I chose to write about this article because I loved how Christensen opened her student's eyes to the hidden agenda in the media. She got her students to ask the hard questions instead of being "blissfully unaware" of the subliminal messages that are delivered through all forms of media.
I think that or society is obsessed with image...to be thin and beautiful is going to make you happy. If you wear the right clothes and drive the right car you will be happy. We have become very superficial and what's worse we are encouraging our youth to be superficial also. This TED talk by model Cameron Russell is about being more than just a pretty face.
Christensen and her students analyze both cartoons and stories and exposed the hidden messages. It reminded me of a conversation that I had a few years ago with one of my classes. The Twilight series were very popular and the first movie was just coming out. I read (more like suffered ) through all of the books. One of my students asked me who my favorite character was and I told her that I really didn't have one and that I was not a fan of the books...there was a gasp in the room. Then I told them that Bella was my least favorite..louder gasps and they questioned why? I told them that Bella was so boring. She went to school all day with her boyfriend,spent all afternoon with him and then all night. She had no hobbies or interests. Her life was all about her boyfriend. She has no identity of her own. To my surprise there were many students who actually agreed with me after I had pointed these things out.
I have had many conversations with my students about stereotypes in literature and inaccuracies in history books. However, I have never thought to make an assignment from it. I love the two assignments that Christensen gives her students. Having conversations to raise awareness is one thing but to get kids to collect and analyze data is even better. Christensen is providing her students the opportunity to make a difference