Posts tagged ‘educational media’

6 February 2011

Media driving licence for primary schools

Niggemeier blogs about a pilot project for a “media driving licence” which has been introduced in Bavaria.

One particular set of materials aims to teach children in the 3rd and 4th grade about how news is produced, and how to evaluate the credibility of news sources. Newspapers are apparently credible and invariably double-checked. Blogs are full of mistakes, with no external observer to correct them.


Unter dem Vorwand einer guten Sache, nämlich Kinder dafür zu sensibilisieren, dass nicht jeder Information zu trauen ist und dass Quellen unterschiedlich vertrauenswürdig sind, erzählt der bayerische „Medienführerschein” ihnen das Märchen von der Überlegenheit gedruckter Nachricht. Es geht nicht nur um den Kontrast professionell ersteller journalistischer Informationen zu privaten Blogs — eine zumindest theoretisch sinnvolle Gegenüberstellung (auch wenn mit spontan gleich mehrere vermeintlich professionelle Medien einfallen, denen ich im Zweifel weniger Glauben schenken würde als einem unbekannten Blog). Die Unterrichtsmaterialen mischen das konsequent mit dem behaupteten qualitativen Unterschied zwischen Print und Online.

Most interesting about the materials is indeed the question of who produced them: the Verband Bayerischer Zeitungsverleger (Association of Bavarian Newspaper Publishers). Delightful. Niggemeier:

„Schau genau hin!” heißt die Lerneinheit. Zu ihren ehrenwerten Zielen gehört es, dass die Kinder (jedenfalls im Internet) auf den Urheber einer Nachricht achten sollen, um die Glaubwürdigkeit von Informationen bewerten zu können. „Firmen verfolgen eigene Interessen”, warnt das Begleitmaterial, „und werden vor allem sich selbst oder ihre Produkte ins rechte Licht rücken.”

In der Tat. Herausgeber der Unterrichtseinheit ist übrigens zufällig der Verband Bayerischer Zeitungsverleger (VBZV). Ich hoffe, Kinder und Lehrer schauen genau hin, entdecken dessen kleines Logo auf der Titelseite und denken sich ihren Teil, was von dieser Printpropaganda zu halten ist.

And there, of course, we see the internal contradiction in the materials themselves.

“Schau genau hin!” here as pdf.

26 April 2010

Science textbooks, girls and performance

World Science reports that “mostly-male book images may reduce girls’ science scores“. Or to frame it more positively, more images of girls in the textbooks increased girls’ performance.

Part of the rea­son boys tend to out­score girls in sci­ence clas­ses may be that most text­books show pre­dom­i­nantly male sci­en­tists’ im­ages, a small ex­plor­a­to­ry study has found.

The stu­dy, on 81 young high-school stu­dents, saw the “gen­der gap” ap­par­ently re­versed when youths were tested based on a text con­tain­ing only female sci­ent­ist im­ages, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said. The gap re­turned in its usu­al form when ma­le-only im­ages were used—and van­ished when the pho­tos showed equal num­bers of men and wom­en sci­en­tists, re­search­ers said. … (April 23, 2010)

The full stu­dy: Jes­si­ca J. Good, Julie A. Woodzicka and Lylan C. Wingfield (2010). “The Effects of Gender Stereotypic and Counter-Stereotypic Textbook Images on Science Performance”, Jour­nal of So­cial Psy­chol­o­gy150 (2): 132-147. (Abstract)

6 February 2009


Groundspark: Igniting Change Through Film. As the subtitle suggests, Groundspark is an initiative offering educational documentary films which aim to engage young learners with what might seem to be difficult topics.

(That these topics are still difficult is an issue worth discussing in itself.). Some films:


Teenagers open up about how they are limited by gender role expectations and their process of finding ways to really be themselves.

That’s a Family!

Breaks new ground in helping children in grades K-8 understand the different shapes families take today.

Choosing Children

Emotionally powerful documentary that challenges society’s definitions of family by exploring the ways lesbians are becoming parents and how they are raising their children.

Let’s Get Real

Examines issues that lead to taunting and bullying, including racial differences, perceived sexual orientation, learning disabilities, religious differences, sexual harassment and others.

Deadly Deception

This 1991 Academy Award® – winning documentary uncovers the disastrous health and environmental side effects caused by the production of nuclear materials by the General Electric Corporation.

And many more. Clips can be watched on site; the films are available for purchase.