Media Literacy Online Project - Serving Educators Around The World
Media Literacy Review
Center for Advanced Technology in Education- College of Education - University of Oregon - Eugene


Renee Hobbs: Observations From The Field


Renee Hobbs is one of the nation's leading authorities on media education and director of the Media Literacy project at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Dr. Hobbs founded the Harvard Institute in Media Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1993. It was the first national-level teacher education initiative for media education in the United States.

Dr. Hobbs won the Golden Cable ACE Award for "Know TV," a staff development program for secondary level teachers on the critical analysis of documentary and nonfiction television in 1995.

The Media Literacy Online Project is pleased to archive a growing collection of articles by Dr. Hobbs written from her unique position as a leader in the field of media education.

The following articles have been contributed by the author who maintaines copyright for all reproduction.

The Acquisition of Media Literacy Skills Among Australian Adolescents. This study measures the skills of 333 15-year-old students enrolled in secondary schools in Melbourne, Australia to determine the differences between students who have had formal exposure to media education classes and those whose exposure has been less systematic. The research finds significant differences between groups in terms of students' ability to analyze media messages.

Deciding What to Believe in an Age of Information Abundance: Exploring Non-Fiction Television in Education. This paper explores the crucial but largely unconscious decisions that we make each day as we decide which information is believable and truthful. By looking carefully at the ways in which some television messages can be made to seem authentic and credible, the author provides specific strategies for how teachers can improve students'critical viewing skills through dynamic, interactive learning activities that invite students to ask,"How do I decide what to believe?" Source: Sacred Heart Review, 42: 4-26.

Democracy At Risk: Building Citizenship Skills through media Education. What kinds of knowledge, attitudes and skills are essential for being a citizen in a media age? How do we create opportunities for young people to develop their interests in democracy? What role can the media, teachers and parents play?

Expanding The Concept Of Literacy. Most teachers make use of media for motivation, illustration and enrichment, a use of media which emphasizes its value as an attractive delivery system. Only a few now use media artifacts as study objects. Why?

Instructional Practices In Media Literacy And Their Impact On Students' Learning. This study reports the findings of qualitative and quantitative research designed to assess the impact of different types of instructional practices involving media literacy education across the curriculum.

Media Literacy In Massachusettes. This article describes one example of a district-wide model for helping teachers develop expertise in media literacy, a model which invites a cohort of educators from a single district to participate in a coordinated, long-term plan of study, research, design and and implementation of media literacy curriculum in grades K -12.

Literacy For The Information Age. Our students are growing up in a world saturated with media messages, messages that fill the bulk of their leisure time and provide them with information about who to vote for and what buying decisions to make. Yet students receive little to no training in the skills of analyzing or evaluating these messages, many of which make use of language, moving images, music, sound effects, special visual effects and other techniques which powerfully affect our emotional responses.

The Seven Great Debates In Media Literacy. As the media literacy movement gains momentum in the United States, our increasingly diverse community of educators, community organizers and activists, scholars, social service and media professionals have a lot of issues to debate, because media literacy can take many different forms.

The Simpsons Meet Mark Twain: Analyzing Popular Media Texts in the Classroom. There's a number of reasons why the Standards for the English Language Arts has adopted the term"nonprint texts" to describe messages that are not traditional classroom resources in the K-12 classroom. "Nonprint texts" is an umbrella that includes everything, from photographs to web sites, from films to popular music, but it also covers and avoids mention of the fact that many of these works are-- dare we say it? -- popular.

Teaching Media Literacy: YO! Are You Hip To This? In more and more classrooms in the United States, educators are beginning to help students acquire the skills they need to manage in a media-saturated environment, recognizing that in its broadest sense, literacy must include the ability to skillfully 'read' and 'write' in a wide range of message forms, especially considering the dominance of image-based electronic media.

Teaching With and About Film and Television: Integrating Media Literacy Concepts into Management Education.This paper reviews some characteristics of video-based educational materials by describing the intellectual heritage of the movement to include media analysis and media production as basic skills for the information age. We identify the opportunities and challenges that management educators face in their use of video-based tools in both business settings and in higher education.

The Uses (And Misuses) of Mass Media Resrouces In Secondary Schools. A survey of 130 teachers determined their existing uses of mass media materials in the classroom, including newspapers, magazines, videotapes, computers and video camcorders. Teachers were asked to define the phrase, "media literacy," and were asked to assess the frequency of their colleagues using media for non-educational purposes, including to fill time, to keep students quiet, or as a reward for good behavior.