Media, Youth, and Well-Being

What Are the Outcomes of Media Literacy Education?

Authored by: Erica Scharrer , Laras Sekarasih , Christine Olson

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954


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The ability of education about the media to shape individuals’ knowledge about, attitudes toward, and responses to the media is the subject of growing scholarly inquiry. Variations among participants in both age and setting introduce individual differences and contextual factors that shape approaches to media literacy education (MLE) and individuals’ responses to those approaches. Nonetheless, there is increasing evidence that such educational interactions can contribute to a host of outcomes, including adding to knowledge of how media systems work to create and circulate content, as well as how audiences respond to that content; challenging attitudes regarding whether media content and the practices and systems that create that content are fair and socially responsible; and spurring use of educational skills to comprehend and critique the claims and representations found in (as well as absent from) various media forms. There is also growing evidence that MLE can be utilized to help sharpen media creation skills, giving participants the opportunity to be makers themselves, thereby both inspiring their creativity through a pleasurable exercise and lending them new insights into the constructed nature of media.

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