Analysis of Primary School Curriculum of Turkey, Finland, and Ireland in Terms of Media Literacy Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the implications of Media Literacy Education (MLE) in Turkey by analyzing the Primary School Curricula in terms of MLE comparatively in Turkey, Ireland and Finland. In this study, the selection of Finland and Ireland curricula is related with those countries' being the pioneering countries in MLE and the structural diff erences in their curricula. In other words, the selection of these countries serves as a model in terms of approaching to MLE as a separate course (Turkey), in a strand unit (Ireland) and interdisciplinary manner (Finland). The method used in this study was document analysis. The documents analyzed in the study were the Primary School Curriculum of these countries and also documents, such as reports, books and journals, published by governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on Media Literacy Education. Since a standard MLE for European countries does not exist, the curricula of Primary school education of Turkey, Ireland, and Finland were analyzed and interpreted in terms of (a) general outcomes and learning outcomes of the curricula, (b) content, (c) learning situation (methods and techniques) and (d) assessment and evaluation strategies. This study revealed that in the vision of Primary school curricula of Turkey, there are not any objectives related to MLE unlike Finland and Ireland Curricula. When analyzed the curriculum of each course this study also revealed that the objectives related to MLE are only implemented in Turkish Curriculum (1-5). On the contrary, in Ireland there are objectives related to MLE in English, Visual Arts, Mathematics, Irish language, and mostly in Science and Social Personal and Health (SPHE) curricula and it is included in the objectives of core curriculum in Finland. In addition to this, the objectives and learning outcomes of Turkey's MLE curriculum seems to aim at gaining knowledge and understanding the issues although they are focused on developing attitude, skills and values; and also developing active citizenship, intercultural communication, critical thinking skills and creativity in Finland's and Ireland's curricula. Considering the findings of the study, it is suggested that MLE should be a skill-based teaching rather than a stand-alone subject in Primary school curricula.

Key Words

Media Literacy Education, Primary School Curricula, Turkey, Ireland, Finland.

For the most historians and philosophers, the 19th century is accepted as a great transformation era. In that era, in addition to industrial revolution, there were important developments in art and science (aylan, 2002: p. 18). In the 20th century, after the invention of telephone, radio, and television, the invention of computers made the communication between people, countries, and continents faster (Oktay, 2004: p. 14). These developments in communication systems in addition to globalization have aff ected people's lives and interaction of countries such as Turkey in terms of social, cultural, and economical aspects. While technology eases our lives, it also causes some harmful eff ects. In other words, the societies which make the use of technology first become superior to the others (Oktay, 2004: p. 15). Among the values transferred from the 19th century to 20th century, one can mention globalization, being multilingual and multicultural, lifelong learning, learning rather than teaching, economy, population, and democracy. The interaction among those concepts is only provided with education (Oktay, 2004: p.13). As the requirement of information society and new education paradigm we can define educated man as a person learning to learn. For that reason the term literacy has expanded with the concepts of digital literacy, visual literacy, computer literacy, media literacy and so on. With the quote "Today, media literacy is as central to active and full citizenship as literacy was at the beginning of 19th century," Reding2 put forward that expansion and change. …