Young children spend an average of 32 hours per week in front of screens. The number is even higher for older children. These alarming numbers provide as good a reason as any to observe Screen Free Week April 29-May 5, spearheaded by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.
If you take the challenge to turn off your screens, we commend you and encourage you to visit screenfree.org for helpful resources on how to plan your week to minimize temptation and have some screen-free fun.
But even if you can’t or won’t power down, don’t let that stop you from using Screen-Free Week to reflect upon your family’s interactions with TV and technology.
Elizabeth Marshall and Özlem Sensoy, editors of our extremely popular Rethinking Popular Culture and Media, wrote in an editorial two years ago, “Screen Free Week is also an opportunity to consider our relationship with media and the marketing activities that underlie them.”
They encourage us to “reconsider our relationship with our media-saturated society and to ask whether these media support or undermine the democratic values we espouse.”
Here are a few reading recommendations that will help you fine-tune your critical media literacy skills, as well as see critical examination of media in action:
Rethinking Popular Culture and Media, edited by Elizabeth Marshall and Özlem Sensoy, includes excellent articles by teachers, scholars, parents and activists who examine how and what popular TV programs, films, and other media “teach.” We’re offering a 15% discount until May 31 with code SFWE13 when you order at our Web site.
Lesson Ideas for Screen Free Week – includes an article from Rethinking Popular Culture and Media
Power Down for Screen Free Week, The Vancouver Sun By Özlem Sensoy and Elizabeth Marshal 14 April 2011
Schlock Proof Your Child, by Özlem Sensoy, 30 Jun 2011, TheTyee.ca 2011
A Review of ‘42’: Jackie Robinson’s Bitter Pill, by Dave Zirin.
Rethinkin’ Lincoln, by Bill Bigelow
“Ball Licky-Lickly!” Pedagogical Strategies for Interrogating Pop Culture Images, by Özlem Sensoy
Rethinking “The Lorax”, by Bill Bigelow
Saviors and Burnouts: Rethinking Teachers in Popular Culture, by Elizabeth Marshall
Children’s Literature for the 99%, by Elizabeth Marshall