This paper investigates the definition of media literacy education as reflected in the syllabi of media literacy courses of universities in the three central Japanese prefectures of Aichi, Gifu and Mie. The paper analyses the syllabi in terms of the main types of media focused on and the stated aims of the courses. In broad terms two definitions are identified. The first focuses on the mass media and aims to cultivate critical readers. The second covers both mass and other media and aims to cultivate not only receptive ability but also productive and expressive ability too. It is argued that the second form of media literacy education is preferable in the present age but that the difficulties involved in teaching productive and expressive skills constitute a barrier towards achieving this. In addition, teaching productive and expressive skills are less commonly taught in common educational courses and liberal arts courses than in specialized courses.
Japanese Journal of Educational Media Research 19 (1), 13-23, 2012
Japan Association for Educational Media Study