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The Teachers of “Da Vinci” School Trained in Media Literacy by IJC

03 September 2020
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Lower secondary school and high school teachers of the “Da Vinci” high school in Chisinau strengthened their critical thinking skills during a new media and information literacy training program. The training, attended by 21 female teachers and 2 male teachers, was organised by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) during 18-20 August 2020.

The course was delivered by Loretta Handrabura, Philology PhD and one of the co-authors of the Media Education textbook, and by Aneta Gonta, Political Science PhD, media researcher and university lecturer.

In her welcoming remarks, Oxana Iutes, the representative of Internews in Moldova, underscored that media education needs to start as early as possible so that children learn from a young age to question any piece of information. “They must know that there are very interesting things out there on the internet, while being aware that the internet is sometimes dangerous. Internews is conducting more than 70 projects worldwide, most of which are dedicated to cultivating critical thinking and developing healthy independent media. Every person in our country must enjoy access to credible information and to a sound media environment, with less manipulation and propaganda, while having enough awareness to be able to recognize phenomena that, unfortunately, prevail in our country in both the political and social life”, said Oxana Iutes, urging teachers to keep cultivating their critical thinking.

For three days, the teachers explored the contents of the Media Education textbook for secondary school level developed by IJC, acquired new teaching techniques and developed new digital skills by using several web-based tools.

The trainers Loretta Handrabura and Aneta Gonta helped participants understand what mass-media is and why it is important to focus on harnessing the media culture in our contemporary society, what the positive and negative effects of the media on children are, how to identify elements of propaganda in the digital era, what information sources are trustworthy and what the netiquette is.

This training was also a good opportunity for the participants to check their media knowledge via online quizzes and tests, to develop their critical analysis skills and, ultimately, to overcome their fear of teaching this new school subject.

“This was an interactive and illuminating workshop thanks to which we reached the understanding that if we want our students to overcome current and future problems, we must give them the tools they need for that. Media and information literacy can help them cope with many of their problems – both personal and social”, is the opinion of Mariana Timotin, English language teacher at “Da Vinci”.

IJC has trained so far 171 primary school teachers, 120 lower secondary school teachers and 97 high school teachers. The elective Media Education course has been taught in schools in Moldova since 2017 and was included in the Framework Program of the Ministry of the Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova at all three levels of education – primary, lower secondary and upper secondary.
 
The training was organized by the Independent Journalism Center under the ‘Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M)’ Project, funded by USAID and UK Aid, and implemented by Internews in Moldova.