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Transformational Media and Information Literacy learning for adult citizens: “this street is full of heroes”

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Presentation given by Sheila Webber, Information School, University of Sheffield, coauthored with Bill Johnston, Honorary Research Fellow, Strathclyde University. Presented on 29th October 2019 as part of the University of Sheffield Information School's celebration of Global Media and Information Literacy Week. A recording of the webinar (31 minutes) is here: https://eu-lti.bbcollab.com/recording/0284c699a3784b1a9da5a632291dc8d8

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Transformational Media and Information Literacy learning for adult citizens: “this street is full of heroes”

  1. 1. Transformational Media and Information Literacy learning for adult citizens: “this street is full of heroes” Sheila Webber (University of Sheffield) & Bill Johnston (Strathclyde University) October 2019
  2. 2. In this era of populism*...... *“parties and politicians that claim to represent the true will of a unified people against domestic elites” European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (2019, p.31) ... there is a need for strategy of resistance ...... Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  3. 3. Our purpose • To propose a strategy for developing Media and Information Literacy (MIL) outside formal education – i.e. in the majority of the population! • Draw on blend of theories from learning and information science – Transformational learning (Mezirow) – Information Grounds (Fisher/Pettigrew) – Public pedagogy • Humanist - recognising human potential and possibilities to be transformed e.g. into “romantics, freedom fighters and intellectuals” Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  4. 4. Media and Information Literacy http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and- information/media-development/media-literacy/mil-as- composite-concept/ • “Composite concept” which combines media literacy and information literacy • “Media and Information Literacy recognizes the primary role of information and media in our everyday lives. It lies at the core of freedom of expression and information - since it empowers citizens to understand the functions of media and other information providers, to critically evaluate their content, and to make informed decisions as users and producer of information and media content.” Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  5. 5. Transformational learning • Meaning making as “becoming critically aware of one’s own tacit assumptions and expectations and those of others and assessing their relevance for making an interpretation” (Mazirow, 2000; p. 4) • Transformational learning involves: – both thoughts and feelings – becoming aware of one’s own habits of mind – being willing to view issues critically from different perspectives and engage in reflective discourse – acting on what one has learned Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  6. 6. Public pedagogy “refers to various forms, processes, and sites of education and learning that occur beyond the realm of formal educational institutions—including popular culture (i.e., movies, television, the Internet, magazines, shopping malls), informal educational institutions and public spaces (i.e., museums, zoos, monuments), dominant discourses (i.e., public policy, neoliberalism, global capitalism), and public intellectualism and social activism (i.e., academics who engage with the public outside of the academy, grassroots organizations, and social movements)” Sandlin, Wright & Clarke (2013, p.4) Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  7. 7. Information Grounds “an environment temporarily created by the behaviour of people who have come together to perform a given task, but from which emerges a social atmosphere that fosters the spontaneous and serendipitous sharing of information” Pettigrew (1999, p. 811) Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  8. 8. Heroes & villains Public pedagogy Information Grounds Transformational Learning Racism & hate speech Inequalities Social justice of as Media sphere Local action * Meaning schemes changed * Disorientating dilemmas Whose learning? Critical Reflection - on what? Information flow People Misinformation Propaganda Purpose Environment Permeates, influences where Physical & digital National populism Our formulation of the elements which are of key importance for developing a transformational MIL strategy Public space Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  9. 9. Guiding questions for strategic interventions • Who are the learners? (in their specific situation, context) • What disorientating dilemmas do they face? • What transformation is possible? • What are the Information Grounds which would enable transformational learning for that group of learners? – Physical? Digital? A blend of both? • What will be the learning design to support critical reflection? • Who are best placed to be involved in the teaching and learning? Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019
  10. 10. “Heroes” by Benjamin Zephaniah
  11. 11. Sheila Webber Information School University of Sheffield s.webber@shef.ac.uk Twitter: @sheilayoshikawa http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/ http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/ Photos and graphics: Sheila Webber Bill Johnston Honorary Research Fellow University of Strathclyde b.johnston@strath.ac.uk
  12. 12. • Anderson, A. & Johnston, B. (2016). From information literacy to social epistemology: insights from psychology. Chandos Publishing. • European Strategy and Policy Analysis System. (2019). Global trends to 2030: challenges and choices for Europe. https://www.iss.europa.eu/content/global- trends-2030-%E2%80%93-challenges-and-choices-europe • Fisher, K. E. & Naumer, C. (2006). Information grounds: Theoretical basis and empirical findings on information flow in social settings. In A. Spink & C. Cole (Eds.). New directions in human information behaviour. (pp. 93-111). Springer. • Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. Jossey-Bass. • Mezirow, J. & Associates. (2000). Learning as transformation: critical perspectives on a theory in progress. Jossey-Bass. • Pettigrew, K.E. (1999). Waiting for chiropody: contextual results from an ethnographic study of the information behavior among attendees at community clinics. Information Processing & Management, 35(6), 801–817. • Sandlin, J., Wright, R.R & Clarke, C. (2013). Reexamining Theories of Adult Learning and Adult Development Through the Lenses of Public Pedagogy. Adult Education Quarterly, 63 (1), 3-23. • Zephaniah, B. Heroes. https://public-art.shu.ac.uk/sheffield/zep184a.html and the poem embedded in the Sheffield building https://public- art.shu.ac.uk/sheffield/zep184im.html Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2019 Bibliography