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09 MARCH 2010

Critical Pedagogy

"'Critical pedagogy considers how education can provide individuals with the tools to better themselves and strengthen democracy, to create a more egalitarian and just society, and thus to deploy education in a process of progressive social change. Media literacy involves teaching the skills that will empower citizens and students to become sensitive to the politics of representations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and other cultural differences in order to foster critical thinking and enhance democratization. Critical media literacy aims to make viewers and readers more critical and discriminating readers and producers of texts.

'Critical media pedagogy provides students and citizens with the tools to analyze critically how texts are constructed and in turn construct and position viewers and readers. It provides tools so that individuals can dissect the instruments of cultural domination, transform themselves from objects to subjects, from passive to active. Thus critical media literacy is empowering, enabling students to become critical producers of meanings and texts, able to resist manipulation and domination.'"

(Douglas Kellner)

Douglas Kellner, "Multiple Literacies and Critical Pedagogies" in Revolutionary Pedagogies – Cultural Politics, Instituting Education, and the Discourse of Theory, Peter Pericles Trifonas, Editor, Routledge, 2000

TAGS

analyse critically • critical media literacy • critical pedagogy • critical producers • critical thinkingcritiquecultural difference • cultural domination • democracydemocratisationdialogic • discriminating readers • dominationeducationegalitarianemancipationempowermentengagementethnicitygender • just society • manipulationmedia literacypedagogypoliticspower • progressive social change • racerepresentationsexualitysocial classsocial constructionismsocietyteachingtransformation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 FEBRUARY 2010

Walt Disney's Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow

"Take a look at Walt Disney's vision for the city of the future, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow or Epcot. 'No city of today will serve as the guide for the city of tomorrow,' serves as a guiding principle as varied ideas from shopping mall living, to freeways, to pedestrian safety, to high speed transit are considered. Disney himself says the city of tomorrow must abandon the old cities and their problems and be built on virgin land from scratch.

From its 'cosmopolitan convention center' to its theme–park shopping districts, Disney envisioned his 50–acre city core, completely enclosed and climate controlled like a shopping mall, hermetically sealed from the natural world. Outside of this air–conditioned environment of shops and offices, apartments, then parks and schools, then suburban houses radiate in a fantasy of controlled zoning where every use is separated from every other use.

Despite being conceived as a modern utopia based around the automobile, Epcot envisions a future of mass transit for the daily commute. 'Freeways will not be EPCOT's major way of entering and leaving the city,' declares a confident narrator. Instead, an electrified monorail and people mover will connect the city and suburb, radiating in all directions from the core. It was envisioned that the primary use of the car would be for 'weekend pleasure trips.'

Repeatedly, the dangers of automobile traffic for pedestrians are cited. The pedestrian is, in fact, declared 'king' as transportation uses, like Epcot's zoning, are completely separated. The pedestrian is 'free to walk and browse without fear of motorized vehicles.' Children and bikes have separate paths in the suburbs for walking or riding to school. Electric vehicles travel on elevated roadway's through Epcot's downtown while underground transit carries workers in and out of the city. Separate facilities for cars and trucks are provided further underground.

Disney did eventually build a prototype city, but the end result was far from what was envisioned for Epcot. The town of Celebration, Florida chose not to abandon the cities of the past but to embrace the patterns that make them so interesting to experience. New Urbanism has been brought in to create a mixed–use town center and compact living. Celebration was just as carefully planned as the Epcot of old, but the end result is quite different."

(Branden Klayko, 20 November 2009, Broken Sidewalk)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 APRIL 2005

Visual Ideology: politics of visual language

"As graphic designers we often use the power of image to persuade, convince, reveal or to construct a contextual stage for messages. A great deal of research and consideration goes into this process of deciding what type of imagery will best convey our ideas. As visual thinkers we are accustomed to deciphering the distinctions created by color, form, scale, etc. By cropping away information or altering an images color we can more effectively represent our ideas. All of this, of course, assumes our decisions are correct, that they will elicit from the audience the desired response. But how often do we evaluate these visual decisions after the creative process has concluded? What happens to our work after it is released for public consumption?

In regard to politics the use of image is used to associate personalities with issues, display concern or patriotism and of course create negative associations as well. Notice the recent trend of political speeches in front of a backdrop of issue words or phrases such a 'economic growth' or 'healthcare.' How well do these efforts succeed? More importantly, how visually literate is the general public in terms of detecting and interpreting what they see?

Visual Ideology is an effort to raise awareness to the use of images in messaging. Given the choice, what images would the general public associate with specific ideas or words? How can one image be more meaningful than another similar image? This project asks viewers to to make decisions as to images that best represent their visual definition of political terms or ideas. During this process it is hoped that viewers will begin to develop a better understanding of how visual imagery can influence meaning. By placing the responsibility of making these visual decisions with the viewer they get to experience a part of graphic design. As graphic designers, we get to see how self defined political personalities might be visually represented. Though not necessarily a ideological map, this project will hopefully offer some insight as to how differing political personalities interpret visual information."
(http://visualideology.asoe.net/primary/summary.php)

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