ERIC Number: ED284301
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Communication and Ethics: The Informal and Formal Curricula.
Cooper, Thomas W.
Journal of Mass Media Ethics, v2 n1 p71-79 Fall-Win 1986-87
Noting that humans are educated more by than about the mass media, this paper argues that modern society has produced an informal (mediated) ethics curriculum which may be more powerful than the formal (institutionally educational) curriculum developed by academics and administrators. It first examines the informal curriculum, listing statistics on children's exposure to the mass media; noting that children remember advertising slogans from childhood television shows better than memorized facts from school; and describing inaccurate views of the world the media instill in young people. The second section focuses on the formal curriculum, stressing the lack of high school and grade school instruction about the mass media--even courses on journalism are technically rather than ethically oriented. University level efforts at ethics instruction are covered in the third section, recognizing both the encouraging increase in ethics and mass communication courses and the discouraging lack of graduate studies in these fields. Counterbalancing guidelines--that parents must stress the unreal nature of television programs and advertisements and that advertisers and the government must take their responsibility for the informal curriculum seriously--are introduced in the fourth section. The fifth section presents qualitative guidelines for the formal curriculum, aiming for understanding of self, other cultures, other professions, and all periods of history. A concluding section reiterates the value of ethics--it enables humans to think, know, express, and act. (SKC)
Descriptors: Advertising, Attitude Change, Communication Research, Cultural Context, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Enrichment, Ethics, Family Environment, Family School Relationship, Higher Education, Mass Media, Mass Media Effects, Media Research, Programing (Broadcast), Speech Communication, Speech Curriculum, Visual Literacy
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A