Teaching about racial diversity through photojournalism.
Media literacy teaches critical thinking and communications skills such as photojournalism.
Photojournalism is a universal language that uses photographs for storytelling and allows people of all races and cultures to find the things they have in common.
Below are two examples of how teachers used media literacy education to help their students learn about different cultures.
In a lesson about stereotypes, students in South Korea reflected on how media images of race and stereotypes had influenced their own reactions toward other people. The students also learned how producing stories about things they felt were important could make a difference in the ways they interacted with other people (Yoon, 2010).
Mary Guerrero, a teacher in the Lawrence Public School system in Massachusetts, used a photojournalism project to influence how her students perceived themselves and their city. She designed hands-on projects that engaged her students in their surroundings and encouraged them to express themselves. Her students discovered aspects of the city that they did not know existed, which reminded them of the similarities between different cultures (Marinell, 2008).
Photojournalism is one of the many tools of the media that can potentially help encourage creativity among the students and show them that something fun can have a powerful effect on society.
Marinell, W. (2008). Voices Inside Schools. Capturing Authenticity, Transforming Perception: One Teacher’s Efforts to Improve Her Students’ Performance by Challenging Their Impressions of Self and Community. Harvard Educational Review, 78(3), 529-548.
Yoon, J. (2010). “Media literacy education to promote cultural competence and adaptation among diverse students: A case study of North Korean refugees in South Korea”. Temple University.