YOUTH MEDIA EDUCATION WITHIN THE UKRAINIAN CONTEXT

 

Stepanchenko Yulia, an undergraduate,

Sukhenko Inna,  PhD

Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University

YOUTH MEDIA EDUCATION WITHIN THE UKRAINIAN CONTEXT

Media educational direction in media pedagogy was launched in the late twentieth century when facing the problem of preparing learners to the life in the information-oriented society and of teaching them to use the information in all its forms, communicate and realize the consequences of human exposure to the media, mass communication in particular [2, с. 352]. O. Savchenko defines media education as a "school in modern pedagogy, that provides students with studying patterns of mass communication (press, radio, television, film, video, etc.), preparing to the life in the contemporary information society, acquiring skills of perceiving and interpreting information, especially by technical means" [6, с. 311].

In our opinion it is not appropriate to restrict the contingent of those whom media education is aimed at only by the audience of students, taking into consideration the tasks that media education performs, notably the formation of critical thinking, providing with new resources that will form the basis for further development and support of our own science and education through qualitative personnel training, forming the basis of the information society. After all, the main slogan of media education is "Education for Life!" [5], which a priori indicates wide and diverse characteristics of its audience.

I. Dychkivska proposed to distinguish the term "media education" as "a school in Education Science that explores mass communication" [4]. We believe that media education studies its educational impact on the individual and society, the history of their involvement into the educational process that facilitates the creation of identity through appropriate educational technology rather than mass communication.

The concept of introduction of media education in Ukraine approved by Resolution of the Board of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine on May 20, 2010, provides the definition of "media education" – as "a part of the educational process aimed to develop media culture, preparation of the individual to a safe and effective cooperation with modern media, including both traditional (print, radio, cinema, television) and new (computer mediated communication, Internet, mobile telephony) media taking into consideration the development of information and communication technology" [3].

Studying the concept of media pedagogy, the difference in ideas of "media education" and "journalism education" is under special study. Professor B. Potyatynnyk (Ivan Franko Lviv National University) distinguishes another definition of  media education such as "a scientific and educational activity, which is aimed at helping the individual to form the psychological protection against manipulation or exploitation of mass media and develop the information culture" [7, c. 8]. The difference is that media education is aimed at training the journalism staff but developing immunity against harmful trends of media. Most researchers such as V. Gura, A. Korochenskyy, W. Convent, St. Penzin, L. Usenko, J. Pungente, I. Rother, D. Suess, Ch. Worsnop and A. Fedorov consider media literacy particularly as a result of media education process [8]. Media literacy supports the idea that the person must be active and aware, educated to accept, create, analyze, evaluate media texts, understand the sociocultural and political context of the functioning of media in the modern world of code and representative systems that mass media use [10].

As the term "media culture" also needs careful study and analysis. According to Russian scientist O. Sharikov’s opinion media culture is a part of general culture related on the one hand by mass media in social aspect (cultural society – media cultural society), on the other hand – in personality aspect (human culture – human media culture) when the human interaction with the world of media is emphasized, which provides the full inclusion in the social life [7, c. 278].

A. Fedorov defines "media culture" as a set of material and intellectual values ​​in the media area and a historically determined system of reproduction and functioning in society as well; "media culture" may be a system of ego levels available to accept, analyze, evaluate media texts, do the media creation, acquire new knowledge in the media area towards the audience [8].

We should notice that the UK was the first country that used "vaccination paradigm" of media education in the 1930's. In 1960 the negation of media switched to the negation and criticism of various kinds of media and popular culture. This was called the paradigm of popular culture. In the 1980s it came to realize that the ideological power of the media was associated with the naturalization of the image. In other European countries, media education has gone through the range of transformations. In Finland it was included in the list of subjects of high school in 1970, and in higher education – in 1977. But only at the beginning of the 90th this course transformed into media education in the modern sense. In Sweden media education has been mandatory since 1980, and in Denmark – since 1979. In all Nordic countries at the beginning of the 90s media education moved away from moralizing to the research approach and put the student in the center of it. In 1994 Denmark adopted a law, which gave weight to media education, but still is not included in the list of compulsory subjects. In Denmark the main emphasis is made on computer science [4].

From the historical point of view, media education in Ukraine and Russia was developed almost simultaneously with the appearance of a documentary, so-called «educational» film. Important elements of general media education in the 20-ies were cinema clubs, amateur film studios and network groups called "yunkory" (young journalists) and "dytkory" (children journalists), united in groups, in which professional journalists taught them how to make materials [9].

In June 1999 by the decision of the Academic Council of Ivan Franco Lviv National University the Institute of Ecology of the media was created; 10 years later in 2009, Karazin Kharkiv National University launched an experimental master's program. Several years ago the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine established the laboratory of psychology of mass communication and media education, which monitored the level of media culture of Ukraine’s citizens. There is no universal model of media education, but exploring ground works of Russian scientist A. Fedorov we can distinguish some theories of media education typical for Ukraine: 1. "Injection" theory of media education. The main purpose of media education within the framework of this theory is to mitigate the negative effect of excessive admiration of media (mostly among children and youth). 2. The theory of media education as a source of "needs" of the audience. The influence of media on the audience is restricted; students can choose the most correct and evaluate media text according to their needs. 3. "Practical" theory of media education. Students should be able to work with technical media equipment as well as to know the multiplication table. 4. The theory of media education as a means of "critical thinking". The theory, in which the media are considered the «fourth estate" that extends the model of behavior and social values ​​among heterogeneous mass of individuals. Here the main purpose of media education is to protect students from the manipulative influence of media. 5. The Marxist theory of media education. The main idea here is that mass media can powerfully manipulate the public opinion and mass sentiment in favor of certain social groups. And that children`s audience is the easiest target for such effects. Hence the priority of media education: to make the audience wish to change the system of mass communication (if in power in the country are the forces far from Marxist theories) or, conversely, to instill the idea that formed the media system is the best (if the power belongs to Marxists), in this case media culture of others is strongly criticized. 6. The semiotic theory of media education has supports the idea that mass media often seek to disguise the meaningful sign character in its texts and this threatens the freedom of consumer information. 7. The cultural theory supports the idea that mass media rather offer than impose their interpretation of reality. On its side the audience is always being in the process of a dialogue with media texts. It doesn’t just "read" the information but puts various senses in media texts and analyzes them independently. And here is the main purpose of media education: to help students understand how media can enrich perception, knowledge, etc. 8. The aesthetic theory of media education largely coincides with the cultural theory. But the main goal here is to help students understand the basic laws and the language of artistic range of information, develop sensitivity to art and perception and the ability to analyze qualified media texts [1].

To sum up we`d like mention that the area of media education is rather young in Ukraine, but we have enough opportunities to create our own school of media education taking into consideration our national identity, history and culture. Shaping media educational sector is extremely of importance for development of information society, improvement of the system of national information policy and acceleration of European integration process. But the main thing about media education is that it leads to self-realization in every period of a person’s life.

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