Media Education as a Strategy for Online Civic Participation in Portuguese Schools

Dias-Fonseca, Tânia and Potter, John Media Education as a Strategy for Online Civic Participation in Portuguese Schools. Comunicar, 2016, vol. 24, n. 49, pp. 9-18. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

Whilst various studies have examined participation on the Internet as a key element of a new emergent civic engagement, informally or formally through national and local governments’ online measures, less has been done to measure or suggest ways of overcoming social and technological constraints on online civic participation. Additionally, few studies have looked at the relationship between the actual implementation of such initiatives in classrooms and the messages which are conveyed indirectly as a result of teachers’ own conceptions of classroom strategies, which are perhaps better described as a “hidden curriculum”. This paper reports on these constructions through a set of detailed quantitative and qualitative case studies of the implementation of civic engagement through online activity in several regions of Portugal. The data, obtained through questionnaires, were used to produce novel composite scores reflecting the participatory and media literacy strategies of schools, as well as teachers and students’ media literacy and online civic actions. We present empirical results from a study population consisting of 12 public secondary school principals, 131 teachers, and 1,392 students in grades 11 and 12, suggesting that students’ online civic engagement and media literacy levels are affected by their teachers’ classroom practices and further training and by the implementation of a project-based approach to media education.

Spanish abstract

Mientras que numerosos estudios han examinado la participación en internet como elemento clave de una nueva involucración cívica emergente, informal o formal, a través de medidas gubernamentales locales o nacionales on-line, el esfuerzo ha sido menor para medir o sugerir formas de superar las restricciones sociales y tecnológicas de la participación cívica on-line. Pocos estudios se han centrado en la relación entre la implementación de las iniciativas en las aulas y los mensajes expresados indirectamente como resultado de las concepciones personales de los docentes en las estrategias didácticas que probablemente pueden ser descritas como «currículo oculto». Nos basamos en un análisis cuantitativo y cualitativo de un conjunto de estudios de casos sobre la implementación del compromiso cívico a través de actividades en línea en varias regiones de Portugal. Los datos obtenidos a través de cuestionarios fueron usados para crear un sistema de puntuación capaz de reflejar las estrategias escolares sobre la participación y la alfabetización mediática, así como, la acción cívica on-line de docentes y alumnos. Presentamos los resultados empíricos con una población que comprende 12 directores de escuelas públicas secundarias, 131 docentes y 1.392 alumnos de los cursos 11º y 12º. Los resultados sugieren que los niveles mediáticos de los estudiantes y sus niveles de compromiso cívico on-line están influenciados por las prácticas de sus profesores, su formación y por la implantación de proyectos de alfabetización mediática.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Media literacy; education; curriculum; teaching strategies; teachers’ training; online; civic engagement.
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 04 Oct 2016 18:39
Last modified: 04 Oct 2016 21:50
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/30073

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