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Re-Thinking Competency through Media Norm Friesen, Ph. D Umea, Sept. 18, 2009
Overview • Summary of conventional understandings of media in education and instructional design • Media and knowledge; the “mediatic turn” • How media shape education • Media, education and socialization • Conclusion: Mediatic turn and competencies
Media in Education • Educational/Instructional Media: the intentional and systematic use of computer, broadcast, and other technologies for instructional purposes, generally in instructional settings. A means to acquire competencies. • Media Literacy: providing students with the competency to “read” or “be literate in” use and consumption of media. (broadcast model)
Instructional (multi)Media • …focus[ing]…on how people learn from words and pictures in computer-based environments. [These] environments include online instructional presentations, interactive lessons, e-courses, simulation games, virtual reality and computer-supported in-class presentations. (Mayer 2005, p. ix)
Media Literacy • “The process of understanding and using the mass media in an assertive and nonpassive way. This includes an informed and critical understanding of the nature of the media, the techniques used by them and the impact of these techniques. ” (Boles 2008) • The competencies of an individual in (isolated) encounters with specific media
“student academic learning model” Michael Molenda 2005
The “mediatic turn” • Via empirical evidence: "Whatever we know about our society, or indeed about the world in which we live, we know through… media" (Luhmann, 2000) • As a way of viewing the world: – Engineer looks at problem spaces formalization (systems) – Psychologist looks for motivation from personal history (sexuality) – Media as a category & vocabulary to view the world
Media as Epistemological • Media have taken on epistemological role: they are a part of the way that we know about things, about ourselves, and about knowledge and competency themselves • They don’t simply have an impact on knowledge, they are the way we know, how we identify, evaluate, circulate knowledge • We are our media
E. g. the Epistemology of Print • The mastery of the alphabet and then mastery of all the skills and knowledge that were arranged to follow constituted not merely a curriculum but a definition of child development. By creating a concept of a hierarchy of knowledge and skills, adults invented the structure of child development… And since the school curriculum was entirely designed to accommodate the demands of literacy, it is astonishing that educationists have not widely commented on the relationship between the “nature of childhood” and the biases of print.
Epistemology of Print, con’t • For example, a child evolves towards adulthood by acquiring the sort of intellect we expect of a good reader: a vigorous sense of individuality, the capacity to think logically and sequentially…[as well as] the capacity to manipulate high orders of abstraction… Infancy ended at the point at which a command of speech was achieved. Childhood began with the task of learning how to read…childhood became a description of a level of symbolic achievement.
Print sets the Agenda • Competencies required of students in school are those of print: – Orderly conduct in a structured environment – Environment structured in a linear and logical way – Reading requires discrete levels of competency (reading at a grade 3 level; a grade 1 level book) – Learn from a distinct curriculum, deliberately designed; learning by doing is removed from the classroom
Print and Curriculum the groundrules through which reality is constructed for children are not simply transformed; instead, a whole new system of rules emerges. The culture is no longer presented to the child in its entirety, but only in part: namely, via [a kind of] pedagogical rehearsal or practise, as it would be for someone from a foreign land. This makes certain institutions necessary [such as] schools… orphanages… [and] kindergartens…. (p. 50)
Result: Socialization vs. Education • Education: formal process, institutional structures, intentionally done, planned through curricula, shaped very deliberately • Socialization: development of selfhood and identity through the social and material environment; – is about getting along with and communicating with others – is clearly social
New Media and Competencies • De-value the structures of print-based literacy, including: – Classroom structures, customs and forms – Competency definitions, and ways competency is measured • Blur the boundary between formal and informal competencies (education and socialization): – Involve learning in different ways: socialization versus instruction – Competencies acquired and measured informally
Print and Schooling • Print competencies are not learned through socialization, but through deliberate and structured schooling • The classroom and the school, as one example, are said to be inventions “of the printing press, ” and are said to stand or fall “on the issue of how much importance the printed word will have in the future. ” (Postman)
Mediatic Turn and Competencies • Competencies and schooling will continue to be defined in terms of the “epistemology of print” • New Media are not new in terms of offering an alternative to schooling: • Learning by being shown remains important, and continues via the Web as it did via TV • For competencies, blur any line between socialization and education; but a separation exists; socialization does not operate like education
Bibliography • Friesen, N. & Hug, T. (2009). The Mediatic Turn: Exploring Consequences for Media Pedagogy. In K. Lundby (Ed. ). Mediatization: Concept, Changes, Consequences. New York: Peter Lang. Pp. 64 -81: http: //learningspaces. org/n/papers/Media_Pedagogy _&_Mediatic_Turn. pdf • Postman, N (1994). The Disappearance of Childhood. New York: Random House. • Eisenstein, E. (1982). The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP.