27 SES 11 C, Innovations for Learning
The current effects of media and communication technologies has made life globally less “place bound” than ever (Rantanen 2005; Vettenranta 2010; see also Shofield & Vettenranta 2014). The development in media production has boosted “producers” (Bruns 2008) from all over the world and the explosive growth of mediated autobiographical material intersect cultures and entangle transcultural media users (Nohl 2007; Koponen & Kotilainen 2017). Transcultural as such seeks to illuminate the various gradients of culture and the ways in which the group “create” and “distribute” their meanings (Lewis 2016). Thought, the cornerstones of transcultural studies in media pedagogy are still unclear. The discussions of globalization has reach macro level from economic, geographical and cultural perspective among theorists (Giddens 1990; Thompson 1995; Waters 1995). The role of individuals’ media activities and experiences in the globalization process is in need of closer attention (see. Vettenranta 2010, 168), while the individuals do not necessarily experience the same things at the same time, although their lives may bear many similarities in globalized reality (Rantanen 2005 (2010), 44).
The study is based on ”Transcultural perspectives in media education”-course, as part of EU-projects (eMel.org). It was held on spring 2016 for the international Master’s Degree Programme in Media Education 120 ECTS at the University of Tampere. The participants (N=18) are from 14 different countries with a bachelor background in media studies, educational studies or such. Fifteen of the participants were female and three male students aged 22-35 years. All students had started their studies in the programme in September 2015. The study aims to present the students learning, with particular attention to how they reflect media experiences and their learning in the perspective of transcultural media. The following question guide the analyses and discussions: How did a Media Life Study work as educational practice in enabling learning and research of transcultural media competencies? Media Life Study is conducted in four learning phases: individual narrative, group production, video news and learning diary.
Slightest details of individual lifeworld’s may be captured by autobiographical research, which offers one perspective to understand influences of globalization in mediated world, especially in a perspective of individual. This perspective is not problematic, while autobiographies has been criticized of exclusion with emphasis on Western tradition of individualistic life narrative (see Smith & Watson 2010, 60) and it still finds difficult to enter into a productive dialogue with media studies. A concept called automediality (automedialität) according to Dünne and Moser (2008) (see also. Smith & Watson 2010) offers a transcultural perspective, where individuals are shown as agents of their own lives and transmitters of cultural scripts and models of identity on it. Automediality as such define the self as a marker of reflexivity, both online and offline, in which subjectivity is constructed through visual/textual combinations (see. Dünne & Moser, 2008).
The action research is presented, in which Media Life Study was implemented first time. It involves the international master students’ narratives from childhood until present reflecting the transcultural perspective of their media practices and, key changes in media life course. The data sources are student’s narratives, video productions and interviews. The analyzes is guided of reflecting transcultural media users and their practices. The findings show that Media Life Study is a learning activity that opens up opportunities and awareness of the transcultural society. It is an example of a reflexive practice, based on autobiographies that can contribute understanding of transcultural media competencies and supporting identity.
The study was conducted as a action research in the mind of students’ participation, liberation and empowerment (Carr & Kemmins 1986) in this case students shared their individual and collective narratives and productions. The participants were recruited in a classroom, allowing students to opt out of the study without feeling pressured. The data was collected from several sources: students’ narratives, video-production and interviews. The student’s narratives had an important role in preserving cultural heritage, building and developing societies and cultures, while they were used as an instrument of understanding the gained experiences. Autobiography in this mode enable then an ordinary experience for self-reflexing, by engaging the past and reflecting on identity in the present (see. Smith & Watson 2010). The students were co-researcher by producing the self-reflective narratives of their individual life world (see. Buckingham & Selfon-Green 1996). The study had comparative research characters, while the students represent 14 different nationalities. The shared experience gave better basis for students’ self-understanding, and stability to understand their own point of view and identity in a broader social, cultural, and global media context (see. Vettenranta 2013; Koponen & Kotilainen 2017). Based on the preliminary analysis of the students’ narratives and productions the individual interviews were semi-structured; to explore the views and feelings that underlie in individual experiences and to illuminate impacts and effects to create more rounded understanding (see. Legard, Keekan & Ward, 2012), in this case the students reflections of their learning. Through a qualitative content analysis, the voice of those who participated in the study will be transmitted to the readers. The aim was to create meaningful, clear and coherent information about the data: first, the data was sorted; second, the data was read through several times to gain understanding of the whole content. Differences and likeness were compared. Running numbers, age, gender and nationality were used to separate the participants from one another. Third, the data was subjected to themes, analyzed horizontally, which included making notes and headings on student’s productions. The research literature was read alongside the data. Then the data was categorized by using content-characteristic words: observational notes of subject areas were extracted to describe different aspects of the text without losing the nuance related phenomenon (cf. Tuomi & Sarajärvi, 2002). In following the students, autobiographical practices will be presented.
How about then transcultural media literacies? The student’s individual life worlds and media experiences were starting point for learning. The experience was mentioned as meaningful learning and teaching experience. The used learning method enabled them the reflection from various aspects. In terms of learning practice, media life study encouraged the student to explore the thematic links across the project: memory, experience, identity, space, embodiment and agency. Through the links learning practices afforded for student, the opportunity to reflect both the identity in individual life worlds and common identity “our identity” in dept. especially this allows them to “oscillate” between different narrations (see Doerr-Steven 2011). This critical reflection of differences providing opportunity to share their specific memories and media experiences in transcultural perspective and further link this to transcultural media literacies in education. The usefulness of the method: Individual memories entangled collective remembering. Thus, the collective remembering can be seen twofold as well: shared individual memories changed in collaboration to transcultural media understanding. The shared experiences was important, while the students heard the stories from authentic media users and they explored, that the “identity vectors” are multiple constructed (Smith and Watson 2010). This assignment showed that the identity is intersectional and provisional. This study indicate the importance of developing a global consciousness in media education. Interest in exploring the implications of globalization for media education, especially in the relation to transculturalism and autobiography, are important. The autobiographies, in this study entered into a productive dialogue with media studies (Dunne & Moser 2008) and enabled deeper understanding for students of themselves in the present time. The structured interface between subjectivity and social objectivity, both micro- and macro-level, opened up the possibility of capture learning and education processes in the range of subjective and objective analyzes (see Kruger 1997; Marotzki 1996).
Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang. Buckingham, D. & Sefton-Green, J. (1996). Cultural studies meet Action Research in the Media Classroom. Educational Action Research, 4(2), 223–244. Carr, W. & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge, and Action Research. Lewes: Falmer Press. Doerr-Stevens, C. (2011). Forging space for new identities and literacy practices through digital media composition of radio documentaries. Proceeding of the National Council Teachers of English Assembly on Research. Dünne, J. & Moser. C. (2008). Automedialität. Subjektkonstitution in Schrift, Bild und neuen Medien. München: Fink Giddens, A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity. Koponen, M. & Kotilainen, S. (2017). Kohti transkulttuurista mediaosaamista korkeakoulutuksessa. Aikuiskasvatus, Vol, 39(3), 205–221. Krüger, H-H.(1997). Erziehungwissenschafliche Biobraphieforschung. In Friebertshäuser, B. & Prengel, A. (Eds.) Handbuch qualitative Forschungsmethoden der Erziehungwissenschafliche. Weinheim. München. 43-55. Legard, R. Keekan, J. & Ward, K. (2012). In-depth Interviews. In Ritchie, J. & Lewis, J. (Eds.) Qualitative Research Practice. A Quide for Social Science Students and Researchers. London: Sage Publication Ltd. 138-169. Lewis, J. & Ritchie, J. (2012). Generalizing from Qualitative Research. In Ritchie, J. & Lewis, J. (Eds.) Qualitative Research Practice. A Quide for Social Science Students and Researchers. London: Sage Publication Ltd. 264-277. Marotzki, W (1996): Neue Konturen Allgemeiner Pädagogik: Biographie als vermittelnde Kategorie. In Borelli, M & Ruhloff, J. (Eds.). Deutsche Gegenwartspädägogik, Bd. 2. Hohengehren. 67-84. Nohl, A-M. (2007). A media education perspective. Cultures of media practice and ´media-bildung´. European Journal of Cultural Studie Vol, 10(3), 415–419. Rantanen, T. (2005a). Cosmopolitanization – now! An interview with Ulrich Beck. Global Media and Communication, 1(3), 247-263. Rantanen, T. (2005b). The media and globalization. London: Sage. Schofield, D., & Vettenranta, S. (2014). The media and global imagination: students' experiences of time and space. Schofield, D. (2014). Young People Exploring Their Media Experiences. Mediagraphy as a Reflection Tool in Upper Secondary School. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy. 9(2). 112-127. Smith, S. & Watson, J. (2010). Reading Autobiography. A quide for interpreting narratives. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press. Thompson, J. (1995). The Media and Modernity. Cambridge: Polity. Tuomi, J. & Sarajärvi, A. (2006). Laadullinen tutkimus ja sisällönanalyysi. Jyväskylä: Tammi. Vettenranta, S. (2013). Global Mediagraphy. A Teaching Method in Media Education. Teoksessa Carlsson, U. & S. Culver, H. (Eds..) Media and information literacy and intercultural dialogue. MILID Yearbook 2013. Göteborg: Nordicom, 175–189. Waters, M. (1995). Globalization. London: Routledge.
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