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A Rationale and a Method for Media Education in Contemporary Society

  • Authors: Cappello, GM
  • Publication year: 2010
  • Type: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • Key words: Media Education; children; media
  • OA Link:


This chapter opens offering a general overview of the conceptual and methodological foundations of Media Education (ME) in the light of the deep transformations that Western society – particularly its educational institutions – has been experiencing in the last decades because of the rapid diffusion of information and communication technologies. It is argued that ME can offer valid ways to re-build a sense of citizenship in a media-saturated world. In fact, by adopting a ME perspective, education can re-establish the centrality of its role in orienting and governing change in contemporary society. School education in particular will have the chance to open itself to society and re-catch students’ attention and motivation to learn. In order for ME to fully deploy its potential, however, we need to redefine the ways in which the media are usually meant to be part of the schooling process. Indeed, it is not simply a question of teaching technical skills but also more general cultural-critical-creative competences so that students can grasp the social implications and functions of the media, and interact with them in a self-reflexive and responsible way. The conclusive remarks call for a concerted effort where all concerned partners – parents, teachers and educators, civil society, governments, NGOs, the media themselves – find ways to cooperate in order to “equip” people of all ages with the ability to understand and participate actively in society they live in.