Media Education in the Northwest Territories

Last reviewed in July 2016

Curricular Overview

The Northwest Territories is a member of the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education (WNCP), formed in 1995 for curriculum development by the four Western provinces and two territories. (Nunavut joined the WNCP in 2000.)

The Northwest Territories Department of Education, Culture and Employment adheres to the WNCP’s Framework for English Language Arts which contains a strong media education component. At present, the department is in the process of implementing the WNCP framework at the Kindergarten to Grade 9 levels. For Grades 10-12, the department follows the Alberta curriculum for English Language Arts.

Within the WNCP framework for English language Arts, students are expected to interact with oral, literary and media texts:

Students use a variety of strategies before, during, and after interacting with a variety of oral, literary and media texts. Before interacting with texts, they preview, ask questions and set purposes. While interacting with texts, they attend to the ideas being presented, make and confirm predictions and inferences, and monitor their understanding. After interacting with texts, students respond by reflecting, creating, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating. Effective language learners adapt these strategies as they construct meaning from a variety of texts.

Making meaning of oral, literary, and media texts is fundamental to the English language arts. Through these texts, students experience a variety of situations, people, and cultures, and learn about themselves. Oral, literary, and media texts allow for multiple interpretations. Students respond personally to texts by relating them to their prior knowledge, feelings, and experiences, and to other texts. Through personal response, students explore and develop values and beliefs. They respond critically to texts by making interpretations and evaluating ideas, forms, and techniques.

Students enhance their comprehension of and response to oral, literary, and media texts through learning experiences in all the general outcomes. Exploratory talk and writing, for example, strengthen understanding and evaluation of texts. Students’ appreciation of literary texts provides them with a range of topics and encourages them to experiment with a variety of forms in their own communication. Responding to oral, literary, and media texts provides students with new insights.

Students also enhance their response to texts by sharing and discussing with others. Competence in active listening, discussion, group participation and reflection enables students to interact with others in the learning community to increase understanding and self-awareness. While these skills and strategies are not always explicitly stated in the outcomes, they permeate all the general outcomes.

English Language Arts
WCP Curriculum Framework of Outcomes and Standards

In Aboriginal communities, media literacy is also a component of Performance Arts, which includes elements of sociology, literature, oral traditions, and the comprehension of different levels of meaning in oral, print and media texts.

In addition, the Northwest Territories offers secondary students a Career and Technology Studies program. In this program, students are encouraged to explore the relationship between the media and topics such as communication technology, community health, fashion studies and foods.

Included in the left menu are curriculum charts for Grades 1-12 that feature media education outcomes in the WNCP and Alberta English Language Arts curricula, with links to supporting MediaSmarts resources and lessons.