If students are not trained to ask basic questions about the images which confront them, if they are not asked to examine the knowledge and assumptions which they already possess, they are being denied the opportunity to develop the most simple and essential critical tools.
Gary Gumpert is Professor Emeritus of Communication Arts and Sciences at Queens College, City University of New York, and also Vice President of the U.S. chapter of the International Institute of Communication. His work over the past thirty years has addressed the many nuances in our growing dependency upon mediated communication. Formerly a radio and television producer/director, Gary is widely published in a variety of journals and books which examine the intricate interconnection of social interaction, urbanization and media technology. His current research focuses on the relationship of new communication technologies and the use of public spaces. With his colleague Robert Cathcart, Gumpert published "Media Grammars, Generations, and Media Gaps" in 1985, an essay that argued that “generations” could be replaced by the concept of human groups based on media relationships. By noticing how people are connected (or separated) by media experience, they made the case that each form of media develop their own grammars. This affects how individuals acquire media literacy competencies and relate to the world and each other. By claiming that people develop different states of media consciousness based on the media grammars they master, they inspired media literacy educators to consider strategies to address the gaps and disconnections between people and their media experiences.