Media Studies: EMS3O (Grade 11, Open)

Semester 1, Semester 2
English, Grade 10, Academic or Applied
Credit Value

This course emphasizes knowledge and skills that will enable students to understand media communication in the twenty-first century and to use media effectively and responsibly. Through analyzing the forms and messages of a variety of media works and audience responses to them, and through creating their own media works, students will develop critical thinking skills, aesthetic and ethical judgment, and skills in viewing, representing, listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Unit 1: Communication Theory and the Key Concepts of Media Literacy – The Spiral Curriculum

The examination of basic media theory and of the key concepts of media literacy in this unit lays the foundation for the entire course. The key concepts form a spiralling curriculum that is revisited and developed within each of the units. Exploring the key concepts promotes a literacy that applies to all areas of mass media.

Unit 2: Television – What’s Inside the Box?

By examining the role of television in today’s world, you will approach television with a critical (as opposed to a passive) mind. By encouraging a critical thinking/cultural studies approach to television, you will develop analytical skills that will help you to make informed decisions not only in the media classroom, but also beyond. Ethical issues regarding values, identity, consumerism, racism, and violence encourage you to be witnesses to Catholic social teaching by promoting morality, equality, respect, and effort toward a peaceful and compassionate society.

Unit 3: Popular Culture – Look Into the Mirror

By studying trends, toys, institutions, pastimes, celebrities, and heroes of dominant North American culture, you will be challenged to critically examine the beliefs and values of our society. In addition, you will evaluate the extent to which popular culture influences and shapes not only societal behaviours, values and beliefs, but your own as well.

Unit 4: The Wired (and Wireless) World

Computer literacy involves not only the ability to use the computer and the Internet, but also the ability to understand and evaluate the effects of this technology on our society. You will examine the role of this technology in your life and discover how the Catholic Church has responded to it in various Church documents. The great fallacy of “The Wired World” is that the Internet provides information – not knowledge. The Internet provides only information. Knowledge is gained by organizing, evaluating, and drawing conclusions about information.

Unit 5: Stop the Presses! – The World of Print

Newspapers and magazines are not value-free. There is a great need to develop a critical awareness of how the printed word can manipulate our values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours. The main aim of this unit is to help you to develop the ability to deconstruct print media so that you can evaluate these media in terms of your own personal, social, and religious values in light of the Gospel.

Unit 6: Film: The Human Story in the Cinema

You will have the opportunity to examine film critically within the context of your own life, by exploring values and related issues in light of the gospel. You will be encouraged to explore different aspects of film construction, promotion, and criticism.

Unit 7: Culminating Activity

The focus will be on advertising as it is integrated throughout the entire course. Advertising is the backbone of our consumer culture. We are all challenged by our faith tradition to reflect critically upon these values.