«1 Àëåêñàíäð Ôåäîðîâ ÌÅÄÈÀÎÁÐÀÇÎÂÀÍÈÅ: ÈÑÒÎÐÈß, ÒÅÎÐÈß È ÌÅÒÎÄÈÊÀ ÌÎÍÎÃÐÀÔÈß (÷àñòü 2) ...»
At the same time, as it has already been mentioned, media education in Russia has come across numerous difficulties during all the time of its existence (ideological, financial, technical, etc.). In the 20’s - 80’s the political and censorship control, and the poor technical equipment of schools and higher educational institutions hindered the media education movement. In the 90’s media teachers were granted the freedom and independence for making programs and their practical introduction. But the financial ones increased technical problems of introducing media education. Many Russian schools and colleges in the 90’s didn’t have enough money for teachers’ salary, not mention the audiovisual equipment. Moreover, still just the few universities were preparing future teachers for media education of pupils… The sudden change of the social & cultural situation in Russia (from the middle 80’s) was a serious alteration in media education’s development. In early 90’s the rest of the “iron curtain” fell down. More and more Russian were getting the opportunity to travel abroad. Cinema stopped being the only window into the world. Films (foreign films including) were not a deficit anymore;
you could watch them on TV on different channels. Media repertoire was satiated with American action movies. Information about the media world could be read in hundreds of newspaper, magazines and books. By the end 1990’s nearly every urban family owned a VCR. Computers, interactive games, Internet spread very rapidly. Thus, the question arises:
could a school teacher, as a rule lagging behind his pupils as far as the media production concerns, have authority in the sphere of media culture with his pupils? It’s a rhetorical question.
And still Russian media education was still developing. In May 1991 the first Russian Cinema Lyceum was open (unfortunately this Lyceum closed in 1999). International conferences on media education were held in Tashkent (1990), in Moscow suburbs – Valuevo (1992), in Moscow (1992, 1995). The total number of media teachers – members of the Association for Film & Media Education – reached 300. Unfortunately, “the epoch of reform” of 1990’s affected the media education movement not to its advantage. The state support given to the Society of Films’ Friends (SFF) in the end 1980’s ran out by the early 1992.
Similar processes were going on Russian film clubs in 1990’s. After the long resistance of authorities (who saw in film clubs and media education movement as the source for the development of the oppositional critical thinking) finally in 1988 the Russian Federation of Film Clubs was officially established.
During the “perestroika” years it seemed at first that the golden age for film clubs began. The foundation of the Federation promised a long waiting deliverance from the censorship’s dictatorship, as an opportunity of the exchange of the best Russian and foreign films. In fact, the Film Clubs Federation began to collect its film library, club enthusiasts were invited to seminars, conferences and festivals, famous actor and directors toured the country with sort of the meetings with their audience.
Everything seemed so perfect. But the drastic growth of prices forced its rules. By the end 1990s even big Russian film clubs could not afford to buy a new movie copy from Moscow. Not to mention small film clubs in small provincial towns.
Together with the film club movement the crisis hit amateur school film and video studios too. The vast majority of them closed… The publication of programs and study guides has always been an important component of media education. Since 1960s Moscow publishing houses (“Prosveschenie”, “Pedagogica”, “Detskaya Literatura”, “Novaya Shkola”, “Kino Center”, “Iskusstvo”) and others have published quite a few monographs, programs dedicated to the issues of media education. To tell the truth, some of those works were overloaded with ideological dogmas and books for teachers gave sometimes too primitive schemes of organizing pedagogical process with children (18, pp.26-27). Articles on film/media education were published in magazines “Iskusstvo Kino”, “Pedagogica”, “Specialist”, “Ecran”, etc.).
One of the most active enthusiasts of literature on film education was Lev Rybak – a teacher, film critic, the chief editor of the “Kino Center” publishing house. The author of several brilliant cineastes’ biographies, Lev Rybak founded the book series “Cinema & School”. There he published four of his books (31;
34), written in an entertaining way in a language, intelligible both for teachers and high school students. Three of these books tackled the problem of screening Russian classical and modern literature. And in his book “Alone with a Film” L.Rybak told about the subjectivity of film reception. “Before I became a film critic, - Rybak wrote, - I had been a school teacher for more than 15 years. I went to the cinema with my pupils.
And sometimes I was really hurt when a pupil of mine after having seen a good film, said: “Rubbish!”, evidently not considering the film to be a good one. I was mad: you can interpret a film in your own way, but try to comprehend it! Viewers’ impressions of a film are always different, individual;
there is no sense in trying to level them. But how to make these impressions emerge and be not so poor?”(31, p. 6). I must agree that this is still one of the key questions on the media education agenda though many of media education researchers and teachers have tried to find an answer to it… So, there are a lot of pedagogical literatures. However for all those years no regular edition on media education – like a newspaper or a magazine – has been organized. Without that, the essential coordination of efforts of Russian media teachers was and still is very difficult.
Things are much bettered as far as the research work in concerned. Here the lead is held by the laboratory of screen arts at the Institute of Art Education of Russian Academy of Education. First doctor’s theses on media education appeared in 1960s. Researches by O.Baranov (1968), A.Karasik (1966), U.Rabinovich & R.Rabinovich (1966) were dedicated to the problem of film education of school students. And V.Saperov’s thesis (1969) analyzed the problem of the using of radio broadcasting in pupils’ education. In 1970s many theses witch studies the teaching of audiovisual media literacy to pupils were defended (N.Goncharova, 1970;
V.Monastyrsky, 1979). Theses on the school material made way for the researches for media education in Universities.
The most important works on film education in Institutes & Universities appeared in 1980s-1990s (L.Seregenkova, 1982;
Besides, the process of the research of media education for pupils continued: making and using audiovisual means in school (L.Pressman, 1981;
V.Bulavko, 1982), filmmaking by school children (E.Yanelauskas, 1983;
P.Genkin, 1985), social & psychological aspects (Ch.Shakeeva, 1983;
N.Kirillova, 1983), morals education of teenagers (Z.Smelkova, E.Zharinov, 1986), analysis of using foreign films in media education (A.Fedorov, 1986), inter-disciplinary ties of literature and film courses (G.Polichko, 1987), employment of cinema as a complex education of pupils (N.Gutiva, 1987), aesthetic education and artistic development of school children (N.Yakovleva, 1988;
G.Evtushenko, 1991, E.Bondarenko, 1994). In 2000 the first Russian thesis on foreign media education in this case, on American media education, was written (A.Novikova). In 1990s the Laboratory of Technology and Media Education (Russian Academy of Education) headed by professor L.Zaznobina worked out a concept of school media education, integrated into the basic curriculum.
By the year 2001 the number of secondary and higher educational Russian institutions training professionals in the media, has quite grown. Besides VGIK (Russian State Institute of Cinematography), School for Script Writers and Film Directors, Russian Institute of Professional Development in the Field of Film, there are Petersburg State University of Film and Television, Film-Video College in Sergeev Posad and Petersburg, technical film colleges in Irkutsk, Sovetsk, Rostov-on-Don.
Professional media education is included into the curriculum of Petersburg State Academy of Culture, Petersburg Academy of Theatre Art, Institute of Professional Development of TV & Radio Specialists (Moscow), Independent School of Cinema and Television (Moscow), Grymov’s School of Advertising, Institute of Modern Art (Moscow), New Humanities University of Natalia Nesterova (Moscow), several school of animation, etc.
First work summarizing problems of media education in general, have appeared in 1990s (A.Sharikov, A.Fedorov, L.Zaznobina). In February 2000 (A.Fedorov and others) the first in Russia bilingual (Russian-English) Internet site on media education was created. More than 2000 people visited the site during the first 6 months of its existence. The same year staff of the Russian Academy of Education headed by L.Zaznobina opened one more Russian web site on media education.
Unfortunately, there is no official mandated teacher training in media education in Russia today. If some university offered a full course in media education we could witness progress in media education and the media in Russia. The important event in this direction was the Resolution of the Summit of the Union of Russian Filmmakers held in November 2000 in Moscow. It emphasized the need of coordination of the efforts of different organizations and projects working with children, teenagers and students (Rolan Bykov’s Foundation, Festival of Visual Arts in “Orlyonok”, Festival on Film Education in Uglich, Pedagogical Institutes, Universities, etc.). And in particular, the Resolution recommended to State Institute of Cinematography to offer a teacher training course in media education for school and university.
Russian media education specialists (U.Usov, L.Bazhenova, G.Polichko, A.Spitchkin, A.Sharikov, A.Fedorov and others) participate in international conferences for media education (held in France, Canada, Austria, UK, Brazil, Spain, Greece, Switzerland), publish their works in French, American, English, Australian, Norwegian magazines on the media and media education. Taking into account the fact that UNESCO defined media education as a priority field of the cultural pedagogical development in the XXI century, media education has good prospects in Russia.
References 1. Waisfeld, I. (1993). Screen Evolution, Perception Evolution. Specialist. N 5, p. 3-6.
2. Waisfeld, I. (1993). Film Education in the modern World. Specialist. N 2, p.19.
3. Waisfeld, I. (1982). Film in Pedagogical Process. Sov.Pedagogica. N 7, p. 35-38.
4. Waisfeld, I. (1988). Development of Film Education in “Perestroika” Years. Moscow: Society of Cinema Friends Publishing House. 21 p.
5. Waisfeld, I. (1993). Screen and Our Children. Problems of Modern Film Education. Moscow: Russian Association for Film Education, p. 7-25.
6. Waisfeld, I. (1976). Poetry of Pedagogic Search. Iskusstvo Kino. N 5, p. 120-132.
7. Waisfeld, I., Demin, V., Mikhalkovich, V., Sobolev R. (1981). Meeting the Tenth Muse: Talks About Cinema Art.
Book for Students. Moscow: Prosveshenie. Vol.1, Vol.2.
8. Ilyichev, S., Naschekin, B. (1986). Cinema Amateur Movement: Starts and Perspectives. Moscow: Iskusstvo, 110 p.
9. Subbotin, I. (2000) Cross Regional Organization “Society of Russian Film &Video Amateurs. SK-News, p. 12.
10. Menzhinskaya, U. (1927). Objectives of Working with Children in Cinema. Iskusstvo v Shkole. N 1, p. 18-20.
11. Menzhinskaya, U. (1927). Objectives of Cinema for Children. Na Putiakh k Novoi Shkole. N 3, p. 5-14.
12. Gelmont, A. (1927). Cinema as a Factor of Education. Vestnik Prosveshenia. N 5, p. 9-11.
13. Kandyrin, B. (1929).Children and Teaching Films. Iskusstvo v Shkole. N 2-3, p. 57-58.
14. Conference on the Problems of Children and School Films. (1927). Na Putiakh k Novoi Shkole. N 3, p.111-115.
15. Lublinsky, P. (1925). Cinema & Children. Moscow: Pravo I Zhizn, 122 p.
16. Gelmont, A. (Ed.) (1929). Cinema – Children- School. Moscow: Rabotnik Prosveshenia, 240 p.
17. Lebedev, N. (1969). Film & Audience. Moscow: BPSK, 55 p.
18. Weihelt, K., Keilina, R., Kandyrin, B. (1966). Club for Children. Moscow: Profisdat, 128 p.
19. Sharikov, A. (1990). Media Education: International & Russian Experience. Moscow: Russian Academy of Education, 66 p.
20. Afanasieva, A., Berman, L. (1929). Pioneers’ Newspaper. – Leningrad: Priboi. 192 p.
21. Slobodzinska, M. (1933).Radio for School. Leningrad: Lenoblisdat, 112 p.
22. Berman, L., Halturin, I. (1927). To Children about a Newspaper. Leningrad.
23. Vasiliev, V.(1949). Photo-club at School. Moscow, 16 p.
24. Veselov, U. (1948). Learn to Take Pictures. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardia, 32 p.
25. Wintman, A. (1949). Cinema in Educational Work at School. – Moscow: Academy of Education, 40 p.
26. Ivanter, B. (1931). Live Newspaper in School. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardia, 62 p.
27. Rapkov, V., Pekelis, V. (1954). Yang Film-Projectionist. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardia, 112 p.
28. Samrai, A., Poletaev, V. (1925). Young Journalists and Pioneer’s Press. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardia, 78 p.
29. Penzin, S. (1987). Cinema and Aesthetic Education: Methodological Problems. Voronezh: Voronezh University Press, 175 p.
30. Bernstein, A. (1971).Feature Film During the Lesson. Moscow: BPSK, 52 p.
31. Rybak, L. (1980). Alone with a Film. Cinema & School. Moscow: BPSK, 57 p.
32. Rybak, L. (1975). Read by the Screen. Cinema & School. Moscow: BPSK.
33. Rybak, L. (1976). Russian Classics on the Screen. Cinema & School. Moscow: BPSK, 63 p.
34. Rybak, L. (1978). Soviet Literature on the Screen. Cinema & School. Moscow: BPSK, 64 p.
9.2.Russia: Media Education in Secondary Schools This work was the part of EUROMEDIAPROJECT (Director of this project is Prof.Dr. Andrew Hart, UK). This work was also supported by the Research Support Scheme of the Open Society Support Foundation, grant N 18/ 9.2.1. National social, political and economic context I can distinguish the following Russian social, political and economic context since 1991 (the year of liquidation of the Soviet Union): the beginning of economic reforms and the revival of private property;
the sudden division of society into the few rich the vast majority of poor people;
the crisis of reforms;
attempts to solve economic problems with the help of the money borrowed from foreign countries;
the decay of Russian industry;
the virtual abolition of censorship’s effect on Russian media producers, giving them the first opportunity to turn to the most vital themes that were banned before.
9.2.2.Media Education context Provision & development Just like the education on the whole, media education in Russia resided under harsh ideological pressure for many years. Access to media information (films, books about movies, etc.) was denied by censorship. However media education in Russia has existed for about 80 years.
Contemporary media education can be distinctly divided into three main directions: media education of future professionals - screenwriters, directors, cameramen, actors, film-critics, etc.;
- media education of future media educators in universities;
media education as a part of traditional education of pupils and students in primary schools, high schools, colleges, universities, etc.
The history of Russian Association for Film & Media Education based goes back to the Russian Association for Film Education. The first attempts to instruct in media education appeared in the 1920’s but were stopped by Stalin’s repressions. And a new history of Russian Association for Film Education began the 1960s. The end of the 1950s - the beginning of the 1960s was the time of the revival of media education in primary & secondary schools, children summer centers (Moscow, Petersburg, Voronezh, Samara, Kurgan, Tver, Rostov, Taganrog, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, etc.), the revival of film clubs, media education seminars & conferences. Today media education in Russia is not compulsory for all schools & universities. Media education can be integrated into aesthetic (literature, art, music, artistic culture, aesthetics), linguistic (Russian and foreign languages), historical & philosophical (history, philosophy, legal studies) and some other courses. Another variant: optional media education courses. Unfortunately, media education in Russia has been facing and is still facing numerous difficulties (financial, technical et al.). Many Russian schools and universities don't have the money for modern audiovisual and Internet equipment. And many teachers do not get their salary paid regularly.
Curriculum space Media Education is not compulsory in Russian schools (except for some secondary schools on an experimental basis).
Some primary & secondary schools offer optional media education lessons to their pupils.
Russia has not of the compulsory General Curriculum in the field of media education but the Laboratory for Media Education (a section of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow) publishes the programs and literature concerning Media and Film Education. The key themes of these media education programs are “media language”, “media audience”, “media perception”, “media category“, “media technology”, “esthetic qualities of media text”, “media representation”, “media agency”, etc.
Some Russian teachers consider the basis of media training to be practical, hands-on studies of media materials, but some teachers prefer theory to practice: analyses of the aesthetic value of films and TV programs with the audience. For example, Moscow's Cinema Lyceum and some other schools conduct group discussions of the merits and demerits of media texts from the viewpoint of their artistic conception.
Teacher education and training (pre-service and in-service) Pre-service teacher education has existed in Russia (Pedagogical Universities in Kurgan, Tver, Voronezh, Rostov, etc.) since the 1960’s. For example, a course in media education has been offered in the Taganrog State Pedagogical Institute since 1981. Its students are trained to teach media education classes in schools. To fulfill diploma requirements some of them write reviews and assays on themes of media education. Some special media education courses (or short seminars) exist also for in service Russian school teachers (Moscow, Kurgan and so on).
Theoretical position and frameworks I can generalize Russian models of media education into the following types: 1) educationally-informational models (the studies of the theory and history of media & media language);
2) instructionally-ethical models (study of moral, philosophical problems on the media material);
3) developing models (social & cultural development of a creative person in aspects of perception, imagination, visual memory, interpretations, analysis, critical thinking, etc.) (Penzin, 1987;
Usov, 1993, Spitchkin, 1999).
I can distinguish also some of the Russian media education’s principles: development of the personality (the development of media perception, aesthetic consciousness, of creative capabilities, of individual thinking, analysis, etc.) in the process of study;
the connection of theory with practice;
transition from training to self-education;
connection of training with life;
consideration of individual peculiarities of students. The main functions of media education are the following: tutorial, adaptational, developing and controlling. The tutorial function presupposes the understanding of the theories and laws, the adequate perception and analysis of a media work, capability to apply this knowledge in other situations, logical capability.
Adaptational function manifests in initial stage of communication with media. The developing function implies the development of creative, analytical and other capacities of personality. Task controlling functions - the providing conditions for the analysis of media works (Penzin, 1987;
Usov, 1993, etc.).
Here are the main stages of my Media Education Model (Fedorov, 1989;
1) Verification module (the determination of the levels of students' media development and level of media perception);
2) Module of practical creation & perception (mastering creative abilities on the media material and the formation of the audiovisual perception of the structure of media works films (including their types and genres, ties with other arts, etc.);
3) Module of analysis (the development of abilities of analysis in the sphere of media art);
4) Module of media history (acquaintance with main events in the media art history, with the contemporary social & cultural situation);
I suppose, that there’s a point in introducing students to the media history only then, when they have already developed their media perception, the ability to analyze media works, creative approaches.
This model includes the cycle of creative practical exercises in the field of media: 1) literary-simulation (the writing of scenario's plan, text of mini-scenarios, etc.);
2) theatrical games (simulation of practical creation of media works, including magazines, films, TV-programs, etc.);
3) “pictorial-simulation” (the creation of collages, of pictures on the themes of media works and so on) (Fedorov, 1999).
Here are the main stages of the development of abilities of the analysis of media works (from Ury Usov conception):
- the consideration of contents of key episodes, the most suggesting ones;
detecting the artistic qualities of a media work on the whole;
- attempt to understand the logic of the author's thinking (reconstruction of the development of main conflicts, of characters, of ideas, of audiovisual image, etc.);
- the comprehension of the author's concept;
- appraisal (by the audience) of the author's concept (Usov, 1993).
Specific initiatives and projects An important media education initiative was the creation of the first Russian web-site for media educators:
www.tmei.ttn.ru/media/MediaEducation.htm (the main author of this site is Alexander Fedorov). This web-site informs the educators about the history, theory, methods and project of Russian media & film education. Another example of a recent media education project is a summer school in Uglich (1998-2000) and Children Festivals of Visual Arts in the children summer camp “Orlyonok”.
9.2.3.Study procedures Sample selection Reality bites: as a rule, only some Russian teachers want to use media equipment in their lessons. Many Russian teachers of Humanities (Mother Tongue – Russian Language, Literature, History, Arts, Ecology, etc.) are eager to integrate media education into their lessons. The salary of an ordinary Russian teacher is very small (about $20-$30 per month). Because of their young men do not choose this profession.
That’s why about 90% of Russian teachers are women, and the majority is middle-aged women. Russian women have a lot of home & family chores to do. And they think about media education in the class: “It is an additional job for me. I don’t need this because I don’t get paid additional money for this”. It was very difficult to find teachers (who included media education in their lessons of Mother Tongue) who agreed to be observed. That’s why some of the selected teachers were the teachers of others subjects (Arts, History, etc.). About 90% of teachers in Russia are state are women. The observed teachers were women only.
The “old generation” of teachers did not want to be observed & interviewed (as a rule they do not include media education in their lessons). That’s why only teachers who are interested in media & media education were observed and interviewed. I observed 10 lessons in 10 different classes (including 14-16 year-old girls and boys: 126 girls, 95 boys) in different secondary schools. All schools were from the Southern Russian Federal District because Russia is a very big country and I do not have the financial possibilities for research travel to other Russian regions.
Time-scale My research includes structured interviews with 10 Russian teachers & lesson observation of 10 classes in secondary schools. The procedure took place in 1999 (May 17, 20, 24;
September, 7, 15, 24;
October, 5, 15, 18, 29). Each interview & lesson observation was recorded (on audiotapes), studied & analysed. Mrs. Anastassia Novikova was the junior member of this research work.
Conduct of interviews and lesson-observations All of the selected Russian teachers graduated from the Taganrog Pedagogical Institute or Rostov-on-Don Pedagogical Universities (departments of Languages, Arts, History, Social Pedagogic, etc.). 3 teachers have a teaching experience in secondary school of more than 10 years, 2 of them – more than 5 years, 4 of them have a teaching experience of 3 to 5 years.
Almost all these teachers have been teaching media for 3-6 years (70%). They mentioned the following reasons for that: because they need modern illustrative material for the lessons (60%), love cinema & TV & arts (20%), because media text is a very effective model of our life (10%) and means of education (10%), because media is a part of our life and our home (10%).
Teachers define their approach to Media Education in the following ways: media education as a subsidiary way to traditional education (50%);
media education as effective means for the expending of knowledge & development of personality (20%);
media education games & group activities (10%);
media education as a mean of active practical work with pupils – making media products (10%).
Here are the examples of media education lessons that were defined by the teachers as their successful ones:
-“The game “Who is the media expert?”. Two teams of pupils were involved in the competition on the media themes”.
-“The lesson “II World War in the Mirror of Russian Cinema”.
-“The lesson “The Trial”. I demonstrated fragments from American film about court’s trials. And I discussed them with pupils”.
- “Lessons “French painting in the mirror of French documentary cinema” (with excerpts from documentary about Louvre collection of painting). The pupils wrote individual essays about their impression”.
-“A lesson “Environmental Problems on the Screen”. The class watched a film and then discussed ecological problems tackled by the film”.
-“Watching the documentary film and class discussion of it”.
It seems that most of the interviewed teachers think that their best lessons were group discussion about specific historical, ecological, etc. problems. Some teachers think that media education is a traditional education with the help of technical media resources. Media language is seldom a subject of school lessons.
9.2.4.Findings Teacher’s school context & available support The Status of Media Education is not strong in modern Russia. General National Curriculum for Media Education does not exist yet. Still media education in Russia is a compulsory part of the basic education in some secondary schools. There are Associations & Institutions for Media Education (Russian Association for Film & Media Education, Laboratories of Screen Arts and Media Education as a section of Russian Academy of Media Education (Moscow), but their influence is limited. Media education elements take place at different lessons in Russia: Language, Arts, History, Literature, etc. (plus extra-curriculum media work – school radio & newspapers). As media education is not an obligatory separate course, pupils do not take final examinations in it. School inspectors basically seldom talk with Russian teachers about media teaching (because for the most part they do not know what is media education about). But some school principals encourage the application of media education.
Media education is a cross-curricular subject integrated in traditional subject (Languages, History, Arts, etc.
Only teachers of mathematics or PC education courses use new media systematically. The Internet was not used in any of the lessons I have seen. Computers available in special classrooms don’t have the Internet access. That’s why the impact of computer-based media on methodologies and the organization of Russian schools are very limited.
Many Russian teachers think that media education is a traditional education with the help of technical media resources.
Media language is seldom subject of the school lessons. The percentage of current teaching time given to media work is: 15% 20% (30% of teachers), 30%-50% (70% of teachers), including “out-of-class” media work. 10-20% (in 3 observed lessons), 40%-50% (in 3 observed lessons), 60%-70% (in 2 observed lessons) of Russian pupils have recent experience of media education. Russian teachers can distinguish between common teaching and media teaching in this way: “Media teaching is effective for the development of consciousness” (20%);
“Media teaching is an effective means of communication & information” (10%);
“Media teaching is a more effective means of education” (20%);
“Media teaching is more informative mean of education” (30%);
“Media teaching is effective for development of aesthetic perception” (10%);
Long-term aims Russian teachers see the long-term media aims for their pupils in the development of pupils’ personality, critical & aesthetical consciousness (“I want to develop pupils’ critical consciousness”, “The pupil must distinguish between the true & false information”, “The pupil must learn to use Internet “, “I want to develop pupils’ personality, including aesthetic aspects”, “I want my pupils to become more media literate”).
Methods, Curriculum content and resources I do not think that case studies as a research method are very useful for the media education project in Russia. Media education is not included into the existing state obligatory curriculum in Russia. That is why Russian teachers are still unable to accept media education in secondary school. They are still confused about the meaning and value of media education. The old generation of teachers do not want to be observed & interviewed because as a rule they do not include any elements of media education in their lessons. That is why only teachers who are genuinely interested in media & media education agreed to be observed at their work and interviewed. Of course, if the teacher agreed she (as I have already said, 90% of Russian teachers are women) prepare for this “observed lesson” very carefully. Eg. if a teacher uses elements of media education in their ordinary lessons very seldom, she can create a special media education lesson for research observation only. I do not think that lesson observations & interviews of 10 selected teachers are valid & reliable enough for the scientific project because these 10 teachers are not typical for Russian educational situation. More typical is another situation: no media education in secondary schools. Do not forget: Russian Association for Film & Media Education has about 300 members only (and the Russian population is about 145 million people!).
Younger teachers use some elements of media education methods such as discussions with pupils about their experience with the media (60%), the role games on the media materials (20%), practical media activities (10%). The methods of media education at the lessons of 10 observed teachers depended on their educational background. Unfortunately, only few Russian teachers have special media education training. Basically Russian teachers take their methods of teaching from other subjects (Languages, Arts, etc.). Teachers reported that TV (50%), press (10%), film (20%), video (20%) are the areas of media work most comfortable for them. Teachers tend to avoid the following topics or media education concepts: “Language”(40%), “Internet” (20%) and “Semiotic”(10%), “Technology”(10%), “Agency”(10%). All 10 teachers believe that media technologies are very important in media education, but they told about the medium extent of application of these technologies in their lessons. And all of them agree that media education improves the efficacy of a lesson.
Most of the teachers find difference in the response of girls and boys to different aspects of Media Education. For example, they reported that boys are more comfortable with media (20% answers), “boys are more experienced with modern media” (video games, Internet, etc.) (40% answers), “girls are more sensitive about aesthetic perception” (20%).
The most useful media resources, in the opinion of the 10 teachers are: documentary (60%), feature films (30%), science-fiction films (30%), TV documentary (40%), Internet sites (10%).
Lesson focus The observation showed that lesson’s objectives were: from 20% to 70% media-based. But all the lessons were specially prepared (as the teachers know that I would come to watch their class) for observation. I don’t think that media education applications are so strong in the ordinary teachers’ work. The teachers told that the observed lessons were connect with previous or future lessons in the fields of “category”(40%), “audience”(20%), “representation”(30%), “information”(20%), “aesthetic values”(10%) and “language”(20%). Teachers think that pupils must learn media terminology like «Category» (40%), «Representation» (30%), «Agency”(20%), «Audience»(20%), «Information»(20%), “Perception”(20%), “Language’ (20%) because “pupils must know media category, and they must be able to distinguish source of information (and what kind of information is it: true or not true)” (10%), “pupils must know the types of sources of information, they must develop the perception of media information” (10%), “media education helps to survive in a media-oriented world” (10%), “pupils must broaden their understanding of media” (10%), “media literacy a contributes to the development of personality” (20%).
Detailed analysis Aims All the teachers included in this research listed their aims of the lesson observed. For example:
- to analyse moral, psychological motivation of media texts’ characters’ actions;
- to explain the specifics of audiovisual language (in the documentary & feature films);
- to explain some media education categories (for example, “genre”);
- to discuss the aesthetical values of a media text;
- to discuss the aims of a media agency.
The teachers explained the aims to her pupils basically clearly. However the lesson on the whole showed that some pupils with the low IQ (about 20%-30%) didn’t understand the aims of the lesson. At the end of the every lesson the teacher summed up the results and attracted the pupils' attention to the aims achieved, but some teachers didn’t allot the time for drawing up conclusions. According to the teaching plan and the program of the course the aims of the lesson were directly connected with the previous learning. Following lessons were based on the previous ones, aims of the lesson (according to the program) became more complicated.
Key concepts The observed lessons were focused on the following key concepts:: «Media Category» (90%), “Media Representation”(40%), “Media Agency”(30%), “Media Language”(20%). The key concept “Media Category” (for example, “genre”, “film”, “press”, “documentary”, “video”, “audio” and so on) and “Media Representation” was familiar to 70%-80% of the pupils. The key concept “Media Agency” & “Media Audience” was new for the some pupils. Only few pupils knew the concept “Media Language”. The following terminology was used at the lessons to express the key concepts of media education:
“documentary”, “film”, “character”, “reality”, “industry”, “audience”, “information”, “press”, “agency”, “video”, ”audio”, “art”, “aesthetic”, “perception”, “representation”, “category”, “language”. Most teachers avoided “difficult” theme like “Media Language”, “Media Agency”, “Media Audience” because they did not have the special media education background.
The pupils know the terms like “film & press” (100%), “character”(90%), “art”(100%), “documentary”(100%), “information”(100%), “video”(100%), “audio”(100%). The terminology like “language”, ”perception”, “representation”, “agency”, “audience” is more difficult for them.
Of course, pupils know the concept “language” from the lessons of Russian language or Literature. But only few if any know the specific of audiovisual media language.
Teachers used “School-produced”(50%) & documentary TV films (40%), excerpts from science-fiction film (20%), feature film (30%), TV commercials (10%) in their lessons (technical equipment were a TV-set, VCR, magazines). The teacher & pupils used these sources in 30%-50% (20% of the observed lessons) and 70% (10% of the observed lessons) of the lesson time. Most teachers were familiar with or comfortable with technological resources.
Typically teachers asked their students the following questions: ”What is the category of this film?” or “What is the main idea of the film?”, “What are the main aims of this TV-program?”, “What is the main message of this documentary?”, “What is the main problem of this text?”, “Is this problem important to you?”, “What information was new for you?”, etc.
More rare questions: “Who is the main hero?”, “What is his (her) psychology?”, “What is the message of the authors’ of a media text?”, “Why was the picture dark (well-lit)?”, “What will happen, if we change the situation in the picture?”, etc.
The teachers combined the lectures with the group activities: 10-20 min in pairs or in larger groups.
All the 10 teachers thought their goals were achieved (or most of them).
Selected Case study A serious problem that I faced when I started my study was that many teachers (including those who integrated some elements of media education at their lessons) did not want their classes to be observed and analyzed. From the 10 classes that I monitored (visited) I chose a lesson by teacher Ludmila G. for the tenth-grade class of a secondary school in Taganrog, on May 17th, 1999. The class consisted of 14 girls and 11 boys of the age 15. The lesson’s length is 40 minutes. I have chosen the teacher Ludmila G. because she is one of the most experienced teachers at school (14 years of service) and as she said, she had been interested in media education for several years.
No doubt, Ludmila G. is not a typical Russian teacher. As I have already mentioned, most of the Russian teachers are not excited about proposing innovations, they think that their job is just their subject area. Media education is an additional work for them, which is not obligatory required by the state department of education, plus it is difficult to find the media education frameworks, guidelines programs, and teachers’ handbooks. However Ludmila G. belong to few Russian teachers who believe that the media are part of our life and therefore media education should become part of the general education of pupils.
The Interview Ludmila G. has been working as a teacher for 14 years. Recently she has been teaching History of Art in the 10- grades (the senior grades in Russia). Her interest in media education dates from the time she realized she needed modern illustrative material for her lessons. But later she understood that media could be not only a kind of teaching aids, an illustration, but the serious means for the development of a pupil’s personality. Ludmila G. thinks that media education should be integrated into the general curriculum. She also believes that media education is most effective in the humanities (whether the subject matter is Literature, History, Arts or etc.).
“I think, - Ludmila says, - that there are several reasons why media education is necessary for modern schoolchildren.
Firstly, media education develops pupils’ critical thinking. Secondly, media education helps students to evaluate the quality of a media text. Thirdly, literature today is not the only form of expression and through media education we can compare an original literary text and its screen adaptation.
Ludmila said that of her best media education lessons was a whole-class game called “Who is a media expert?”. The class split into 2 teams. Ludmila was a leader and asked questions concerning media culture (genres, famous media texts, their authors, etc.). The teams had to answer them. And the second part of the game demanded creative skills of the pupils (collages, etc.).
Ludmila says that she uses such technical recourses as TV, VCR and projector quite often at her classes. She regrets that there is no computer in her classroom, so no opportunities to use CD-ROM or Internet.
“It’s a great pity because often I see interesting CD-ROMs, for example, interactive picture galleries, art encyclopedias, and others. It would be great if I could use all this at my lessons”.
Ludmila thinks that she and her students use media approximately 15-20% of lesson’s time. She also has an opportunity to conduct extra-curricular media classes with her pupils (usually these are games or competitions on the theme of media culture). She notes that boys are more interested in new media: “Children in my class are from families with a middle or low income. That is why my pupils do not have computers at home. However some of the boys go to computer clubs where you can play a computer game or use Internet for a fee. Girls visit such clubs very seldom it ever”.
Judging by Ludmila’s words, the school principal likes her initiative of media education. However school authorities lack equipment and budget, and can not help her like in all other state Russian schools (the number of private schools is small).
Teachers get paid a low salary and cannot buy some equipment themselves. And schools have a budget too small to buy such things as computers, video cameras, etc.
Ludmila has incorporated media into her course though such activity as discussions of media texts, including films and television programs. She tries to make her students go beyond simply discussing content and themes of a media text;
they should learn to consider the aesthetic value of it, its category and language. “As I teach the course of the History of Art” I show films and TV programs about the “greats” of art: paintings and artists, picture galleries and museums, architecture and sculpture. It is a pity that there is no computer in my class and I do not have it at home, so it the school buys it someday, first of all I will have to learn to use it!” “I believe in media education’s future in Russia. For me the main goal of media education today is the development of students’ critical thinking and their aesthetic taste”.
Overview of Lesson Observed Ludmila began a unit on “The Portrait as a Genre” with some elements of media education. Media itself were used for about 6 minutes.
Ludmila started with a few questions related to the previous lesson that was about a landscape genre in Art. She asked students: “What famous paintings with landscapes do you remember?”, “What documentary films, programs or feature films with interesting landscapes do you remember? (she means landscapes shot by a camera, not painted ones). “How is a painted landscapes different from a landscape done by a camera work in a film?”.
After that Ludmila briefly informed her class with the plan of current lesson: she said they were going to learn about the genre of portrait and would see the reproductions of pictures and audiovisual scenes and then they would discuss it. After this work had been done the teacher asked the class: “What the genre of the film you watched?”, “What is the main idea of this scene?”.
The question-answer type of work was going on for 10 more minutes. Pupils expressed different opinions. The discussion showed that pupils are aware of such terms as “documentary”, “film”, “reality”, “genre”.
During the last couple of minutes of a lesson the teacher summed up the results and encouraged the pupils to reflect back on what they had learned (concepts like “Category”, “Representation”).
To my mind, Ludmila G.’s teaching models is typical for Russian teachers who try to integrate media education into their work. Having content requirement of what she has to teach she seeks opportunities to devote some time of her classes to elements of media education. But I have to say that she is not familiar with textbooks, guides and other resources specifically on media education. Ludmila G. uses literature and teacher’s guides on art & aesthetic education of schoolchildren. And it is obvious that teachers who are going to teach media education must themselves develop the competency how to do so.
General conclusions: issues and problems The research revealed that as media education is not an obligatory component of the state Russian schools program, majority of teachers (especially older generation) do not implement it. It should be noted that actually it is even worse: the large majority of teachers have no idea about the existence of media education or what it is about. Well, some school teachers use media in their classroom just as an illustration for the lesson’s theme. A media text is not a matter of study in that case. And only few teachers do try to integrate elements of media education. For the most part, these are “advanced”, interested, competent teachers who graduated from Teacher Training Institutes where special course on media education was taught and who have an access to quality resources including theoretical books, textbooks, model lessons or magazines on media literacy. Nearly all of teachers I have interviewed belong to the second group of teachers who use media in their classes and they implement some elements of media education but intuitively, without any media education training background. The interviewed teachers follow the “Popular Arts paradigm” and Critical paradigm”. Sometimes their attitude to media education is a synthesis of these two paradigms. It is true for the teacher Ludmila G. too.
In contradiction to some other countries (for example, the USA), the school education is centralized in Russia. The Ministry of Education works out the national basic school program, the one and compulsory for all schools. The number of elective subjects is very small compared to the obligatory ones. As I have already mentioned, the state educational curriculum does not include media education. Some institutions take media literacy initiations: the laboratory of media education of Russian Academy of Education (Moscow) wrote an experimental educational standards on media education at schools (integrated into the curriculum), the Kurgan Teacher Training Institute uses its own programs of media education (Spitchkin, 1999). However these innovations are realized just in few schools. That is why the development of media education in Russia depends on the individual efforts of teachers (relatively young as a rule), who try to integrate media education in different subject areas or conduct extra-curricular classes (or clubs) on media culture.
The major barrier that impeded the development of media education in Russia is a poor technical equipment of schools.
As a rule there are no modern computers, DVD-players or video cameras at schools. The Ministry of Education is aware of this problem and in future promises to provide technological resources in the areas of sound and video equipment but currently teachers have no opportunities to use the technological advances at their lessons.
One of the institutions that provide assistance for the media education is Russian Association for Film & Media Education. Teachers and university professors who joined it write doctors’ thesis on film & media education, elaborate models of media education, curriculum materials for schools and universities, publish books (Fedorov, 1989 and 1999;
Usov, 1993 and others), provide workshops and seminars on media education. These efforts are aimed at developing pupils’ and students’ personality – developing an appreciation and aesthetic understanding of the media creativity, critical thinking and ultimately, critical autonomy. I can generalize Russian models of media education into following type: 1) educationally-informational models (the studies of the theory and history of media & media language);
2) instructionally-ethical models (consideration of moral, philosophical problems on the media material);
3) developing models (the social & cultural development of a creative person in aspects of perception, imagination, visual memory, interpretations, analysis, critical thinking, etc.). However the Association for Film & Media Education has about 300 members and its influence on masses of teachers is very limited.
Teachers that I interviewed define their approach to media education in this way: media education is subsidiary to basic education;
media education as effective means for the development of personality;
media education is a new possibility for the creative games & group forms of media work;
media education is the means of active practical work with pupils. Most of the interviewed teachers think that their best lessons were whole-class discussion about specific historical, ecological, etc. problems.
Sometimes teachers confuse media education with audio-visual aid at an ordinary lesson. Media language is seldom studied at school lessons.
Russian teachers report that their long-term media aims are the development of pupils’ personality, critical & aesthetical consciousness with the help of advanced media equipment, including Internet.
Patterns & gaps of teaching It seems to me that a good tendency about Russian media education is the willingness of teachers to develop their pupils’ critical & creative thinking, their aesthetic appreciation of a media text. They use different form of work, including role plays, team competitions, etc. The obstacles on the ways of media education are: media has not got an official status or curriculum foothold, no financial support. Majority of teachers use media in their classroom just as an audio-visual aid for their subject. Most of the teachers did not study modern media culture when they were students, are not familiar with such key concepts as “Media Language”, “Audience”, “Agency”. They are more comfortable with components that the traditional courses contain, such as a genre (category) study, the critical analysis of texts, and discussion of content.
9.2.5. Implications Future development of Media Education I think that modern Russia needs the concrete strategies of development of the media education projects. This strategy must concentrate their intentions not only on the technical media equipment of Russian schools but also on the new methodologies, of consuming digital images and information. Russian education needs a productive cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Association for Media Education, Educational web-sites’ & CD-ROMs’ producers.
Limitations of research I have to admit that my part of work in Euromedia project was very limited as far as the representative reflection of the real state of things in Russia media education concerns. It goes without saying that there is a point in the comparison of the lesson observation and the results of the analysis of interview. For example, it is possible to find out if there is a difference between the “theory” views of a teacher and their practical implementation. However we must keep in mind that a teacher prepares the lesson to be observed much more carefully that an ordinary lesson. That is, his everyday lessons maybe worse.
Moreover there is another variant: during a common lesson a teacher feels more comfortable and free, and during the observed lesson he/she becomes shy and nervous, cannot goals and objectives.
I did not have an opportunity to interview a large number of teachers (I think that if the experiment included more teachers, its results would be more objective). I am also quite sure that more teachers would have agreed to be observed at work and interviewed if they could have paid financial bonus. Today Russian teachers are seek and tired of working hard for small money, and as a rule, a not eager to become part of the experimental observation for free.
References Fedorov, A. (1989). It is Hard to be Young: Cinema & School, Moscow: Cinema-Center.
Fedorov, A. (1999) The Cinema Art in the Structure of Modern Russian Education. Taganrog: Taganrog State Pedagogical Institute Publishing House.
Penzin, S. (1987) Cinema and Aesthetic Education: Methodology Problem, Voronezh: Voronezh University Press.
Sharikov, A. (1990) Media Education: The World & National Experiment, Moscow: Academy of Pedagogic Science.
Spitchkin, A. (1999) What is Media Education. Kurgan: Institute of Teachers Training.
Usov, U. (1993) The Basis of Screen Culture, Moscow: New School.
1. Media Education Terminology (From researches of Prof. Dr. Jury Usov, Dr. Alexander Sharikov, Dr.Alexander Spitchkin and Prof. Dr. Alexander Fedorov) This work was supported by the Research Support Scheme of the Open Society Support Foundation, grant N 18/ - "cadre" (shot") - the main unit of the structure of screen work;
- "contents of media education": media-art history & art criticism in media-sphere (media types and genres, functions of media in society, media language, media history, etc.);
information about the main fields of the application of theoretical knowledge (professional and amateur cinematography, media market, film clubs, television, the organization of leisure time, education and etc.), practical creative assignments on media material.
- "critical thinking" ("analytical thinking"): analytical process based on advanced "media perception". This process brings to interpretation and to the appraisal of media information's sense (including "code");
- "forms of "media education": integration of media education in traditional tutorial subject, autonomous lessons, lectures, seminars, optional lessons, study groups, media studios, media clubs, compulsory subject, special courses, etc.);
- "key aspects of media education": "media perception", “art-creative activity", "reproduction", "interpretation", "analysis", "appraisal", "source of information", "mastering of information", "media text", "media language", "media technology", "media audience", "esthetic value". Some media educators (for example, Dr.Stal Penzin) believe in "synthesis aesthetic and ethical" as one of key aspects of media education.
- "means of mass communication": of the technical facility of creation, records, of copying, of storage, of spread, of the perception of information and exchange its between subject ("communicant") and by object ("communicator");
- "means of mass information": of the technical facility of creation, records, of copying, of storage and information sharing for mass audience;
- "media arts": arts based on media forms of the reality's reproduction (press, photograph, radio, records, television, video-art, computer graphic, etc.) ;
- "media culture": esthetical and intellectual values in the field media, and also historically definite system of their creation and functions in society;
with relationships with audience. Media culture connects with levels of the development of the personality, capable to perceive, to analyze, to appreciate media text, to create media art, to learn new knowledges in the field media;
- "media education": the process of education and developments of personality by facilities and on the material of media, with purpose the formations of the culture of communication with media, creative capabilities, critical, individual & independent thinking, the abilities of the interpretation, analysis and estimation of a media text, of training for various forms of self-expression on the media basis.
- "media effects": the influence of media text on the audience : in the sphere of information and education, developments of consciousness, formations of behavior, glances, reactions, etc.;
- "media language": the complex of language of media expression ("montage", "shot", "angle", etc.).
- "media literacy": ability to analyze and to synthesize spacious-temporary structure of media, ability to "read" media text;
- "media perception" ("mediation"): perception of media text, feelings and ideas of the authors of media works;
- "media plot" ("media story") : the chain of events in the media text;
- "media text" ("media construct") - the information created in any type and genre of media (newspaper or internet's article, telecast, music-video, film and so on);
- "media": the technical facility of creation, records, copying, spread, perception of information and exchange its between subject (the author telecasts, film, etc.) and by object (the mass audience);
- "methodology of media education": the theoretical background for the process of teaching the basis of the media culture in the focus of the contents of the education and activity of an educator and students;
with contents, variations, improvisation, dialogue, composition of educational process;
- "methods of media education": the teaching technologies. Typical methods: verbal (narrative, lecture, conversation, dialogue, debate, analysis, discussion, etc.);
visual (the reviewing of audiovisual material), reproductive, exploratory, heuristically, problem, game (the modeling of the creative activity in the media sphere, etc.);
These methods are based on the following didactical principles: the social & cultural development of a creative person in the process of training, systematization and the clearness of explanation, the connection of theory with practice, clearness, activities of the audience, transition from training to self-education, the connection of training with surrounding reality, positive affective background, the accounting of individual peculiarities - "montage" ("cutting", cut") - the process of the creation of media work by means of "assembling" of "cadres" ("shots");
- "screen (audiovisual) arts": arts based on screen the form of reality's reproduction ( television, video art, computer graphic, etc.) ;
- "screen image": materialization author's idea in concrete audiovisual, to spacious-temporary form of screen narratives;
- "tasks of media education": to educate for media literacy, to develop capacities for the perception & analysis of a media text: to develop independent & critical thinking, aesthetic taste;
to integrate knowledge and abilities;
- "the units of media text" ("parts of media text's meaning"): events, scenes, episodes, cadres, elements of compositions of media text;
"subject of media education": the interaction of a man with media language and it application in society, interaction of media and society, the system of knowledge and abilities necessary for a man for full-value perception and analysis of the media culture, for the social & cultural development of a creative personality.
9.4 Problems of Audiovisual Perception This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Humanities, grant N 01-06-000027a 9.4.a. Russian Classification of the levels of media perception:
1) low level (variants: "topical", "elementary", "fragmentary", "naive-realistic", "primitive");
indicators: capability to perceive the chain of events ( separate episodes and the scenes of plot), naive identification of media & reality, etc.);
2) middle level (variants: "topical-syntactical", "identification with a media hero", etc.);
indicators: capability for sympathy & identification with the media hero, for understanding of his psychology, the motives of actions, for understanding of separate components of artistic image;
3) high level (variants: "conceptual", "system", "adequate", "identification with the media author, etc.);
capability of identification with media author's position, capability for prevision of media events, the perception of media author's idea in the dynamics of audiovisual image;
Classifications of the levels of media perception by Prof. Dr. Alexander Fedorov:
- the level of "primary identification": affective, psychological connection with media environment, with plot ( the chain of events);
- the level of "secondary identification": the identification with a media hero;
- the level of "complex identification": identification with an author of the media art work;
Of course, this classification is rather conventional. Because many people (students, for example) are at the "primary identification» level, but they have also "secondary" & "complex" level elements in the undeveloped form.
9.4.b. Indicators (Criteria) of the Development of Student in the Sphere of Media Art:
- "Criterion of information" (knowledges of the history and the theories of media, of concrete works of media art);
- "Sensory criterion" (the frequency of communication with media, ability for orientation in its flood, ability to choose favorite genres, themes of media, etc.);
- "Motivation criterion" (affective, entertainment, moral, therapeutic, aesthetic motives of contact with media);
- "Criterion of interpretation" (the level of perception, capacity for audiovisual thinking, for analysis and synthesis of media arts, for identification with a hero of media art and with the author of the work, the appraisal of the author's concept in the context of the structure of media work);
- "Creative criterion" (the creative level in various aspects of activity: perception, analysis, practical work, etc.).
9.4.c. Levels of the analysis of media artwork:
- low level;
indicators: media illiteracy, the ignorance of the media language, instability, indistinct of assertions, liability to exterior effect, the absence of the interpretation of the position of the media heroes and media author;
- middle level;
indicators: ability to give the psychological image of media heroes on the basis of fragmentary media knowledges, to describe the logic of the sequence of events in plot, the separate components of artistic image, the absence of the interpretation of author's position (or primitive interpretation);
- high level;
indicators: the analysis of a work based on media knowledges, the convincing analysis of author's position, the appraisal of the social, ethical, esthetical significance of media art work, ability to transfer this assertion on other genres and the types of art, etc.
9.5. Media Preferences of Russian Students This work was supported by the Research Support Scheme of the Open Society Support Foundation, grant N 18/ What are the cinema and TV preferences of Russian students today? What films and TV shows of which countries do they like to watch most of all? What genres, subjects do they like? My interrogation took place in the Taganrog Pedagogical Institute (Russia): 370 students between of the age of 18 and 20 were questioned.
The structure of the questions was chosen as follows: the questions about favorite countries filmmakers, genres and subjects go first. The logic of the consistency is as follows: knowing the country film-maker (for example, the USA), which is preferred by a student, and chosen from the real cinema repertoire, we may suppose, what genres (most probably, the entertaining ones) are chosen by a student. Knowing the genre-favorite (for example, melodrama), we can build the hypothesis concerning the favorite and unloved subjects of this student. Among the favorite subjects, as a rule, are love subject, teenage subject, and erotic subject. Among the unloved – are political and industrial subjects. Knowing the genre and a subject, chosen by students, the attractive for them aspects of the films and TV shows can be predicted. In the example case, there are not only the recreative motive, but also the media and identification's motives. And knowing the main motives of the choice of the film of or TV program, we can cozily guess, the heroes of what screen arts' works and with what features of character will be chosen.
And if, for example, a student is orientated on the American thrillers first of all, if he prefers brave and strong heroes, then he will answer, for sure, that the main function of the screen art is the entertaining one.
So, the basic purposes of the questions of the test:
a) to define the films and TV-programs of what countries, genres and subjects are the most popular;
b) to discover the main factors, influencing the choice of students of these or others genres and subjects (entertainment, happy end, dynamic action, etc.);
c) to discover the main types and features of characters of the cinema-TV- heroes which are preferred by students;
d) to find out, what functions of the cinema, TV and video are considered to be the most important by students;
On the whole, in the capacity of preferences the cinematographies of those countries were called, which, basing on the viewers' experience of the students produced maximum of the entertainment production, that is I've got another confirmation of the popularity of mass culture genres.
The list of preferences looked like this:
Film, TV programs from the USA - 81,3% (301 students from 370).
Film, TV programs from Russia - 72,15%(267 from 370).
Film, TV programs from France - 63,2% (234 from 370).
Film, TV programs from Italy - 27,8% (103 from 370).
Film, TV programs from India - 17,8% (66 from 370).
The results of the tests also showed that the students on the whole prefer the genres of mass (popular) culture. Besides, because of the changes of the social & cultural situation in Russia in the 90's, horror films, erotic melodramas took the considerable place in the students’ preferences.
The list of the preferable cinema genres:
1) comedy - 74,3% (275 students from 370);
2) synthesis of genres - 56,5% (211 from 370);
3) melodrama - 55,9% (207 from 370);
4) detective - 49,4% (183 from 370);
5) horror - 32,9% (122 from 370).
As for the drama, parable and other unentertaining genres, the lesser number of students marked them as preferable:
from 5% to 13%.
Among the most popular subjects of films and TV programs marked by the students are:
1) love subject - 65,9% (244 students from 370);
2) adventure subject - 64,3% (238 from 370);
3) historic subject - 51,1% (189 from 370);
4) teenage subject - 46,4% (172 from 370);
5) criminal subject - 42,1% (156 from 370);
6) pedagogic subject - 31,6% (117 from 370);
7) erotic subject - 30,8% (114 from 370);
8) moral subject - 26,4% ( 98 from 370);
9) mystical subject - 18,6% ( 69 from 370);
10) contemporary subject - 16,4% ( 61 from 370).
The least popular subjects were scientifically technical, geographical, political, ecological (from 3% to 8% of the students tested).
Basing on the genre and subject orientation, students answered that in films, TV programs, music-videos they are attracted by:
1) entertainment - 87,5% (324 students from 370);
2) information - 69,4% (257 from 370);
3) identification - 53,5% (198 from 370);
4) pop-music - 43,7% (162 from 370);
5) acting - 38,6% (143 from 370);
6) directing art - 36,4% (135 from 370);
7) dynamics of action - 21,8% ( 81 from 370);
8) compensation - 21,6% ( 80 from 370);
9) happy end - 18,3% ( 68 from 370);
10) good picture - 16,4% ( 61 from 370).
The leadership of the entertaining, informative and identification functions of the screen arts with the students are rather natural and is well correlated with their genre and subject preferences. And relatively high rating of the director and actor's work testifies that all students, who made such a choice, really, are close to the all-round perception of a film or TV program. In my opinion, the well -known clich' comes into force there: if the show was interesting (mainly for its entertaining components), therefore everything must have been performed perfectly.
The students marked in the heroes they liked: fascination (67%), mind (65%), resourcefulness (54%), resolution (42%), kindness (42%), beauty (35%), courage (32%), faithfulness (32%), purpose (27%), optimism (32%), power (22%).
By this facts the tendency characteristic of the answers on the previous was proved: the heroes of the entertaining, adventure, love films and TV-shows are chosen in general.
The students would like to resemble their favorite heroes in the attitude to people (38%), in the view to life (22%), in the behavior (19%), in profession (19%), and in the manner of dressing (5%). The low percent of the students who answered this question is explained by the fact that a lot of them considered it are out of place, just for kids.
Speaking about TV programs and music videos, we can't but mention that TV programs with the weak show and weak dynamics of action were obviously losing in the eyes of the students to the programs about pop-music, film stars, comic shows and so on.
As for the criterions of the aesthetic development of the students' audience in the area of the cinema and TV, my research confirmed the correctness of the followings facts:
1) the understanding criterion (the knowledge of history and theory of the screen arts) of the students who didn't study the special course of screen arts was practically absent;
2) the sensory criterion (the frequency of the association with the screen arts, the skill to take orientation in their stream) was reduced to the genre-subject choice of entertaining films and TV programs. In other words, the frequent communication with the screen, itself doesn't lead to the formation of the developed aesthetic taste. The number of students, for whom the draw of a media-screen in the audiovisual floods of information, was (for example, the name of a famous 3%-5%.
3) criterion of the motivation (the emotional, hedonistic, compensative, moral, aesthetic and other motives of the contact with the screen arts) expressed itself the fact, that the main motive to see a film or TV show was the entertainment;
4) the appraisal, interpretative criterion was badly developed. The majority of the students, though it had the emotional, psychological connection with the screen atmosphere, with the plot of the film and TV show ("the first identification"), with a hero or a showman ("the second identification"), but was unable for the "complex identification". That is, for the identification with the author of film of TV program, full perception and analysis of the artistic conception of the authors' world.
5) the creative criterion of the students (the level of the creative basis in the different aspects of the activity) often turned out to be more developed than the appraising one. A lot of students, who had been on the level of "n", proved to be able for the figurative reflection on their impressions after films or telecasts: they drew cinema-posters, collages and so on. In these works their fantasy, imagination and intuition were opened.
Such tests and researches, I usually make before the beginning of the course "The Student's Training for the Aesthetic Education of Pupils on the Material of Screen Arts (Cinema, TV, Video)", every time mentioning the resemblance of the results.
With the different percent correlations, the tendency to entertaining subjects and genres, the low level of the ability of students to analyze the advantage and disadvantage of the film or TV program in the artistic point of view, remains. Therefore we can say that the situation in the sphere of student perception and attitude to the screen arts is typical.
9.6. Models of Media Education in Russia I can generalize Russian models of media education into the following types:
1. Educationally-informational models (the studies of the theory and history of media & media language);
2. Instructionally-ethical models (study of moral, philosophical problems on the media material);
3. Developing models (social & cultural development of a creative person in aspects of perception, imagination, visual memory, interpretations, analysis, critical thinking, etc.).
I can distinguish also some of Russian media education’s principles: development of the personality (the development of media perception, aesthetic consciousness, of creative capabilities, of individual thinking, analysis, etc.) in the process of study;
the connection of theory with practice;
transition from training to self-education;
connection of training with life;
consideration of individual peculiarities of students.
Here are the main stages of my media education's model (Fedorov, 1989;
1) Verification module (the determination of the level of students' media development and level of media perception);
2) Module of practical creation & perception (mastering creative abilities on the media material and the formation of the audiovisual perception of the structure of media works films (including their types and genres, ties with other arts, etc.);
3) Module of analysis (the development of abilities of analysis in the sphere of media art;
4) Module of media history (acquaintance with main events in the media art history, with the contemporary social & cultural situation).
I suppose, that there’s a point in introducing students to the media history only then, when they have already developed their media perception, the ability to analyze media works, creative approaches.
This model includes the cycle of creative practical exercises in the field of media: 1) literary-simulation (the writing of scenario's plan, the text of mini-scenarios, etc.);
2) theatrical-games (simulation of practical creation of media works, including magazines, films, TV-programs, etc.);
3) “pictorial-simulation” (the creation of collages, of pictures on the themes of media works and so on).
The main functions of media education are the following: tutorial, adaptation, developing and controlling. The tutorial function presupposes the understanding of the theories and laws, the adequate perception and analysis of a media work, capability to apply this knowledge in other situations, logical capability;
Adaptation function manifests in initial stage of communication with media;
The developing function implies the development of creative, analytical and other capacities of personality;
Task controlling functions - the providing of the conditions of the analysis of media works.
Here are the main stage of the development of abilities of the analysis of media works (from Prof. Jury Usov conception):
-the consideration of contents of key episodes, the most suggesting ones;
detecting the artistic qualities of a media work on the whole;
-attempt to understand the logic of the author's thinking (reconstruction of the development of main conflicts, of characters, of ideas, of audiovisual image, etc.);
-the comprehension of the author's concept;
-appraisal (by the audience) of the author's concept (Usov, 1993).
9.7.Who is Who in Russian Media Education This work was supported by the Research Support Scheme of the Open Society Support Foundation, grant N 18/ 9.7.1. Short List of Russian Media Educators Dr. Larissa Bajenova Head of the Laboratory of Screen Arts of the Russian Academy of Education (Moscow), Member of Russian Association for Film & Media Education Basic books of L.Bajenova:
In the World of Screen Arts. Moscow, 1992.
The Screen is Our Friend. Moscow, 1995.
Dr. Oleg Baranov Assoc. Prof. of Tver State Pedagogical University, Member of Russian Association for Film & Media Education, member of Russian Union of Filmmakers.
Basic books of O.Baranov: