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This resource provides a comprehensive overview of corporate use of ‘spin’ in public relations.
Students use a broad array of role-playing and other exercises to build media literacy on how public opinion can be manipulated by corporate interests.
While care will need to be taken by the instructor to choose exercises which the instructor is comfortable adapting or explaining UK brands and cultural concepts to non-UK classrooms, these exercises could include:
This is a superb way to teach how to detect bias and media literacy.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
Literally quotes both sides; ie from Burson Marstellar's sales materials, this being one of the world's largest public relations firms.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
Intended and unintended, or concealed consequences of actions are portrayed.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Alludes to often-underestimated power of consumer choice and consumer boycotts.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Good||Students must grapple with the human rights, health and environmental costs of consuming their favourite brands.|
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
While the website is continuously updated, it is difficult to get a sense of the history of the infant forumla issue---which is one of the first global consumer boycotts going back to at least the 1970s.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good||In the Branding Exercise, students literally rank order the logos they are given in order of how much they trust them.|
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Good||While the bredth and scope of the resource will likely touch off a wide variety of discussions on health and environment issues, there is not a lot of support to sustain this.|
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The Branding exercise is physical, and could be made more so if logos were blown up to an 11x17 size to provide for physical movement of students with logos to rank-order them.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Good||This is a high-reading level, ie "perception management" resource which still manages to use some non-literary learning techiniques, particularly through the Branding exercise where students literally push around photocopies of corporate logos to put them in a rank order based on their trust of the logos.|
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Satisfactory||Inevitably much must be done by simulation and role-plays.|
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory||While inevitably students will evaluate their purchasing habits in the light of the lessons learned in this resource, there are little other formal evaluation tools for teachers.|
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good||Very strong examples and case studies are used; ie for image analysis there is an actual PR image from Baby Milk Action, the sponsoring NGO, which is deconstructed for its hidden visual messages using arrows connecting the text with the image.|
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
There are superb lists of issues to discuss, such as examples of corporate sponsorship of schools. The resource does not make clear who decides what is to be discussed.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|