Sep 242002
 
Authors: Amy Bergstrom

Education is a continual process, and teachers as well as students are still learning at CSU.

Thursday, the first of six forums this semester for faculty, graduate students and teaching assistant provided by the Center for Teaching and Learning took place in the Lory Student Center.

The forum series as a whole gives faculty members a chance to discuss various issues with each other and provides ideas for their classrooms.

Thursday’s forum, titled “Critical Media Literacy,” featured speech communication professors Greg Dickinson and Brian Ott presenting their proposal for a new critical media class.

The forum discussed the creation of a class combining criticism, media theory and media production.

“We want to equip students with the language to talk about the structure of media they consume,” Ott said. “Get students to become critical citizens: that is our ultimate goal.”

To accomplish this goal, Ott and Dickinson are working to combine the curriculum from their classes to make students more aware of media images. Dickinson compares media literacy to book literacy.

“When reading was introduced, we taught kids how to read books. When media was introduced, we were not taught to be literate of visual images,” Dickinson said.

Bill Timpson, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, recruited faculty members from various departments to speak on issues ranging from diversity and privilege to using the ropes course in classes.

“We’re trying to build a library of resources that feature faculty on campus and what they’re doing,” Timpson said.

As for the success of these forums, Timpson says that the proof can be found in what students are learning. The forums also offer faculty a chance to have peer interaction as they rarely have a colleague in their classrooms.

“Teaching is very isolating,” Timpson said. “We want to raise issues and give faculty a chance to talk to other teachers.”

These forums will be held on certain Thursdays at 12:10 p.m. in room 166 of the LSC. The next forum, on October 3, will feature Tony Frank, vice president for research and information technology, discussing strategic planning.

Information from the handouts distributed at each forum can be found at the website for the Center for Teaching and Learning, www.colosate.edu/Orgs/CTLearn.

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