The Ontario social sciences curriculum includes expectations that incorporate media education themes. The curriculum document: Social Sciences and Humanities (2013) includes a section that demonstrates the complementary relationship between the critical thinking approach of media education and social sciences:
Students use critical-thinking skills in social sciences and humanities when they assess, analyse, and/or evaluate the impact of something and when they form an opinion about something and support that opinion with a rationale. In order to think critically, students need to examine the opinions and values of others, detect bias in their sources, determine why a source might express a particular bias, look for implied meaning, and use the information gathered to form a personal opinion or stance, or a personal plan of action with regard to making a difference.
Information and communications technologies (ICT) provide a range of tools that can significantly extend and enrich teachers’ instructional strategies and support students’ learning. ICT tools include multimedia resources, databases, websites, digital cameras, and word-processing programs. Tools such as these can help students to collect, organize, and sort the data they gather, and to write, edit, and present reports on their findings. ICT can also be used to connect students to other schools, at home and abroad, and to bring the global community into the local classroom.
Although the Internet is a powerful learning tool, there are potential risks attached to its use. All students must be made aware of issues related to Internet privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred.
On the sidebar you will find outcome charts containing media-related learning expectations from the social sciences curriculum, with links to supporting resources on the MediaSmarts site. As many of our lessons can be adapted to suit different grade levels and abilities, specific lessons may be listed for more than one grade. Teachers should also note that individual lessons often satisfy a number of expectations.