The Center for Citizenship Education (CCE) supports students and teachers in developing critical thinking skills through educational programs, e.g. in the field of global and climate education, political education, and finally as part of media education. We provide teachers with working methods and tools for the analysis of media messages, such as a media smartphone, and we introduce knowledge about manipulation techniques. We encourage them to use this support when talking to young people about current topics, such as the Covid-19 pandemic (How to distinguish facts from opinions? How to recognise fake news?, etc.). We have been developing media education programs at CCE for several years to help teachers introduce elements of media literacy during lessons or implement them as additional projects.
“Mind over Media in Poland” and “MedJa. School of critical thinking”(*English version of the title: Becoming ethical journalists) – these are our latest media education programs which we have implemented jointly with the Evens Foundation, in coalition with other European organisations (Mind over Media in Europe – Analyzing contemporary propaganda). The original Mind over Media website was developed by Renee Hobbes, Professor of Communication Studies at the Harrington School of Communication and Media and founder of the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island in the USA. We have prepared supporting materials on the language of propaganda, referring to examples from the past and propaganda of the communist period in Poland, but also to contemporary examples of manipulation in media messages. Teachers can find numerous examples of media messages on this website and work on them with students.
We want to teach young people how to express their opinions, take creative actions and be civically engaged. So, they run social campaigns or co-create local media – in this way they learn how to be aware as a responsible and ethical media creator.
One of the newer projects in the field of media and film education in CCE is the program “Good Connections”. In this project, we focus on the development of social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies of children (such as: self-awareness, self-control, social awareness, interpersonal skills and responsible decision making) that are much needed for safer activities of young people online and offline.
The key method used in this program is psychoeducation via films – a well-tested solution that has been used by the CCE in a number of previous national and international projects. For this project we have selected 15 short movies (for the age group 7-12 and films for parents) as well as prepared lessons plans and supporting materials.
Movies will be used to help teachers to talk about SEL competencies with children and talk with their parents about how to support children in the development of SEL competences and inspire self-development. This platform will be launched shortly with films and materials, training for teachers, and we will launch a test of this method in schools. The selected films include:
- “The Orchestra” – short animation directed by Mikey Hill helps to discuss in a classroom emotions young people feel (how to identify them, understand how they influence us and how to cope with them) to develop self awareness to better know themselves and feel self confident.
- “#Bullingstory” by Eef Hilgers shows a story of online bullying and online peer support between young people, what helps to work in schools on social awareness – taking others’ perspectives, demonstrating empathy, showing concern for others’ feelings and norms.
- “Kamali” – movie by Sasha Rainbow about a mother supporting her skateboarding daughter in India, even against the wishes of her family and norms of society. This movie can be used to provoke a discussion with parents on the topic of the importance of building relations between parents and children and empowerment of young people by adults.
The Good Connections project is supported by Google.org Impact Challenge: Online Security , this short video provides an introduction to the project.
Editor’s note: Katarzyna presented some of the work carried out by CCE during our Wednesday Webinar on 10 February when the spotlight was on media literacy in Poland. You can watch a recording of the full webinar here.
Katarzyna Grubek, head of Culture and Media Department and coordinator of media and cultural education programs in Center for Citizenship Education(CCE), Poland
Jan Dąbkowski, coordinator of the “Good connections (Dobre łącza)” program, Center for Citizenship Education (CCE), Poland