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Teaching Students to Decode the World: Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum


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In our media-saturated environment, how can we teach students to distinguish true statements from those that are false, misleading, or manipulative? How can we help them develop the skills needed to identify biases and stereotypes, determine credibility of sources, and analyze their own thinking and its effect on their perceptions?

Table of contents

The Foundations of Constructivist Media Decoding (CMD)

Getting Started: The Basics of CMD

Tips for Integrating CMD Into Teaching and Learning

About the authors

Chris Sperry is cofounder and director of curriculum and staff development of Project Look Sharp at Ithaca College. He taught middle and high school social studies, English, and media studies at the Lehman Alternative Community School in Ithaca, New York, for more than 40 years, where he also served as an instructional coach and a mentor for teachers.

He is the author and coauthor of many articles, lessons, and curriculum kits for integrating media literacy and critical thinking into the K–12 curriculum. Chris was the recipient of the 2005 National PTA and Cable's Leaders in Learning Award for Media Literacy. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ithaca College with a planned studies major in media literacy and a master's degree in human development from Harvard University.

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