Children – Digital World Citizens

Parallel session – Children, School and Media Education 8.5.2014

Jin Muranen

Children have been always the central target of protection from the media in the earlier years, still in many countries nowadays. But media educators are practicing new ways by embracing the modern media and media researchers are also developing a holistic approach to media learning.

Klaus Thestrup from Aarhus University, Denmark introduced us a marvelous project called Digital World Citizens with intention to find out how children and pedagogues can be and can become world citizens and how kindergartens can be platforms of communication. It is basically a new kind of pedagogy, which is based on common playing, experimenting and communication with the world. In that project, children and pedagogues together find ways to use and change the use of both technologies and narratives. The use of body and analogue materials are integrated part of the communication processes. Klaus said that the goal of his project was to make the children mediawise strong enough to handle this world’s complex media environment.

While it seems that all want to turn our children into rationalists towards media, Marketa Zezulkova from Bournemouth University, England throws out a different holistic perspective. Her study is based on four schools of philosophy, Carl Jung’s archetypes, Edith Stein’s Phenomenology, Hans-Geory Gadamer’s hermeneutics and Lev Vygotsky’s social constructivism.  Jung Carl saw student as a living medium who perceives the world either through emotions, senses, or intuition superiorly to rational thinking. Therefore, the current cognitive-rationalist curriculum seems insistently forcing these students to experience the world in a way that is not their own. Thus, Marketa proposes that teachers’ understanding and benefiting from the emotional and social dimensions of children’s media experience could stimulate an efficient, suitable and enjoyable way of narrating both general and media literacy knowledge and skills in primary and lower elementary schools.

When comes to the education for our children, it is always worthwhile to discuss, even argue over and over, experiment and think carefully, and develop a rather good pedagogy, if not the best, for them – the future digital world citizens.

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