CERL Releases Results of Civics Teachers’ Media Literacy Survey

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Cover for Project Community Media Literacy Teacher Survey Presentation at Georgetown University May 18, 2024

Dr. Diana Owen and the Civic Education Research Lab (CERL) researchers M. Bradlee Sutherland, Molly May, Arjun Chawla, and Sebastian Sawnhey released an analysis of a civics teachers’ media literacy survey conducted from December 13, 2023 to January 12, 2024. Respondents included 122 4th through 12th grade teachers in the Center for Civic Education’s network; the majority instructed high school students. CERL conducted the survey in advance of the Center’s Project Community pilot project.

Survey results indicated most teachers are currently integrating media literacy into their classes. Far fewer teach media literacy as a separate lesson. Two-thirds of teachers consider media literacy to be a very important aspect of their teaching practice. Educators are introducing a range of media literacy skills into their classrooms, most prominently critical thinking, evaluation, media consumption, and analysis. Top reasons for not teaching media literacy include lack of background or training, lack of alignment with the assigned curriculum, and insufficient resources. Educators find topics dealing with media source credibility and the information landscape are compelling. An emerging topic of concern to teachers is the relationship of AI to media literacy. Read the full research brief.

Project Community: Engaging All Students in Media Literacy and Public Policy is an initiative of the Center for Civic Education designed to enable teachers to address misinformation and promote media literacy in the classroom. The project will develop media literacy lessons and educator support materials for grades 4 through 8 that can stand along or align with the Center’s Project Citizen curricular program. The Center will provide professional development to teachers who will use the curricular module and materials in their classrooms while instructing Project Citizen. CERL will evaluate the effectiveness of Project Community in supporting high-quality civics instruction and achieving positive student outcomes.