In Romania, there is no public policy that integrates media literacy in formal education and national education plans only include ICT skills. (chapter 3, page 73)

"Charting Media and Learning in Europe – 2011" is the first of a series of reports on the status of media and learning in Europe which are being written and published by the 8 partners in MEDEAnet, a 3-year network project funded under KA3 of the Lifelong Learning Programme, running from January 2012 to December 2014.

The first edition of the report was presented during the Media & Learning Conference in November 2012. It focused on the status of policies related to media literacy and media education in the MEDEAnet countries or regions: partners from Estonia, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania described the situation at a national level while the three remaining countries with a federal structure - Germany, Belgium and Austria - mainly focused on the respective relevant regions Baden-Württemberg, Flanders and Upper Austria.

Key findings of “Charting Media and Learning in Europe – 2011”

Taking the European Commission’s definition of media literacy as a guiding principle, it is worth stating that in general the definitions used in the partner countries are very diverse, and that this diversity in meaning and contexts needs to be taken into account when discussing media literacy and media education. Dealing with media literacy and media education is a shared responsibility for several stakeholders. Media and learning are understood very differently depending on the point of view (schools, parents, ministries of education, broadcasting companies, producers of educational material, youth,…). However, the definition of media literacy by the European Commission is favoured by several MEDEAnet partner countries, for example by Germany, Austria or Bulgaria.

Another major difference is how media literacy is understood in each of the countries or regions involved: In some, there is a focus on ICT whereas others concentrate more on the cultural component of media literacy. Both points of view are complementary and therefore should be addressed simultaneously.

In addition, the consortium discovered that hardly any specific targets and measurable indicators concerning media and learning yet exist. Some efforts are being made to measure the “level” of media literacy in different European countries (for example in the context of Eurydice) but no specific indicators have been defined so far.

In Romania, the research was undertaken by ActiveWatch, the local MEDEAnet partner. The report shows that there is no public policy that integrates media literacy in formal education and national education plans only include ICT skills. Media education as an independent subject is only available at high school level as an optional course for the 12th grade integrated into the Social Sciences curriculum.

At a non-formal level, media education is only sporadically available for high school students, much less for smaller children, and nearly not at all for adults. Regarding teacher training programs to develop media literacy skills, the only one available is MediaSIS.

The fact that MEDEAnet partners have undertaken research on the status of media and learning in many different learning sectors from pre-primary through to adult learning has given them a comprehensive overview of the situation in the partner countries where significant diversity in terms of policies and practices exist. It is important to take this diversity into account when discussing media literacy as much can be learned not only form what is happening in other countries or regions, but also from what is happening in other educational sectors within the same country or region.

The report “Charting Media and Learning in Europe – 2011” can be downloaded for free HERE.

Further information about MEDEAnet including the other activities which are planned in the framework of this project can be found at www.medeanet.eu.
 

ActiveWatch / CC BY 3.0