Developing a Vocational Pedagogy of Media Literacy Education

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 60

Contact Hours: 25

Assessment Hours: 40


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module will start by presenting various models of Media Literacy Education (MLE), and critically analyse their underpinning assumptions and beliefs. It will then focus on those models that can mostly inspire and facilitate vocational pedagogies for this curricular subject. The module will then explain at length the three pillars upon which MLE is constructed, namely media content, media forms/languages, media organizations, and media audiences. This is commonly known as the media triangle. The pedagogical implications of these pillars will be elaborated upon and discussed extensively. The module will resume with providing practical examples that demonstrate how the media triangle can be a very effective pedagogical tool for the construction and deconstruction of various media texts, as well as for processing purposes related to every form of pedagogical activity included in schemes of work and lesson plans.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Advise the SMT, through research-based proposals and recommendations on how MLE as a VET subject in the secondary school years can be taught and improved in every aspect of it;

b. Work with the SMT to implement research and experience-based initiatives that enhance the vocational pedagogies of MLE;

c. Guide students to understand and appreciate the true value of MLE’s vocational pedagogy, and through its creative potential they would be able to contribute to their community and society in general;

d. Ensure that through the vocational pedagogy of MLE, all students have opportunities to learn the basic knowledge, skills, and competences of the subject;

e. Develop lesson plans and schemes of work from the perspective of the media education triangle;

f. Complete professionally designed courses, of various durations, to keep updated about current trends in MLE research;

g. Advise the SLT regularly on research that could be undertaken by the school on MLE-related issues, for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.


a. Identify the various models of MLE;

b. Describe their underlying assumptions, beliefs, and pedagogical implications;

c. Apply one’s reflection on these models and their underlying assumptions to the VET pedagogies of MLE, both in lesson plans and during the actual teaching in the MLE classroom;

d. Define the “media triangle”, as consisting of the three main pillasrs of MLE, namely media content/languages, media audiences, and media organizations;

e. Define and distinguish between media texts, media genres, media forms and media platforms.

f. Tell the importance of each component of the MLE traiangle, and of the pedagogical implications they all have;

g. Define media content through the different media forms and genres, and their corresponding media languages;

h. Tell the pedagogical implications of the vast array of media content forms and languages;

i. List different types of media audiences;

j. Apply knowledge of media audiences to set relevant scenarios in VET assignment briefs;

k. Describe different audience theories and their pedagogical implications;

l. Describe how different audiences could be addressed through vocational pedagogical strategies;

m. Define “media institutions” and “media ownership”;

n. List examples of media institutions and types of media ownership;

o. Tell the importance of processing within the vocational pedagogical design of MLE, utilizing the media triangle;


a. Apply the pedagogical implications of the media triangle to schemes of work and lesson plans on specific MLE topics;

b. Demonstrate how constructive alignment must incorporate processing skills of every pedagogical activity in the MLE classroom, through specific examples;

c. Show through research and reflection on experience how the pedagogical implications of vocational models of MLE can help in the process of activities included in lesson plans;

d. Analyse how various topics in all the units of the MLE VET syllabus can be taught and discussed through the perspective of the media education triangle;

e. Design lesson plans and schemes of work and self-evaluation reports with regards to the level of self-reflexivity through the lens of the media education triangle that they include;

f. understand well how the VET pedagogy of MLE is designed, and how constuctive alignment can be implemented such a pedagogical design;

g. Investigate through research how various activities could be incorporated in the VET pedagogical design and practice;

h. Design case-studies that enhance the learners’ understanding of how media institutions operate;

i. Use knowledge learnt about the media triangle to prepare more effective schemes of work and lesson plans that are aligned with VET pedagogies.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Individual Assignment, Group Assignment, Group Presentation and Online Fora.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Baker, F.W. (2016). Media Literacy in the K-12 Classroom (2nd edition). International Society for Technology in Education.
  2. Buckingham, D. (2003). Media Education: Literacy, Learning and Contemporary Culture. Polity: Blackwell.
  3. Buckingham, D. (2015a). ‘Defining digital literacy. What do young people need to know about digital media?’. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 2006-2016, 21-34.
  4. Buckingham D. (2015b). ‘Do We Really Need Media Education 2.0? Teaching Media in the Age of Participatory Culture’. In: Lin TB., Chen V., Chai C. (eds.) New Media and Learning in the 21st Century. Education Innovation Series. Singapore: Springer.
  5. McDougall, J., Zezulkova, M. & Sternadel, D. (2018). Teaching media literacy in Europe: evidence of effective school practices in primary and secondary education. NESET Analytical Report (This document has been prepared for the European Commission; however, it reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
  6. Potter, J.W. (2021). Media Literacy (10th edition). University of California. Sage, 2021.
  7. Scheibe, C. & Rogow, F. (2011). The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World. Corwin Publishers.
  8. SEC 41 Syllabus Media Literacy 2023. (Updated on 14th April, 2021). University of Malta.
Supplementary Reading List
  1. The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. Accessed at:
  2. Look at the REFERENCES list of the NESET Analytical Report cited in above section. Could be accessed at:
  3. Smith, J. (2016). Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save Our Plugged-in World. Dave Burgess Consulting, Incorporated.
  4. Kashani, Tony. “Critical Media Literacy.” In The SAGE Handbook of Critical Pedagogies, 1115–25. 1 Oliver’s Yard, 55 City Road London EC1Y 1SP: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020.
  5. Cohen, James, and Thomas Kenny. “Web Literacy.” In Producing New and Digital Media, 71–103. Second edition. | London ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2020.: Routledge, 2020.
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