Through creating media literacy program for public schools and providing training of educators
The project is funded by the US Embassy
Nowadays the impact of media has increased, especially on young adults. Media have become the space of the value clash and the tool of influencing the society. The inability to use adequately the media in the complicated geopolitical situation of Latvia can have especially far-reaching negative consequences. Media literacy (ML) in the schools of Latvia up to now has been acquired insufficiently and episodically. This can be explained with the lack of ML programs and course materials, insufficiently trained teachers in the issues of ML and the lack of awareness about how to integrate the media literacy content in the current curriculum.
The aim of the project is to strengthen the democratic and transatlantic values in the society of Latvia promoting the youth media literacy. In order to reach the aim the following secondary aims have been planned: 1) to develop a Youth Media Literacy program and course materials for public schools and to integrate it in the curriculum; 2) to increase the capacity of educators in Latvia to raise media literacy awareness and teach media analysis. The project will be implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science as well as other experts of the education and media fields.
Since October 2017 till February 2019 EDC has implemented the project “Supporting Youth Media Literacy”.
When starting the project, a media literacy program for teachers’ professional development has been elaborated. Teams of teachers from 16 schools of Latvia acquired this program in the training seminars. After each seminar teachers integrated the program materials in their lessons and educational activities. These 16 schools are prepared to serve as the local resource and support centers for strengthening media literacy in different regions of Latvia.
The media literacy program has been developed to ensure the young people with knowledge and skills to orient themselves in the media environment, to assess critically and to create their own content of media, to identify false news, manipulation and propaganda in the media, to assess the role of social media in the democratic society, the key principles of qualitative journalism, etc. The acquisition of the program is based on active teaching/learning methods that promote the expression of reasoned opinions, searching for and comparing of different sources of information, decoding of information, asking questions, critical assessment of visual information, etc.
The monitoring of learners’ media literacy skills was carried out in the project in order to evaluate which issues should be emphasized in the program. Experts from the media and education spheres were involved in the development of the program. A wider society, namely, journalists, representatives of NGO and civic society, educationalists, etc., has been acquainted with the developed program materials.
The methodological teaching/learning material “Media literacy for schools” has been prepared after the program had been approbated in 16 project schools. Examples of activities for the class work, experts and teachers’ conclusions on how to strengthen the youth media literacy skills are published in this material. Part of the program materials are published also in English and Russian. The methodological teaching/learning material is available
- Development of the Youth Media Literacy (YML) program. Education Development Center (EDC) experts will develop the YML program and course materials that will correspond to the national normative regulation in education. The program will be designed for inclusion in the curriculum of secondary schools. The authors will receive the feedback from teachers after the piloting of the program in schools; based on the feedback they will improve the program and prepare its final version.
Publication of the YML program. At the end of the project the YML program and materials will be prepared and published in the digital version.
- Implementation of the ML program into the curriculum.
- Teacher training and training for program school teams (16 schools will become the ML resource centers). This will be an in-depth training aimed at ensuring the whole-school approach in the acquisition of the YML program, at achieving a comprehensive expertise of the content and methodology, at making the YML program schools into the ML resource centers in all regions of Latvia and at preparing ML mentors who will continue educating other teachers after the completion of the project.
- Training for a wider range of teachers. This will be the second wave of training of educators. The aim of this training will be to reach as wide as possible range of teachers all over Latvia.
- Piloting of the YML program in schools. Each of the teachers after the training seminars will pilot the YML program in the work with his/her students. After piloting the teachers will give the feedback to the program experts – the program authors.
- Evaluation and Impact Assessment of YML program.
- Publicity plan. Regular reflection of the project in the EDC home page www.iac.edu.lv, in the special project section etc. activities.