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Media Literacy and Visual Competence

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Renee Hobbs. “Sisters, Cousins, Competitors, Friends: Visual Competence and Media Literacy,” Paper presented to the International Communication Association, Montreal Canada, May 25, 2008.

Renee Hobbs. “Sisters, Cousins, Competitors, Friends: Visual Competence and Media Literacy,” Paper presented to the International Communication Association, Montreal Canada, May 25, 2008.

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Media Literacy and Visual Competence Presentation Transcript

  • 1.   Sisters, Cousins, Competitors or Friends? Visual Competence and Media Literacy Renee Hobbs Temple University Philadelphia PA International Communication Association, Montreal, May 24, 2008
  • 2. Multiple Approaches to Studying Visual Culture
    • Studies of visual culture merge popular and "low" cultural forms of media and communication with the study of "high" cultural forms of fine art, design, and architecture.
  • 3. JACOBS UNIVERSITY BREMEN Visual Competence Symposium    July 6 - 8, 2007 Marion Muller, GERMANY Steven Eisenman, US Luc Pauwels, BELGIUM Gunther Kress, UK Daniel Glaser, UK Kenneth Holmqvist, SWEDEN Alan Kingstone, CANADA Renee Hobbs, US Ursula Frohne, GERMANY Lucia Santaella Braga, BRAZIL Theo van Leeuwen, AUSTRALIA Leonardo Boccia, BRAZIL Arvid Kappas, GERMANY Matthias Bruhn, GERMANY Winfried Nöth, GERMANY Ed Tan, NETHERLANDS Michael Griffin, US … and others
  • 4. Visual Competence
    • Perception
    • Decoding and interpretation
    • Production
    • Intra- and intercultural action
    Informed by perspectives from art history, cognitive neuroscience, semiotics and communication Competence is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities at a level of expertise sufficient to be able to perform in an appropriate setting
  • 5. Media Literacy
    • The ability to
    • Access
    • Analyze
    • Evaluate
    • Communicate
    • … in a wide variety of forms
    Informed by perspectives from education, communication, cultural studies and youth development Literacy involves a continuum of learning that enables an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in society.
  • 6. Visual Competence Media Literacy Why a New Term?
  • 7. Visual Competence Media Literacy Why a New Term?
    • Responding to the problematics of “literacy”
    • Applying insights from perceptual and cognitive psychology
    • Emphasizing cultural specificity of message construction and interpretation
    • A term for academic scholars interested in interdisciplinary inquiry on processes of message production and reception
  • 8. Widespread Stakeholder Interest in “New Literacies”
    • Information technology providers
    • Academic scholars in communication and media studies
    • Library and information science
    • K-12 education and school reform
    • Public health
    • Fine and performing arts
    • After school and informal learning
    • Advocacy and social change
    • Workplace readiness and the creative economy
  • 9. Visual Competence ICT Literacy Critical Literacy New Literacies Information Literacy Media Literacy Visual Literacy Multiple Models Proliferate
  • 10. Visual Competence Perception Decoding/Interpretation Production Intra-intercultural action Media Literacy Access Analyze/Evaluate Communicate Advocate Sisters, Cousins, Competitors or Friends?
  • 11. Characteristics of Visual Competence: Focus on Perceptual & Cognitive Issues
    • Alan Kingstone’s cognitive ethology approach to studying visual cognition
    • Eye tracking studies of people watching movies show a lot of consistency
    • Provides insight on the relationship between interpretation and production, since producers design messages that are designed to evoke shared meaning
  • 12. Characteristics of Visual Competence: Focus on Cultural Specificity Culture shapes both the processes of message construction and reception.
  • 13. Characteristics of Media Literacy: Focus on Purpose
    • The purpose of media literacy education is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today’s world.
    • --Core Principles of Media Literacy Education, AMLA, St. Louis (2007)
  • 14.   PEDAGOGY: A way of learning and teaching DISTRIBUTION & PARTICIPATION: A means of sharing MEDIUM: The form of expression and communication TECHNOLOGIES: Resources that help you do or make things MEDIA LITERACY ACCESS ANALYZE/ EVALUATE COMMUNICATE ADVOCATE CONTENT: The messages that matter
  • 15. Characteristics of Media Literacy: Focus on Key Concepts
    • 1) Understanding that all messages are constructions , created by authors for specific purposes
    • 2) People use their individual skills, beliefs and experiences to construct meaning from messages
    • 3) Different forms and genres of communication make use of specific codes, conventions and symbolic forms
    • 4) Values and ideologies are conveyed in media messages in ways that represent certain world views
    • 5) Media and media messages can shape people’s perceptions of social reality, thus influencing beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and the democratic process
    • 6) Media messages, media industries and technologies of communication exist within a larger aesthetic, cultural, historical, political, economic and regulatory framework.
  • 16. Characteristics of Media Literacy: Focus on Core Instructional Practices
    • Reflection on media & technology use
    • Inquiry-oriented critical analysis of multimedia texts, contexts, and cultures
    • Creative and collaborative media production for authentic purposes
  • 17. Visual Competence Perception Decoding/Interpretation Production Intra-intercultural action Media Literacy Access Analyze/Evaluate Communicate Advocate Sisters, Cousins, Competitors or Friends? EDUCATION
  • 18. Issues to Consider
    • What is the purpose of “visual competence”?
    • What are the costs and benefits of interdisciplinary approaches to defining skills, knowledge and competencies in relation to message reception and production?
  • 19.
    • Many multimedia forms are not strictly “visual”
    • Competence suggests a state of mastery, with implied or explicit hierarchies
    • Visual competence is highly medium- and genre-specific
    • Visual competence is not explicitly linked to metacognition, learning processes, or “habits of inquiry”
    • Analysis is situated within decoding/ interpretation, emphasizing meaning-making but risking the loss of a “critical” perspective
    Visual Competence and Media Literacy: Sisters, Cousins, Competitors or Friends?
  • 20. Renee Hobbs Professor Media Education Lab Temple University School of Communications and Theater Philadelphia PA USA Email : renee.hobbs@temple.edu