literacy instruction could impact better understanding of the media and our efforts for My Journey Home.

1. People, Places, and Environment
Students in high school are able to apply geographic understanding across a broad range of fields, including the fine arts, sciences and humanities. Geographic concepts become central to learnersf comprehension of global connections as they expand their knowledge of diverse cultures, both historical and contemporary.

2. Global Connections
Through exposure to various media and first-hand experiences, young learners become aware of and are affected by events on a global scale. Within this context, students examine and explore global connections and basic issues and concerns, suggesting and initiating responsive action plans.

3. Civic Ideals and Practices
Children also experience views of citizenship in other times and places through stories and drama. By the middle grades, students expand their ability to analyze and evaluate the relationships between ideals and practice.

Specific language in the standards discusses how integrating curriculum can be a powerful teaching and learning tool. It specifically talks about the use of technology. Social studies teaching and learning are powerful when they are integrative.

  • Social Studies are integrative in their treatment of topics.
  • Social Studies are integrative across time and space.
  • Social studies teaching integrates knowledge, skills, beliefs, values, and attitudes to action.
  • Social studies teaching and learning integrate effective use of technology.
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