Glossary


Critical Autonomy
The ability of an individual to discover their own meaning in a media text.
Critical Thinking
A set of skills that allows one to rationally assess their experiences for truthfullness and value.

Critical Autonomy
The ability of an individual to discover their own meaning in a media text.
Critical Thinking
A set of skills that allows one to rationally assess their experiences for truthfullness and value. TMS promotes critical thinking as it relates to the consumption of media.
Cultural Studies
Cultural studies insists that culture must be studied within the social relations and system through which culture is produced and consumed, and that the study of culture is thus intimately bound up with the study of society, politics, and economics. (Definition by Douglas Kellner)
Culture
The matter produced by society and people; what a society cultivates, i.e. history, scholarship, philosophy, and media.
Empowerment
To give skills and tools to a person or group of people in the interest of increasing self-determination. TMS’ most important goal is to empower the student-communities we work with.
Encoding/Decoding
Messages are created, or ‘encoded’, by media producers with a preferred meaning in mind, and then consumed, or ‘decoded’, by a receiver or audience. There are always multiple ways of decoding media messages: accepting the preferred meaning; understanding the preferred meaning and adapting it to fit a certain world view; directly opposing the preferrred meaning. (Definition by Stuart Hall)
Mass Media
The TV broadcast networks, major newspapers, widely distributed Films, commercial radio; those organizations whose intent it is to distribute popular media messages to as large an audience as possible in order to draw advertising dollars.
Media
Marshall McLuhan defined “media” as any human technology. We limit the scope of the term to mean technologies of communication. For example: books; photographs; film; radio and digital audio; television and video; and personal computers.
Media Determinism
The idea that media at some level determine how we think about and see our surroundings. When a new medium is introduced it will have effects on society that are separate from its creators’ intentions; you cannot control these effects once the medium is ‘turned on’. According to this view, the content communicated through a medium is not as important the underlying nature of the medium itself. (Definition by Lewis Mumford)
Media Humanism
The theory that we as a society have the power to make decisions on how we use the institutions of media and culture, and should dictate our needs to the producers of media from the bottom up.
Media Literacy
A 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate and create messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy. (Definition by the Center for Media Literacy)
Society
The body of institutions and relationships within which a relatively large group of people live; a system of common life.
Spiral Curriculum
The basic method of media studies. A concept developed by educator Jerome Bruner. The fundamental principle of this method is that the key concepts of any discipline can be taught in some form to students at any level. Thus, concepts initially introduced in simple form at the elementary level are, in successive years, explored, developed, and extended in increasingly sophisticated ways as the student matures and develops. (Definition by the Ontario Ministry of Education)