MEDIA EDUCATION – GENERAL INFORMATIONS Media education is the process through which individuals become media literate - able to critically understand the nature, techniques and impacts of media messages and productions. Media Education exists to help people to tell their own stories in powerful and engaging ways. A person who is media literate is informed.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIAUnlike many other countries media education is officially part of Slovenia’s educational curriculum.In Slovenia, media education is defined as a process of teaching about media through the media. If media education attempts to develop and create critical understanding and active participation in classrooms, media literacy denotes a larger project that involves not only students in classrooms, but includes parents, teachers, and in short, the general Slovenian public.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIADifferent media events, lectures, performances, workshops are continuously organized on a national, regional, and local level in different places, such as public squares, public libraries, and city-halls. In that way, the public is included in an overall process of thinking, negotiating, and understanding the media practices.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIAFrom 1996 a media education course has been officially and formally a part of the educational curriculum – from kindergarten to university levels. The course involves an examination of the techniques, technologies and institutions that are a part of media production and consumption, and furthermore, provides the ability to critically analyze media messages, and the recognition of the active roles that audiences play in making meaning from media messages.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIAMedia education is an optional, independent course.The optional Media Education course is a part of a nine-grade primary school system, designed for the last three grades. In that, Media education is composed of three different one-year independent courses: the Press; Radio; and Television and the Internet. Overall, this adds up to 35 hours per year or one hour per week.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIAAt the university level, the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana started to offer a media education training course (90 hours) to students who may want to teach media education course in primary schools. The course covers both the concepts and knowledge of media studies and the pedagogical skills required to teach them effectively. Media education course teachers are organized in the Slovenian Association of Media Education Teachers, which provides opportunities for individual initiatives, project proposals, workshops, and summer schools.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIAWhy do students choose media education? Mostly, they say, because they are interested in media, and because they spend a lot of time with the media (86%). When asked what is the most important media topic that they will remember, the students cite the argument how media do not mirror reality (65%). They want to be prepared for a mediated world and they expect to get some knowledge and skills out of this course. An important part, unsurprisingly, in the selection process of this course is the teacher – if she/he has a good reputation among the students, they also select a course.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIA ConclusionMedia education is one of the most popular courses in primary schools in Slovenia, and most of the students see it as a positive asset as it raises awareness of the vital importance of being exposed to a rich array of diverse opinions and ideas.However, it is not enough to include media education in the school curriculum. We need to encourage the adoption of media education as a lived and well-practiced course, with a strong identity of its own. At the same time, what is needed is an engagement with teachers of the course. Educational authorities must offer teachers clearer guidelines and support, since the realization of media education objectives depends on the personal commitment of teachers.
MEDIA EDUCATION IN SLOVENIA ConclusionAs others have pointed out (Butts, 1992; Boeckmann, 1992) training and workshops must be provided for teachers, thus enabling them to teach specialized courses and the ultimate aim of training should not be to transmit specialist information, but to find teachers with enthusiasm for media education in order to place the cross-curriculum principle on the road to success.
This presentation was prepared within framework of the international training course ’’MediaED Lab’’. 8-days trainingcourse "MediaED LAB" took place from 07.05.2012 to 16.05.2012 and connected 26 young professionals who areworking to advance media literacy among youth - the ability to interpret, understand and evaluate media and itsmessages and to produce media content. "MediaED LAB" aims to create critical, knowledgeable and responsibleleaders of creative and media education, capable of initiating, developing and embedding new understandings andtechniques in their learning space. Information about state of media education in different European countries wasshared and participants learnt and exchanged methods, tools and strategies that can be used to develop andimplement media literacy workshops and courses for pupils, the most vulnerable consumers of media. Project tookplace in Latvia and involved non-governmental organizations working in the field of media education from Slovakia,Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia and France.This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This presentation reflects the views onlyof the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the informationcontained therein.