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Introduction of MIL into teacher training curricula

Definition of relevant subject areas, syllabi and curriculum enrichment material for teacher training


Definition of subject areas is influenced by the audience for the curriculum. The Expert Group seeks clarification of whether the curriculum and related syllabi are for all trainee teachers, or only for those who will become subject specialists. Questions were also raised concerning who will deliver the curriculum and how they will be prepared. A further crucial question centred on the duration of the proposed MIL courses and estimates of time required to develop the required competencies. To this end, it was suggested that the curriculum should be structured for initial teacher training and later for in-service professional development to support development of communities of understanding around MIL practice. Underlying this suggestion is an appreciation that educational change requires a critical mass of teachers trained in particular subjects and pedagogical approaches.
It was acknowledged that the MIL curriculum to be developed needs to include learning outcomes that describe trainee teachers’ personal media and information literacy as well as what they can do to promote MIL in their students.
The Expert Group agreed that:

  • a curriculum has technical and political factors and many stakeholders

  • curriculum development is a dynamic, shared process involving teachers, supervisors and other stakeholders

  • an inclusive curriculum responds to diverse needs of diverse learners, and

  • a curriculum contains an array of syllabi or content areas with associated competencies and competencies that can be broken down by level of achievement,

  • in this case, the MIL curriculum must address different kinds of reality with the understanding that global, national and regional concerns inform the balance between these realities

  • the competencies underlying the curriculum have potential to transform realities.


It is suggested that the syllabus to be developed for trainee teachers identifies a core of subject elements unique to MIL and indicates those that may be being developed in other subject areas. This would enable educational decision makers to see how the media and information literacy syllabus can enrich existing learning objectives for trainee teachers and to identify where its elements are already supported in programmes. However, the identification of core, or mandatory, and optional elements is a function of the level of understanding expected by education authorities where the syllabus is to be implemented.

A curriculum framework rather than a model


While the meeting began with frequent reference to development of a ‘model’ curriculum, the Expert Group came to favour development of an open, flexible framework (or set of frameworks) that could be interpreted in light of the specific contexts in which it was to be trialled with specific syllabi to be further co-developed by the teachers, supervisors and other stakeholders who would implement it. It was agreed that the final framework should be clear, simple, incorporate analysis and practice and provide opportunities for assessment. It should also provide opportunities for teaching through and about the media to promote media and information literacy.
On the media literacy side of the equation, this curriculum framework aims to help trainee teachers explore and understand:

  • what makes media a topic of concern for teachers

  • how the media and information sources operate,

  • how they construct meaning,

  • how they can be used, and

  • how to evaluate the information they present

  • how young people are using media today and for what purposes

  • the capacities, rights and responsibilities of individuals in relation to media

  • international standards within local contexts (Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Constitutional guarantees on freedom of expression and their limitations such as hate speech, defamation and privacy)

  • what is expected from media (pluralism and diversity as a norm, journalism as a discipline of verification, the role of media ethics)


On the information literacy side of the equation, the curriculum framework supports exploration and understanding of:

  • Article 19 of UDHR and relevance in networked communication

  • Information sources and systems of storage and organization

  • Location and retrieval tools

  • The selection and evaluation of appropriate information sources

  • Critical reading, analysis, synthesis

  • Creating and presenting information products

  • Processes of inquiry and information problem solving

  • Reflective thinking (metacognition)

The framework can be applied to development of MIL in any subject discipline, thus contributing to stand alone or integrated subject teaching.
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