Objective: Alcohol media literacy programs in the United States have increased students’
media literacy skills and lowered pre-drinking behaviour. In Australia, no such programs have
yet been implemented or evaluated. This pilot study aimed to examine the feasibility and
potential impact of an alcohol media literacy program for Australian upper-primary school
Methods: Thirty-seven Year 5 and 6 students (aged 10-12) from one school in the Sydney
region participated in 10 one-hour media lessons. Teacher interviews, student exit slips, teacher
observations and a researcher reflective journal were analysed to examine the implementation
process, while a pre- and post-questionnaire was analysed to measure outcome.
Results: Key factors in implementation were the importance of school context; attainment
of English and PDHPE learning outcomes to differing extents; program’s useability provided
flexibility; perceived complexity and achievability of the lessons and program’s engagement
and relevance for the students. The program significantly increased media literacy skills and
understanding of persuasive intent; decreased interest in alcohol branded merchandise; and
lowered perception of drinking norms.
Conclusion and implications: An Australian alcohol media literacy program for upper-primary
school children appears feasible, and has potential to lead to measurable outcomes.