Media Education in Newfoundland and Labrador

This section comprises a curricular overview (below), as well as information about professional development for media education, and about Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial media education association, the Association for Media Literacy for Newfoundland and Labrador (AMLNL) in the left menu.

Also included in the left menu are curriculum outcome charts from Newfoundland and Labrador’s English Language Arts and Social Studies curricula. These charts include links to supporting MediaSmarts resources.

Last reviewed in July 2016

Curricular Overview

Like their Maritime neighbours, Newfoundland and Labrador continued to move toward outcome-based integrated learning during the 1990s. With the recognition of “media texts” as necessary texts for study, media components can now be found across the curricula.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education follows the English Language Arts framework developed by the Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation (APEF), the curriculum consortium that was formed in 1995.

The new English Language Arts curriculum has been implemented in Newfoundland and Labrador from Kindergarten through Grade 12. There are no specific secondary media courses in Newfoundland and Labrador, although some courses are offered at individual schools.

Media literacy figures prominently in the APEF English Language Arts curriculum. The curriculum builds on the concept that literacy means moving beyond competency in the written word, to the ability to use and understand visual and technological means of communication. Its goal is to create critical media consumers who can, and will, bring critical analysis to their use of the media.

In the APEF English Language Arts Curriculum Guides, the “Role of Media Literacy” is described separately from the roles of Drama, Literature, Critical Literacy, Visual Literacy and Information Literacy.

According to the guide for Grades 7-9:

Media literacy deals with the culture and lifestyle of students. They enjoy thinking and talking about what is going on in the media. For teachers, it is an opportunity to have students examine how they are influencing and being influenced by popular culture.

The guide also states:

How teachers choose to integrate media literacy into the English language arts program will be determined by what the students are reading and writing. On some occasions students might be involved in comparing (the print version of a story to the film version; ad images to the product being sold), examining (the use of images in music videos and newspapers, sexism in advertising), writing (an article in a magazine, a letter to an editor), producing (a pamphlet on an issue, a radio ad), and creating (a video, a school radio show, announcements for the school PA). Media literacy is a form of critical thinking that is cross-curricular. It is more about good questions than correct answers.

The guide for Grades 10-12 builds on those ideas and includes statements such as:

For teachers media literacy is an opportunity to examine the reliability, accuracy and motives of these sources;

and

Media study allows students to investigate issues of power and control. Mass media information is being consolidated into the hands of a few people. There are relatively few decision makers or gatekeepers to decide what and who gets heard.

Media literacy also figures prominently in the APEF Social Studies framework.