12.10.2015 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Developing assessment of media and information literacy in teachers in Latin America and the Caribbean through a pilot test

Photo: UNESCO/Carolina Jerez

OREALC/UNESCO Santiago held a meeting in Guatemala to plan a study to be implemented in six countries in the region during early 2016. An initial meeting to plan a pilot study which assesses media and information literacy (MIL) among teachers was conducted in Antigua, Guatemala, on September 24 and 25, 2015.

In partnership with the society studies section of the Measurement Center, MIDE UC, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile, the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago) is developing tools for assessing MIL, which will be put to test in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Grenada, and Honduras during the second half of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. These countries were chosen in order for the pilot study to have coverage in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, and so as to represent a mix of countries of larger size, medium size, and those with a relatively small population.

The project, coordinated by OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, suggests that the relevance of MIL is based on the assumption that general skills for managing information are essential in current societies. This includes those skills that are related to accessing information, evaluation, and creation of information, whether it is digital or not.

The meeting took place in the Training Center of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in Antigua, Guatemala, and was supported by the Ministry of Education of Guatemala. On this occasion, presentations were realised by Moritz Bilagher, regional coordinator of Evaluation and Trend Analysis of OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, and Flavio Cortés, Company Director of MIDE UC. Furthermore, there were online presentations from Sobhi Tawil, senior program specialist of the Education Research and Foresight Division of UNESCO, and Irmgarda Kasinskaite, program specialist of the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO.

According to Irmgarda Kasinskaite, due to the convergence of educational technologies, all citizens today require obtaining a broad set of skills related to information, media, information and communication technology, and digital literacy. “UNESCO has the conviction that these skills will help build participatory civil societies, to contribute to the consolidation of a sustainable world, peace, freedom, and good governance. Literacy is essential for sustainable development”, she assured.

Sobhi Tawil said that media and information literacy is particularly relevant for education for citizenship in an interconnected world. “The volume of information available in the digital era is amazing.  The challenge today has become how to make sense of this enormous amount of information that we encounter every day, to be able to identify credible sources, assess the trustworthiness and validity of what we read, question the authenticity and precision of the information, to connect this new knowledge with previous lessons. The MIL skills provide individuals with the capacity to effectively create a link with media and information and to develop critical thought and learning skills for their entire life, for a responsible citizenship in the 21st century”, he emphasised.

Luisa Müller, director of the General Directorate for Educational Assessment and Research (DIGEDUCA), of the Ministry of Education of Guatemala, said that there was enthusiasm and commitment regarding participation in the MIL regional project. “This process will create experience on media and information literacy. Participation in this pilot study will strengthen the national technical team regarding the use of technology for carrying out the implementation”, she assured.

During the meeting, the implementation of the project was planned with national focal points and they were trained in all of <a name="_GoBack"></a>the processes involved. The data of the pilot study will be available as of March, 2016.

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