This weeks blog post is based on the article, Advertising and Consumerism: A space for Pedagogical Practice in Mirror Images. This article is looking at the connection between education and advertising. Advertising and consumerism in the classroom has traditionally been the “enemy”. As educators we can chose to look at consumerism and advertising through a different lense and use it present rich opportunities for students to learn.
Funes outlines the many ways that advertisers send messages informing the public of what is ‘normal’. Advertisers use a range of techniques to construct a reality that is not often questioned, especially by students.
As educators helping students to deconstruct their own perceptions of what is ‘normal’ is essential in helping them grow into informed consumers. We need to teach students to examine and assess what is being shown to them.
Students analysing spending habits, what is ‘normal’, etc. is what Funes outlines as “disrupting the traditional “transmitter-message-receiver”. Students are inserting themselves into their own learning. Once students see themselves reflected in their own learning they will feel and act more informed. It is obvious that we need to be teaching students to be critical of the how they view the world but how do we go about doing this? How do we teach them the necessary skills to be critical consumers?
Teachers may need to ‘teach’ less and facilitate more. Develop investigations, help students question, deduce, reason, perceive and make connections. All of these big ideas are transferable skills that students can bring to other areas of their lives (Funes, 2008).
References: Virginia Funes. “Advertising and Consumerism: A Space for Pedagogical Practice” Mirror Images. Pp. 159-177.