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“Media Literacy Education in Iranian Schools”: The 15th UNESCO Chairs Program in “Cyberspace and Cyber Culture: Dual-Spacization of the World” held at FWS
The 15th UNESCO Chairs Program in “Cyberspace and Cyber Culture: Dual-Spacization of the World” with a discussion about “Media Literacy Education in Iranian Schools” was held in Iran Hall of the Faculty of World Studies. Saba Khosravi, PhD Candidate of Communication at the Faculty of Social Sciences of University of Tehran, spoke at the event.
Dr. Ehsan Shahghasemi, Member of the Department of Communication at the Faculty of Social Sciences of University of Tehran, began the session by greeting the guests and said, “Basically, reading and writing literacy is not enough today and those who are not able to work with the internet are considered illiterate.”
After introduction, Saba Khosravi, PhD Candidate of Communication at University of Tehran, talked about “Media Literacy Education in Iranian Schools”. “Contemporary world is the world of communication and every education begins at school. Obviously, the discourse of this article and speech is about teaching social communication science,” she said.
“We need to know that the necessity of media literacy education is asserted in the countries important documents, including documents about cultural policymaking in public education,” she added. Saba Khosravi continued, “How do the policymakers of media literacy view this urgency and necessity and how do they want to teach it? There was a challenge since the beginning regarding the meaning of media literacy. During the 90s and 2000s, “media literacy” and “internet literacy” seemed quite enough. Today, however, they are not.”
PhD Candidate of Communication focused in the theories about media literacy. “Dr. Ameli has already introduced internet literacy. In educational sciences, a triangle is considered with the three sides of comprehensive discourses, informational discourses, and learning discourses. The three sides are regarded as traditional literacy, modern literacy, and learning literacy,” she continued.
Ms. Khoosravi added, “Most of the studies in the past 10 years have been quantitative, focusing on informational or internet literacy. They have introduced media literacy as digital literacy while us and our society, which is an informational one, require qualitative studies.”
Discussing the deficiencies of the current pattern of media literacy education, Student of University of Tehran said, “In the past one and a half years, all of the social groups and networks under the term of media literacy have been studied. The results show that the policymakers and scholars of media literacy education have been making huge mistakes in this manner. In the current pattern, media is introduced as pure evil. The pattern considers human being as merely an unknown subject in its interactions with the media and requires human beings to stay away from this evil.”
Dr. Saeid Reza Ameli, Director of the UNESCO Chairs Program in “Cyberspace and Cyber Culture: Dual-Spacization of the World, was the next speaker at the meeting. Defining the concept of literacy, he said, “Literacy is basically what creates abilities for us. Literacy decodes words for us to understand them. Furthermore, internet literacy, or media literacy, is the ability to decode internet and media content.”
Dividing internet literacy into three types, Dean of the Faculty of World Studies continued, “We have a general literacy for working with the internet, particular literacy for the specific use of the internet by the society, and specialized literacy for different academic fields. Internet literacy, in its concept, includes informational literacy, skill literacy, legal literacy, analytical literacy, virtual literacy, and algorithmic literacy.”
“When we discuss media literacy, we are actually talking about all these abilities. Media is part of the cyberspace; it is not the whole,” Dr. Ameli concluded.
The 15th UNESCO Chairs Program in “Cyberspace and Cyber Culture: Dual-Spacization of the World” concluded with a Q & A session.