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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Media Literacy as High School English Courses

1997 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Detroit, Michigan


The NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts assert that "nonprint texts are an essential part of students' reading experience. . . . Opportunities to study and create visual texts—including narrative and documentary films, television, advertisements, maps, illustrations, multimedia/CD resources, and other graphic displays are also crucial." However, many schools offering English electives in the 11th and 12th grades find that university and college admissions authorities do not recognize courses stressing media literacy as appropriate preparation for undergraduate work, even though such courses stress critical thinking and writing.

College preparatory students are often discouraged from taking such courses. As a consequence, in some schools, these courses are mislabeled to hide their media nature. In others, the courses are dropped for lack of adequate enrollment, thereby dampening efforts to incorporate media literacy in school curriculum. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English affirm that media literacy courses meeting the same academic standards of other high school English courses be counted as English credit for admission to universities and colleges; and

     that NCTE and its affiliates communicate this position to appropriate organizations, groups, and individuals.

This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.

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