06 SES 12, Teachers and New Literacies
Parallel Paper Session
The historic construction of media teachers. Topic and objective.
The “who’s” of media education, the teachers, and their professional development connected to media literacy, has historically not been a major area of research (Berger & McDougall, 2010; Hart, 1998). Internationally, the discourse of media literacy in education has mainly been concerned with the “why’s” and “how’s” of media education. The “why’s”, that is the importance of media competency and focus on formal vs. informal education for children and youth in a media-saturated world, has been a major strand of media literacy research and theory, ranging from critical positions (Livingstone & Haddon, 2009; Potter, 2004) to a focus on sosiocultural perspectives on studying learning (Buckingham, 2003; Erstad, 2010) and media literacy as aspects of becoming democratic citizens or as “bildung”(Carlsson, 2008; Vettenranta & Erstad, 2007). These understandings have been transformed into an array of “how’s”, teaching strategies, tools, methods and knowledge areas needed to fulfill these ‘why’s’ (Burn & Durran, 2007; Hobbs, 2011; Lavender, Tufte, & Lamish, 2003; Potter, 2011). In this paper we will reorient these debates towards the role of media teachers and their own professional identities.
Case and research question
Building on the case of a combined vocational and academic media study program, Media and Communication in Norwegian upper secondary education, the paper explores teachers’ own understandings of becoming and developing as media educators at one of the 17 schools that established this three-year study program. The paper aims to connect this case to the history of media education and the international field of media education research by focusing on some of the key players among teachers in developing this new study program from year 2000 and onwards. The research questions we seek to answer are: What understandings of media literacy are evident among key media teachers (the pioneers) in the way they constructed their interpretations of the study program? and How are these understandings related to a broader historic context of media education and media literacy research?
The paper combines theoretical perspectives from media literacy research with perspectives on teacher professionalism (Engeström & Tuomi-Gröhn, 2007; Eraut, 1994; Evetts, 2003). To discuss the different understandings of both media literacy and teacher professionalism evident in teaching plans, courses offered and the teachers’ own narratives, we utilize a discoursive conceptual framework (Bernstein, Chouliaraki, Bayer, & Gregersen, 2001; Fenwick, 2001).
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