Lesson 9 - Introduction:"...

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Introduction: Connecting Your Learning  "Thinking while you are reading" At the beginning of this course we indicated that the overall goal is for you to increase your ability to  critically read, understand, reason, analyze, and remember what you have read. You have been examining  many of the pieces of an argument as a way to practice and develop your skills. The last two lessons will use  the media as a source of materials to continue this practice. The media in our environment gives us a lot of information. In fact, the media not only gives us a lot of  information, it actually bombards us with information, whether we want it or not! The question is - how can  we, as critical readers, comprehend and remember the key points? In this lesson you will study two major  components of the media - television and advertising. These will give us a real challenge to be critical readers  and thinkers.  What is the impact of television on all of us? Not only does 99% of the population in this country have a  television, but many households now have two or three TV sets. Obviously, television has a great impact on  our thoughts and behavior. The important question to a critical reader or thinker is: is the information TV is  sending being directly and consciously analyzed and criticized when we watch? Or, are we rather passively  and indirectly letting TV affect our thoughts, our values, our aspirations and even our self-image? (For  example, what do we learn about other countries when we watch TV? What questions do we ask? And, what  do other countries learn about us when they watch our television shows?)  In this lesson, the influence of media is explored. We will look at the steps to critical thinking and  interpretation of television viewing. Most important, we will have a look at the reality warp between  television and the real world, the symbols and images portrayed on television, and the moral instruction found  in many programs. The lesson continues by examining the information presented to us by the media, by  exploring advertising.  In earlier lessons, you focused critical attention on the word choices an author makes. As you may have  suspected, it isn't enough to simply pay attention to words. We are regularly exposed to countless pieces of  information that shape how we see ourselves and the world around us. And this information comes to us in  words, pictures, and symbols from a variety of sources. Critical thinkers need to be aware of the "gimmicks"  which surround the information sources we call advertising.  Have you ever had television show theme music or an advertising ‘jingle’ stuck in your memory? Have you 
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