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Contributed by Ari Kissiloff on 11/19/2012
Chris Sperry, Director of Curriculum and Staff Development at Project Look Sharp, presented at the New York State Science Teachers Conference in Rochester, NY on November 6. His presentation was titled Integrating Media Literacy and Critical Thinking into Science.
The workshop presented the findings of a 2-year initiative where Project Look Sharp trainers worked with 20 teams of elementary and secondary science teachers across New York State to develop lessons that used media analysis and production to teach core science concepts. Teachers found that integrating media analyze and production increased student engagement and taught them to apply critical thinking and scientific analysis to their everyday lives.
Mr. Sperry has taught middle and high school social studies, English and media studies for over 30 years in Ithaca, New York. He is the author of numerous curriculum kits related to global studies and U.S. history and articles about integrating media literacy and critical thinking into the curriculum. He is the recipient of the National Council for the Social Studies 2008 Award for Global Understanding, and the 2005 National PTA and Cable Leaders in Learning Award for Media Literacy.
Project Look Sharp now has 16 media literacy kits that include detailed teacher guides and lessons for classroom decoding of historic documents for K-12 classroom teachers through the college level. All kits are available free online with hard copy kits sold at cost through Ithaca College bookstore.
Project Look Sharp supports the integration of critical thinking through media literacy in school curriculum and teaching. They do this through developing and providing lesson plans, media materials, training and support for educators at all education levels. The purpose of media literacy education is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, and active citizens in today’s world.