by Tamara Sobel, J.D., C.S.E.
Massachusetts Director of Legislation, Policy & Community Organizing at Media Literacy Now
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently released a draft of its newly revised Curriculum Frameworks for History and Social Sciences. We are happy to report the new Frameworks include a groundbreaking emphasis on Media Literacy – a great step for education in the Commonwealth.
‘Curriculum Frameworks’ are extensive documents guiding educators in teaching various subjects, and outline key elements and resources for instruction of students statewide. They are revised periodically to ensure educational content is up to date.
The revision process, which began in 2016, involved consultation with a panel of PreK – 12 educators, representatives from higher education and other organizations. It also solicited input from any interested citizens or groups through public forums and a public comment period (which recently ended.) The Board will formally vote to adopt the new frameworks in June 2018. More info at http://www.doe.mass.edu/candi/StandardsReview/hss.html
Media Literacy Now submitted comments on the critical nature of Media Literacy skills in understanding news and current events, and along with input from other sources, including Andover educator and MLN supporter Mary Robb, the Frameworks panel took laudable steps to ensure that Media Literacy skills will be an integral part of social sciences education from elementary through high school. Media Literacy Now is also included in the “Resources” section of the Frameworks to aide teachers and students.
At Media Literacy Now, we’re proud to be a catalyst not only for legislative change but also regulatory change, working with state agencies responsible for making sure curriculum content represents the best and most updated approaches to high quality education.
We encourage anyone interested in education in the Commonwealth, or other states, to stay in touch with their state’s Department of Education to learn more about when Curriculum Frameworks in various subjects may be revised, and contribute to the process of improving education.