Salomaa_S._and_Mertala_P._2019_._An_Educ.pdf - 11 AN...

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11 AN EDUCATION- CENTRED APPROACH TO DIGITAL MEDIA EDUCATION SAARA SALOMAA AND PEKKA MERTALA CHAPTER OVERVIEW This chapter presents a pedagogical approach referred to as an education-centred approach for digital media education. The chapter is structured around three fundamental questions that all educators need to ask themselves regarding the pedagogical value of digital media: What is media education for? Who is media education for? How should media education be carried out? With these questions in mind, it is possible to challenge readers to reflect on what it means to be a media educator in early childhood education. The under- lying idea of this approach is to stimulate ‘media educational consciousness’, that is, professional awareness for media education. 11_GRAY_PALAIOLOGOU_CH_11.indd 151 26/12/2018 5:04:05 PM
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152 DIGITALLY ENABLED LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY The chapter aims to help you to: make links between media education and digital practices deepen your understanding about media possibilities and challenges in the digital age identify the essential parts of pedagogical planning for media education in early child- hood education. MEDIA EDUCATION IN FINLAND This chapter is based on our research in five Finish early childhood education settings and discusses a pedagogical approach referred to as an education-centred approach for media education. Whilst different media are part of children’s everyday life in devel- oped countries (Chaudron, 2015), their integration into early childhood education is still limited. For example, in Finland where the basic education curriculum has included media education themes since the early 1970s, the National Core Curriculum of Early Childhood Education 2016 (hereafter referred to as the core curriculum), effective from 2017, is the first curricular early childhood education document that obliges educators to carry out media education, and to examine digital media with children. Thus, it was unsurprising to note the experiences of one teacher at the beginning of the project who commented: I’ve never thought of myself as any kind of media educator – I just haven’t thought that it belongs here [early childhood education] or is in any way present here in the day- care centre. (Teacher A2) It is understandable that hasty mediatisation, technologisation and digitalisation of culture and society can lead to uncertainty about professional educators’ roles (i.e. Nikolopoulou and Gialamas, 2015; Palaiologou, 2016). Research has also shown that in the field of early childhood education, the term media education has strong technical connotations (Kupiainen et al., 2006), which can inform different dispositions towards media education. In the intervening 12 years since the Kupiainen et al. study, attitudes have changed and many practitioners now believe that children’s lives are filled with media; their response is to construct a ‘media-free’ education space (e.g. Lehtikangas and Mulari, 2016; Mertala, 2017b). Others argue that early childhood education prac-
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