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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands: Critical Media Literacy as a Pedagogy of Freedom
Unformatted Document Text:  Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands 3 special issue wondered why “we really understand so little about the subject.” 2 The answer is simple: Without considering the subject in relation to bigger concerns of critical pedagogy and democracy, such predicament will persist. Indeed, there are not many instances of situating media literacy within the broader project of critical pedagogy and the shared vision of cultural democracy. Some media scholars argue that the tradition of critical pedagogy is inadequate in dealing with media literacy in that it has been overly theoretical and ideological. 3 On the contrary, the problem is the misconception of theory and the misbelief in scientism. As Peter McLaren sharply points out, any kind of school knowledge is partisan in nature. Going against the traditional assumption of education in which teachers keep value- neutrality in the classroom, McLaren argues, “Any worthwhile theory of schooling must be partisan. That is, it must be fundamentally tied to a struggle for a qualitatively better life for all through the construction of a society based on nonexploitative relations and social justice.” 4 Seen from this perspective, media literacy education is also never apolitical. Although there are continuous debates about the extent of media power, it is apparent that the mass media have certain powers in shaping our culture. By tons of newspaper articles, movies, TV programs, video games, the mass media teach us acceptable norms, values, behaviors of a given society. Therefore, it is reasonable to locate media education within the context of cultural pedagogy, which actively poses the questions

Authors: Nam, Siho.
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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands
3
special issue wondered why “we really understand so little about
the subject.”
2
The answer is simple: Without considering the
subject in relation to bigger concerns of critical pedagogy and
democracy, such predicament will persist. Indeed, there are not
many instances of situating media literacy within the broader
project of critical pedagogy and the shared vision of cultural
democracy.
Some media scholars argue that the tradition of critical
pedagogy is inadequate in dealing with media literacy in that it
has been overly theoretical and ideological.
3
On the contrary,
the problem is the misconception of theory and the misbelief in
scientism. As Peter McLaren sharply points out, any kind of
school knowledge is partisan in nature. Going against the
traditional assumption of education in which teachers keep value-
neutrality in the classroom, McLaren argues, “Any worthwhile
theory of schooling must be partisan.
That is, it must be
fundamentally tied to a struggle for a qualitatively better life
for all through the construction of a society based on
nonexploitative relations and social justice.”
4
Seen from this
perspective, media literacy education is also never apolitical.
Although there are continuous debates about the extent of
media power, it is apparent that the mass media have certain
powers in shaping our culture. By tons of newspaper articles,
movies, TV programs, video games, the mass media teach us
acceptable norms, values, behaviors of a given society.
Therefore, it is reasonable to locate media education within the
context of cultural pedagogy, which actively poses the questions


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