Sunday, February 1, 2009

English Teachers Teach Design

Many English teachers belong to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). While their main mission remains that of teaching students to read and write they have always included some design components when they produce school newspapers, yearbooks, run photo labs, teach film, study illustrated texts, and do a variety of other design activities.

NTCE's Assembly for Advisers of Student Publications/ Journalism Education Association (AASP/JEA) includes members of the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and serves advisers of student media, such as newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, radio, and video.

The NCTE Executive Committee adopted a new definition of 21st Century Literacies that include more visual design in their programs. According to their statement:

"Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Twenty-first century readers and writers need to

Develop proficiency with the tools of technology

Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally

Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes

Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information

Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts

Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments"

Many of the proficiencies above are those of designers. An International Design Education Association would include English teachers who teach design as well as journalism teachers, media specialists, computer science teachers, theatre tech teachers, art teachers and a variety of other K-12 teachers.

Click on the heading above to view the NCTE web site.

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