Making the Most of News: Approaches to Using Media-Based Learning Contexts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter will focus on News media and the news reports that stimulate scientific and geographic ways of thinking. The range of subject matter is vast and the volume of news reporting extensive so the focus will be in particular on those areas were science and geography share common ground.
Media sources, unlike textbooks, when reporting on scientific and geographic research and development, and on contemporary thinking are guided by what journalists accept as news values. Consequently reports are often tentative and sometimes contested. They may raise controversial issues and expose difficult choices that face individuals and society.
For most people, beyond the period of formal schooling, News media provides the major source of ongoing scientific and geographic knowledge. The ability to read and respond critically to the challenging and complex issues that are aired in the media is important. The ability of individuals and their communities to make reasoned responses to issues affecting personal and environmental wellbeing may be shaped by their grasp of scientific and geographic literacy. Their decisions and responses may have far reaching implications.
Communication via mass media is increasing exponentially and young people’s access to information seems unlimited. In addition to a valuable source of engaging contexts, News media provides a setting for the development of subject literacy. There are opportunities for teachers to use news media effectively and to place core subject knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. For teachers and teacher educators this is both challenging and exciting. This may prompt practitioners to question if theoretical understanding and pedagogical practice is keeping pace with the realities of accessing reports about the world beyond the classroom.
In addressing that question this chapter will examine the nature of media reporting of issues with scientific and geographical components. It will explore the characteristics of effective curricular planning and classroom practice and provide exemplars of good practice to illustrate opportunities for multidisciplinary approaches to using news media in the classroom. The overall aim is to suggest ways that teachers, teacher educators and those with responsibility for policy and curriculum planning can promote the development of scientific and geographic literacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContextualising Teaching to Improve learning
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case for Science and Geography
EditorsLaurinda Leite, Luis Dourado, Ana Afonso, Sofia Morgado
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978-1-53611-845-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Publication series

NameEducation in a Competitive and Globalizing World
PublisherNova Science Publishers


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