Research

Understanding How and Where Media Literacy Is Taught in Illinois High Schools

Interviews with High School Teachers, Spring 2022

The ubiquity of media and their role in personal, social, and civic life, has prompted a growing call to better equip teachers and students with critical media literacy skills. In 2021, the Illinois state legislature passed Public Act 102-0055 mandating a unit of instruction in media literacy in public high schools, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year. We are a team of scholars in the College of Media and College of Education who are interested in knowing the ways in which Illinois high school teachers across the curriculum are currently thinking about or implementing media literacy in their classrooms; what they see as the barriers and opportunities to implementing media literacy knowledge in their classes; what they know about this new legislation; and what they might envision in a training program that may help them create this content. There is not much knowledge of where, what, how, or who is currently teaching media literacy in Illinois. This qualitative study will help us to explore the topic and create a survey for a future study with a greater range of teachers in the state. Our ultimate goal is to help create a training program related to media literacy for Illinois high school teachers. This qualitative study is the first step.

If you are a public high school teacher in Illinois who is interested in participating in our study, please write to us: imedia@illinois.edu.