Students Explore Media Myths Through Seminar Course on School Shootings
Newswise - Three decades of motivating undergraduates to think, write and explore creatively have supported Donna Decker's theory of excellence in learning: offering students an opportunity to explore a provocative contemporary topic is one of the surest ways to actively engage them in the curriculum.
Decker, an English professor at Franklin Pierce University, helps her students examine the events surrounding the tragic shootings that have occurred in recent years on high school and college campuses across the country. Her newest freshman seminar Intentional Venom: Making Meaning of School Shootings was offered for the first time in the fall of 2011. The product of a series of classroom discussions that occurred the previous year in Decker's nonfiction course, Intentional Venom is being offered again this fall as a freshman seminar class.
Dr. Donna Decker, Franklin Pierce University
Media Literacy: Myths and Truth
Just as today's undergraduate students are bombarded with media messages, they are increasingly fascinated with the concept of media literacy - specifically the idea that commonly held (and often repeated) notions about major news events frequently turn out to be myths. "We were covering the topic of the violence as portrayed by the media and some of the more infamous school shootings in my nonfiction class," she explains. "As we talked about many of the notions surrounding the 1999 Columbine, Colorado, tragedy, it was clear that many of the students were deeply moved into the realm of intellectual engagement."