Call for papers – issue 45

Issue 45 (December 2020)
Focus on: New trends in media education
Coordinators: Daniel Aranda (UOC) and Roberto Aparici  (UNED)
Deadline for receiving originals: 20th June 2020
Instructions for authors: /en/authors-guidelines

Over the course of the past century, various different teaching methods have been implemented in the field of media literacy. Each medium that has been invented (print journalism, film, photography, etc) has had its own pioneers who developed applications to the field of education: over a hundred years of media education while hardly any ambitious approaches have been implemented.

From the experiences of French educator Célestin Freinet and lessons on the language of images, to the silent movies of the early twentieth century and the digital explosion, numerous initiatives have been developed seeking to provide media literacy in different contexts and from different perspectives.

In the second half of the twentieth century, a variety of theories were expounded that studied the educational possibilities of the different forms of mass media and their different languages, with the predominant trends of that period of time falling into the following categories:

  • Firstly, the ‘inoculator’ perspective, which viewed the media as a danger to children and young people. From this perspective, it was important for students to have knowledge of the media in order to protect them from their effects.
  • Then, the currently prevalent perspective of technocentrism, the objective of which is to turn young people into technology users and producers of acritical content.
  • Finally, the critical perspective, which is interested in studying the media to provide a comprehensive knowledge of its language. This allows students to become meaningful creators of content through the processes of appropriation, evaluation and critical analysis, and enables them to not only understand the media, but also analyse how those forms of media represent reality.

Len Masterman, one of the pioneers of the field in the English-speaking world, created a theory focused on critical media literacy, which he introduced in his book Teaching the Media. Simultaneously, but separately, both Mario Kaplún and Daniel Prieto Castillo were also working on the development of this field in Latin America, along with other prominent figures such as Ismar de Oliveira and Guillermo Orozco.

The effectiveness and the focus of current media education is now being questioned in a number of academic circles. Most contemporary approaches are centred on the need to justify the use of media education from a commercial point of view, in terms of the sale of technology, or by promoting media education as a tool to benefit outdated pedagogies and experimental dynamics that show no evidence of its use.

The purpose of this monograph is to reflect upon the future of media education based on a disruptive and critical pedagogy of uncertainty.

Our perception of current media education is that it fails to distinguish between media and technology, and doesn’t address the need for a reflection on cultural issues. Such reflection would include a critical evaluation of the digital system from a cultural perspective that would provide young people with autonomy, a critical perspective and, consequently, greater freedom of choice and a greater enjoyment of the media that encourages more critical and mobilized citizenship.

The following topics are central to the present and future of media education:

1.    Algorithms and big data 
2.    Misinformation, post-truth and control
3.    New status of image in the social media age and the new audiovisual ecosystem (YouTube, Netflix, etc)
4.    Education as a pedagogical market
5.    Smartphones and applications designed for consumption and interruption
6.    Asymmetries in the information and communication society

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