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Expected Outcomes of the International Expert Group Meeting

The UNESCO General Conference decided to support media and information literacy initiatives to allow users to make informed judgments on information sources and the reliability of information, and to broaden civic participation in media. In particular, UNESCO endeavours to catalyze processes to introduce media and information literacy in teacher training:
The Expert Group is therefore expected to advise UNESCO on introducing media and information literacy to teachers by:

(a) Identifying core competencies that teachers would need

(b) Defining the relevant subject areas, syllabi, and curriculum enrichment material necessary for teacher training

(c) Advising on appropriate processes by which such material can be developed, tested and introduced.
nnex III - Provisional Agenda

Monday 16 June
10.00-10.10 Introductory Remarks: Including Media and Information Literacy Components in Teacher Training
Wijayananda Jayaweera, Director, Communication Development Division, UNESCO

Miriam Nisbet, Director, Information Society Division, UNESCO

10.10-10.30 Expert Group introductions

10.30-13.00 SESSION ONE:
Building Knowledge Societies - Media and Information Literacy as a Sine Qua Non of Teacher Training

Moderator: Fackson Banda, UNESCO-SAB Miller Chair of Media and Democracy, Rhodes University, Grahamstown

Introduction to background paper by author, Jose Manuel Perez Tornero, International Association of Media Education, (MENTOR) Barcelona

Understanding Media and Information Literacy

Targeting secondary education in Media and Information Literacy

13.00-15.00 Lunch

15.00- 18.00 SESSION TWO:
The Introduction of Media and Information Literacy into Teacher Training Curricula
Moderator: Carolyn Wilson, Association for Media Literacy, Toronto

Commentary by Caroline Pontefract, Teacher Education, Division of Higher Education, UNESCO, Paris and Renato Opertti, International Bureau of Education, UNESCO, Switzerland

Ongoing initiatives in the developed and developing world

Methods of introduction and good practice

18.15 Cocktail
UNESCO, Miollis Bar (level -1)
* * *
Tuesday 17 June

10.00-13.00 SESSION THREE:
Media and Information Literacy Model Syllabi
Moderator: María Ester Mancebo, Universidad de la República, Montevideo

Commentary by Kwame Akyeampong, Centre for International Education, Sussex University, Brighton

Media and Information Literacy syllabus breakdown

Course duration

Mandatory and optional modules
13.00-15.00 Lunch

15.00- 18.00 SESSION FOUR:
Enriching Teacher Training Curricula with Media and Information Literacy Components
Moderator: C.K. Cheung, University of Hong Kong

Commentary by Evelyne Bevort, Centre de liaison de l’enseignement et des moyens d’information (CLEMI), Paris

(Sub-group discussions can be arranged should the Expert Group wish)
* * *

Wednesday 18 June
10.00-12.40 SESSION FIVE:
Expert Group Work Plan and Working Methods
Moderator: Martin Hadlow, Centre for Communication and Social Change, University of Queensland, Brisbane

12.40-13.00 Closing Remarks:
Wijayananda Jayaweera, Communication Development Division, UNESCO

* * *

Annex IV - Key Concepts of Media Literacy

(From the Association for Media Literacy, Canada. For the complete document see:
To define the critical premises behind media education, the following key concepts have been developed. The key concepts provide a theoretical base for all media literacy programs and give teachers a common language and framework for discussion.

1. All media are constructions

Media present carefully crafted constructions that reflect many decisions and result from many determining factors. Much of our view of reality is based on media messages that have been pre-constructed and have attitudes, interpretations and conclusions already built in. The media, to a great extent, present us with versions of reality.
2. Each person interprets messages differently

People who watch the same TV show or visit the same Web site often do not have the same experience or come away with the same impression. Each person can interpret or negotiate a message differently based on age, culture, life experiences, values and beliefs.
3. The media have commercial interests

Most media are created for profit. Advertising is generally the biggest source of revenue. Commercials are the most obvious means of generating revenue, although advertising messages take many forms, including product placement, (paying to have a product prominently displaying in programs or movies), sponsorships, prizes, pop-up ads and surveys on the Internet, celebrity endorsements or naming a stadium or theatre.
4. The media contain ideological and value messages

Producers of media messages have their own beliefs, values, opinions and biases. These can influence what gets told and how it is told. Producers must choose what will and will not be included in media texts, so there are no neutral or value-free media messages. As these messages are often viewed by great numbers of viewers, they can have great social and political influence. We need to decode media messages about such issues as the nature of the “good life”, the virtue of consumerism, the role of women, the acceptance of authority, and unquestioning patriotism.
5. Each medium has its own language, style, techniques, codes, conventions, and aesthetics

Each medium creates meaning differently using certain vocabulary, techniques and styles, or codes and conventions. In a movie or TV show, when the picture dissolves, it indicates a passage of time. Hot links and navigation buttons indicate you can find what is needed on a Web site. A novelist must use certain words to create setting and characters, while other media use images, text and sound. Over time, we understand what each technique means. We become fluent in the "languages" of different media and can appreciate their aesthetic qualities. Developing media literacy skills enables us not only to decode and understand media texts, but also to enjoy the unique aesthetic form of each. Our enjoyment of media is enhanced by an awareness of how pleasing forms or effects are created.
6. The media have commercial implications

Media literacy includes an awareness of the economic basis of mass media production. Networks look for audiences to be delivered to sponsors. Knowledge of this allows students to understand how program content makes them targets for advertisers and organizes viewers into marketable groups. The issue of ownership and control is of vital importance at a time when there are more choices, but fewer voices. (Ninety percent of the world’s newspapers, magazines, television stations, films, and computer software companies are owned by seven corporate conglomerates.)
7. The media have social and political implications

An important dimension of media literacy is an awareness of the broad range of social and political effects stemming from the media. The changing nature of family life, the use of leisure time and the results of televised political debates are three such examples. The mass media serve to legitimize societal values and attitudes. The media also have a major role in mediating global events and issues from civil rights to terrorism.
8. Form and content are closely related in the media

Making the form/content connection relates to the thesis of Marshall McLuhan that “the medium is the message". That is, each medium has its own special grammar and technological bias and codifies reality in unique ways. Thus, different media might report the same event but create different impressions and different messages.
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