State standardsI live in Tennessee. The dept. of ed. here is revising the standards for reading and writing. We currently have 4 standards: reading, writing, viewing and representing, and speaking...

State standards

I live in Tennessee. The dept. of ed. here is revising the standards for reading and writing. We currently have 4 standards: reading, writing, viewing and representing, and speaking and listening. The new standards will include interpreting media. Do you think this belongs in the English dept.?

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Here in Britain we have to include non-fiction and interpreting media into our curriculum, but I agree with #5 - film studies is film studies, and whilst of course most English teachers allow the two to merge, for example when we watch and compare a film version of a play to the text, there are definite areas of knowledge that only belong in a Film Studies course.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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I agree with #9 - I love the idea of adding an interpreting media component, and I think its important, but English teachers are already expected to cram so much into a single year.  At my school, we don't have the luxury of specializing in classes - all 10th graders take the standard 10th grade class.  But the school expects they will come out of this class being able to write, speak, read, understand vocabulary, interpret, listen, have a clear knowledge of all genres, etc, etc.  As teachers we have become better at multi-tasking, but I'm worried the students will be exposed to so much that, instead of holding onto a few key skills/concepts they will miss it all in the deluge of information and expectations.

Yes, yes, and yes. Have you noticed that kids are seeming to have a hard time retaining knowledge? I spend a lot of time reteaching things we've already covered. This is my first year to teach 10th graders, but I had almost all of these same kids in 7th and/or 8th grades. They still can't tell me what a noun is!

cmcqueeney's profile pic

cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

I agree with #9 - I love the idea of adding an interpreting media component, and I think its important, but English teachers are already expected to cram so much into a single year.  At my school, we don't have the luxury of specializing in classes - all 10th graders take the standard 10th grade class.  But the school expects they will come out of this class being able to write, speak, read, understand vocabulary, interpret, listen, have a clear knowledge of all genres, etc, etc.  As teachers we have become better at multi-tasking, but I'm worried the students will be exposed to so much that, instead of holding onto a few key skills/concepts they will miss it all in the deluge of information and expectations.

mrerick's profile pic

mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I think you've hit on something important there.  The problem with making those changes in today's classroom, is the unwillingness by some higher-ups to change what we assess the kids on.  They have added to the standards to include all of these media outlets that students should know, but all of the previous stuff that was expected to be taught is still there too!

I'm a firm believer that our teachers today are much better at multi-tasking learning units because of these expectations.  I often wonder what someone who taught in a one room school house (and probably still felt overwhelmed) would say if a suit from the government told her that what she was teaching was great, but she also needs to cover this, and this, and this, and this...I imagine that the dear old school marm would have an earful for said suit...

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It seems to me that if we want kids to perform well in today's society, the way we teach needs to change to accommodate the way they learn.  We need to use more technology in our lessons.  We need to have units on film and TV (propaganda, speeches, drama, screenplay, etc.)  Students would thrive in a class where there was the occasional unit on film criticism, or when we use webquests and other student-developed scavenger hunt type activities.  It's what they know, where they feel comfortable, and a standardized test like that will blow the scores out of the water.

jeff-hauge's profile pic

jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

It seems like an open ended answer to the nebulous problem of the digital age. This might be an interesting way of incorporating classes that deal with various forms.

All this would require more technology funding from the state right? So... a good thing?

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Personally I think dealing with the aspects of film-making like lighting and direction belongs in some kind of a film studies course, or a drama program.  Yes, kids need to be able to understand and use a variety of media, but I'm more concerned with students who graduate without being able to read literature or write papers, rather than making sure they understand why a director chose lighting for a certain scene in a movie.

Amen, sister. Our director of secondary ed. had the nerve to send an email to all English teachers to ask why our students aren't doing better on writing assessments. My answer: Because we don't teach them how to write. We spend too much time teaching them how to fill in bubbles on tests! (I'm tenured, by the way.)

malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Personally I think dealing with the aspects of film-making like lighting and direction belongs in some kind of a film studies course, or a drama program.  Yes, kids need to be able to understand and use a variety of media, but I'm more concerned with students who graduate without being able to read literature or write papers, rather than making sure they understand why a director chose lighting for a certain scene in a movie.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I should have been more clear. Media does include Internet resources, but we're being asked to examine movies as well--lighting, direction, etc.

mrerick's profile pic

mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

The North Dakota standards also include understand of media and propaganda.  I think it's essential in our classrooms because of the nature of researching we ask our kids to complete.  Research papers used to consist of digging through microfiche files, card catalogs, and archived magazines.  Now, they kids sift through a VAST amount of electronic materials that range from that exact same stuff we researched X number of years ago, to a webpage that Johnny Lunchpail put together for a class assignment in Oregon.  Our kids have to be able to sort and understand what is credible (good), and what is not.  The only other classroom where this kind of media teaching can take place is social studies, for the same research reasons as an English classroom.  More than that, if we're graduating kids that don't understand how to use various sources of media, they'll be lost in the adult world.

clane's profile pic

clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

First, by media I'm assuming you mean newspapers, newscasts, reports, radio, Internet articles, etc. That being the case I absolutely think that interpreting media belongs in the English standards. I am unsure of the makeup of your students, but in California (where I teach) it is essential. We have students whose primary language is not English so interpreting media is crucial for their understanding of it. Second language learners often do not understand the idiomatic expressions used in various medias so when we teach the students how to interpret media, often times you see the lights go on and they can understand better the figurative language that native speakers are so accustomed to using on a daily basis. I can't really think of whose place it is to ensure that our students can read a newspaper article and understand it or watch a newscast and have a complete grasp of all aspects of the language.

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