Thursday, October 29, 2020

Approaches to Integrating Media Literacy in the K-12 Curriculum: The Case of Qatar #FOILresearch #GlobalMILweek

The second free webinar that the University of Sheffield Information School (my department) was involved with for Global Media and Information Literacy was today, entitled Masters’ Class: Emerging Voices in Media & Information Literacy Research. This was hosted by Dr Drew Whitworth (University of Manchester). This session was another event organised by the Forum on Information Literacy (FOIL), which is committed to sharing Information Literacy research and providing opportunities for new researchers to participate. I'll blog a little bit about each of the presentations. The first was:

 - Dona Fernandes (working at Hamid Bin Khalifa University, dissertation submitted to University of Manchester): Approaches to Integrating Media Literacy in the K-12 Curriculum: The Case of Qatar  

She started with an introduction to Qatar and the schools (K12) sector. There are a range of curricula in independent and private schools, catering to the different nationalities in the student body. Fernandes presented a timeline of Media Literacy in Qatar, relating it to other developments in education, politics (e.g. the opening and closure of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom & Doha News, issues to do with fake news) and outlined her conceptual frameworks e.g. aligning with local interests. Fernandes' research questions focused on the challenges to developing media literacy in the school curriculum and she explored them by analysing the literature. She identified the overarching challenges as. The first was lack of media freedom (although by itself it does not enable media literacy (ML) education) - from that point of view it is important, therefore not to import unrealistic Western models of ML curricula. The second challenge was an absence of national policy for ML, linked to the third challenge, a lack of multilateral colaboration in the region. The fourth challenge was a lack of technical training opportunities, including the contextual ML skills of being able to navigate the media landscape of Qatar without breaking the laws. In her final slide, Fernandes presented a diagram linking the conceptual framework and these challenges.

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