Remember that values questions have a “you” in them. The goal is to involve people in relating what they see on the screen to their own lives, not to analyze the filmmaker’s technique or to engage in intellectual criticism. Allow the conversation to flow along a values and feelings track.
John Pungente is an educator, film critic, and author is the director of The Jesuit Communication Project and President of the Canadian Association of Media Education Organizations. He influenced a generation of Canadian media literacy educators through his innovative curriculum initiatives, teaching and service. He was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from SIGNIS, the Catholic Association for Communication and Media.
I first learned about John as the former principal of my high school growing up. 20 years later I was fortunate enough to find his name on the list of 27 Jesuit priests who have confirmed child sexual assault cases against minors. I remember vividly the whip he used to use to punish kids who misbehaved being kept in a glass case on the principals desk as a memento and trophy for all the kids he has abused. A proud history glorified by the school. John, I can't wait to burn in hell with you cause I will enjoy every moment of misery you share. Bless all the lives you've ruined you sick pervert.
In 1994, the superintendent of the Billerica Public Schools wanted to build a cadre of leaders to advance media literacy in the district. We got 30 teachers to sign up and I hired John Pungente to come to give a summer course for these teachers, focusing on the international approach to media literacy education.
John was great with the participating teachers, who taught us all how they learn best. John's warmth and generosity combined with his love of film and media and his respect for classroom teachers. During this time period, my thinking about the practices of staff development changed dramatically because I had to really step away from my own expertise. To empower teachers, I had to completely change the way I taught—and John Pungente helped me learn about the value of activities and questions and open discussion. His approach to teaching media literacy had a great impact on me.
I remember John from some of the first media literacy conferences. Always a gentle smile on his face. He was so influential on media literacy in Canada and in the U.S.A. as well.
I first heard John speak at the media literacy conference in Los Angeles. His depth of knowledge was immense. He has been at the forefront of helping educate Canadians and others understand media literacy. His work and dedication demonstrate his comittment.