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Browsing by Author "Paajanen, Jenni"

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  • Paajanen, Jenni (2016)
    The societal impact of media has grown during the past decade, mostly as a result of the ongoing digitalisation. We live in a culture where a significant part of our daily experiences are delivered by some form of media. The influential role of media is obvious, and the contents are produced by an unprecedented range of authors, from the children and youth to marketing professionals. For this reason, having good media skills is more important than ever. These skills include the understanding, production and interpretation of media. In the present work, we studied the teaching of media skills at elementary school level from the viewpoint of class room teachers. Our goal was to find out how media education is realised in practice. We approached media education from the perspective of its technical, content-related and cultural aspects. We studied how the teachers understand media education, and how they see themselves as media educators. The study was realised as a qualitative case study. The research material was gathered by interviewing six elementary school teachers during the spring of 2016. The material was interpreted by means of content analysis. The research material is divided into three main themes, which in turn consist of seven sub-themes. The interviewees were very different with respect to their understanding of media education. Nevertheless, they all considered it to be of importance. The practical media education, as realised in the class room, had a clear emphasis on the content-related aspects, as well as on the development of critical media literacy. The same emphasis could be seen in the teachers' own definitions of media education. The interviewees felt uncertain of using media as a tool in their own teaching. They believed that a practical media education guide would be beneficial when planning their lessons. They felt that focusing on media education was challenging amidst their other teaching duties. Majority of the teachers told that media education was only realised integrated into others substances. Our results imply that, in the Finnish elementary school, media education is not realised to its full need and potential.