Exploring how media literacy can be part of public school education in Poland
By Maja Dobiasz
Mind Over Media in Poland has got a meaningful subtitle „School of Critical Thinking”. It can be understood in two ways – the program itself being a school where we help people to master their critical thinking skills, and on the other side, we wonder if a school can be a place of learning critical thinking as well.
Polish school in general is an institution based on discipline and authority. Its curriculum has changed recently from neoliberal to more republican, based on the assumption that education serves the country and shapes a citizen and the nation. Since 1989 we had a social and pedagogical movement aiming to democratize education and give it more humanistic form, however those voices are less listened to under the conservative rule.
Our task is to check if there is a place in state schools for media literacy education understood broader than only using the web or computer programs, but mainly – to critically interpret and analyze the surrounding reality that is nowadays dominated by the media. To do it we need to build a national curriculum of lesson scenarios and analysis that will guide our teachers. We have asked our expert teachers, trainers and university authorities to write specific scenarios in the fields such as:
- Propaganda and socialism in Poland,
- Contemporary anti-Semitism on the media,
- Propaganda and MEMES,
- Propaganda and coaching,
- Propaganda in popular press and magazines,
- How to react on propaganda news?
- We have also analyzed the school curriculum,
- and asked experts to detect typical mechanisms of historical and contemporary propaganda in the language.
- We have also focused on “fake news” and going beyond this simplifying notion and translated the infographics of EAVI Media Literacy for Citizenship, that identifies more concepts that aim to confuse us, than only fake news.
- We would like to create more infographics because the visual form makes them easier to understand and use in the classroom.
Our main goal while the experts produce the materials and we build the main curriculum, is to promote the program. We have established a partnership with the biggest and the most recognized portal on social campaigns which promotes our program on its main website in the slider. I also regularly write articles about the program to keep the interest. We are also present in the social media and in the groups of Polish media educators. Also very popular portal EduNews wrote about us and… last week we have recorded 45 minutes long radio interview in TOK FM which is highly quoted Polish radio station. It is going to broadcasted on Friday 20.04.2018 in the evening, in case Polish is your first language!
Because today I was editing the scenario on press propaganda I am sending a beautiful magazine cover – can’t wait to post it on our Polish version of the mindovermedia.tv.