PRODUCTION OF MEDIA TEXTS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND LAW SCHOOL CLASSROOMS
There are several activities that you can do in class to help students produce popular culture and other media texts with a legal or criminal justice focus. Continuing with the examples described above, after students analyze the day-in-the-life video made from Speak, you can ask students to produce a video without legal and editing mistakes. Similarly, students can produce a deposition that respects the technical and legal requirements.
Another activity can deal with the production of documentaries with a legal or criminal justice focus. For example, you can ask students to do research on criminal events that may have taken place in the neighborhood surrounding the school campus. Students can then make a documentary and use the conventions of documentary films, such as the re-enactment of the criminal events, interviews with police officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges, and footage obtamed from TV news programs. Another example is to ask students to choose a legal cause such as the wrongfill conviction of specific person, the over-incarceration of a certain minority group, a corruption case of a government official, the existence of a series of hate crimes against a certain group, the need for law reform in a certain area, or the need to adopt measures to better protect the rights of victims in the criminal trial process. Students can then make a documentary advocating for this cause. Another alternative is to focus on the historical analysis of a legal issue. For example, students can produce a documentary about the development of sexual assault legislation, victimcentered reforms, or antiterrorism measures.
All these activities help stirdents acquire the skills necessary to interpret and produce their own media texts in the legal and criminal justice contexts. Teaching the conventions of film language and the actual analysis of these conventions, alongside the analysis of substantive disciplinary contents, gives students the necessary tools to become frilly fledged legal and criminal justice professionals.
The revolution in media and global communications in the last few decades has transformed the very basic foundations of knowledge and education. Global citizens of today and tomorrow need to be equipped with the necessary skills to both interpret and produce media texts, including popular culture works. North American universities as well as their European counterparts, with a teaching philosophy built during an exclusively printcentered era, have not yet fully opened their classroom doors to media literacy. The patterns of modern law school education were also laid in an era of nearly total print dominance. The educational concepts articulated were print-centered, where the main objective of law schools has been to dissect published edited appellate court decisions, and then to use this skill to achieve mastery of legal thought over a body of learning that itself had been shaped and disciplined by its reduction to print.
Media literacy occupies a very limited and marginal role in North American law schools and criminal justice programs, and with the exception of a few schools, practically no law school or criminal justice university progr am teaches its students the conventions of media language.
Lawyers as well as criminal justice professionals are currently involved in the production and analysis of media texts. These texts have a specific language, which substantially differs from the language used in other media contexts, such as feature films, documentaries, or anthropological interviews. Furthermore, most of these media products must show a strict adherence to the rules governing the language of media texts so that they may be used in court. In order to foster the development of well-prepared future legal and criminal justice professionals, we need to teach our students the conventions of media language so that they can be effective interpreters and producers of media texts.
In the next chapter, I will examine the concept of metacognition and its role in the deep learning process. I will analyze the general metacognition tools and specific metacognition resources to reflect on law and criminal justice. I will also discuss how to interpret and process popular culture stories to enhance deep learning.
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