Students First: The Health Curriculum Debate
One of media literacy’s strengths is its ability to explore ideas from multiple perspectives. So let’s employ a strategy pioneered by Marshall McLuhan, Canada’s foremost media educator: substitution. Let’s substitute the Ontario government’s parental consultations on its Health curriculum with other governmental policies affecting children.
The Health curriculum issues are directly connected to media literacy because mental health, sexting, cyberbullying, sexual identity and social media uses are media literacy issues.
Would parents and government dictate how child psychologists should be treating children needing mental health supports, or might they defer to the expertise of researchers and practitioners?
Would they dictate how pharmacists should dispense drugs to keep children healthy and safe, or might they defer to the expertise of researchers and practitioners?
Would they dictate how pediatricians should diagnose and treat children or might they defer to the expertise of researchers and practitioners?
If they trust professional researchers and practitioners to know how to keep children mentally and physically safe, why do they think they know better than professional educators—researchers and practitioners—to help children thrive in the 21st century?