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Reflections on Media Education Futures

Friday 13 November 2015, by SIGNIS

Brussels, Helsinki, November 13th, 2015 (SIGNIS/Helsinki Times/ Lia Lezama). The Finnish Society on Media Education was founded in 2005 by Finnish researchers. It continuously supports and develops different practices concerning media education, creating the opportunity to share media education experiences online and offline.

The association currently has over 200 members from all over Finland. In 2013, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture drew up Cultural Policy guidelines to promote media literacy for 2013-2016. Media education is examined in terms of inclusion, active citizenship, creativity and self-expression.

The guidelines offered aims and measures in which media education is also focused on children and adolescents. For the Professor Sirkku Kotilainen from the School of Communication at the University of Tampere, the biggest challenges for achieving media literacy today depends on the age group, and local circumstances: “Globally, the forms and uses of social media challenge especially teachers and schools. Also, researchs on media education need pushing forward”.

A year later, the conference “Media Education Futures” was organized in Tampere, Finland. It highlighted participation, well-being and citizenship as current Nordic perspectives in media education, and discussed media and information literacies contributing to intercultural dialogue. The goal was to display and promote research in the field, along with the practices of media education.

Research results presented at the conference indicated that the civic skills needed in information societies include critical awareness, which is the basis for understanding media societies. Critical thinking is also the basis for creativity and should be included in the teaching of coding, which has been done in several countries in new school curricula at the basic level. Moreover, broader cooperation among researchers with different cultural backgrounds, rather than traditional Europe-centred collaboration was echoed.

The publication reflects topics including critical awareness, technological citizenry, methodologies in studying young people in urban cities, and youth well-being in relations to media and information literacies. The publication covers more than two dozens of articles from different parts of the world including for example China and India in Asia, and Brazil in Latin America, as well as several European countries.

It is divided into two sections:

  • Academic Articles like the ones of Leonardo Custódio with Political Peculiarities of Media Education in Brazilian Favelas or Ilona Biernacka-Ligieza with Journalists’ Role in Media Education in Poland in a Time of Globalization
  • Practical Papers and Case Studies – as reflections on the futures of media education as the article of the french speaking member of SIGNIS in Belgium Patrick Verniers with “Four Scenarios to Consider Regarding the Future of Media Education

"Reflections on Media Education Futures", is the 2015 yearbook of the International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media at Nordicom, University of Gothenburg (Sweden).

Get the publication here.

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