PSYCHOLOGY OF MEDIA EDUCATION IN MODERN TEACHER PROFESSION

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Miika Lehtonen1, Lence Miloseva2 Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, 2Pedagogical faculty, Stip, University of Skopje

INTRODUCTION The new developments of information and communication technologies (ICT)shape also the ways how we act and how our children grow and develop their skills and personalities. The media has become one important part of our everyday environments and the development environments of our children. The revolutionary advances in the technologies and globalization are transforming the nature, reach, speed, and loci of human influence. These rapidly evolving realities place increasing demands on the personal and collective agency to shape personal destinies and the national cultures as well as to the life of societies. 1.1 The ecological model of media environments In order to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, and morally a human being, whether child or adult, requires the same thing: active participation in progressively more complex, reciprocal interaction with other persons and environments; with the objects, and symbol environments in the individual's immediate and mediated environment. To be effective, the interaction must occur on a fairly regular basis over extended periods of time. In our modern world the different kind media environments have quite rapidly filled those environments we and our children and adolescents interact with. Our immediate environments are in many cases so filled with the different media and mediated interactions that influence may not be neglected (Bronfenbrenner, 1999). The well known idea of Bronfenbrenner (1988; 1977; 1979; 1999), the idea of ecological or bioecological model of human development, has been one of the promising instruments from a systemic perspective which has been used in many areas of the psychological research of child development. According it, both distal and proximal factors that were in the present societies, we should see the media relations in a similar way, partly of our children and adolescents – as well as our adults life and development context. The Bronfenbrenner’s model has traditionally represented as four expanding circles: the macro, the exo-level, the meso-level and the micro level. Belsky (1980) has added one level for the system, the ontogenic level. It means the genetic and personal factors within the person that contributes to development and adaptation. In the ecological model of media environments the macrosystem level includes the global, societal social, commercial and political influences of media as well as cultural beliefs and habits it spreads which has more and more effect to our children in the modern societies. The effects of globalisation and effects of global commercial culture and „culture capitalism” are the effects to be studied in this level. The exosystem in the ecological model of media environments we see including aspects of the communities and national, commercial and ethnic cultures as well as the all the influencive media relations it provides. The mesosystem reflects the interconnections among the mediated and non mediated stronger and weaker ties with the different individuals and communities (e.g. Haythornthwaite, 2002). In this level the interaction happens also with the different components of the exosystem, for example how the individual prefer, belong and interact with the different cultural groups, values and activities offered by and in the media as well as in the physical environments. The schools, day-care and work environments as well as peer groups in many cases are belonging to this level. The microsystem level is traditionally seen as the family and the other people we have strong ties with. The close peer groups, friends belonging to this level are part of this system. In this level we see the mediated and nonmediated interaction between the family members and other close peers. Finally, the ontogenic level means that each individual has an impact both on his environment and on his own development. Ontogenesis is defined as the development of the self through selfregulation, which means that development is more than the resultant of the interaction between nature and nurture, more than the sum of environment and genetic disposition, and will to some extent remain a mystery. This model is also transactional, which implies that not only the child is influenced by his environment, but also the environment is affected by the characteristics of the child.

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We see that through that kind of ecological model, psychology is the integrative discipline best suited to advance understanding of human adaptation and change, especially in Digital Era. It is the discipline that uniquely encompasses the complex interplay between intrapersonal, biological, interpersonal, and sociostructural determinants of human functioning. With the growing primacy of human agency in virtually all spheres of life, the field of psychology should be articulating a broad vision of human beings not a reductive fragmentary one. This conceptual study will introduce some of the fundamentals and rationale for the Psychology of Media Education as one important area of studies of modern teacher profession and teacher education and as a field of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary knowledge and research. We argue that without a doubt the different media and symbol- or media environments are nowadays influencing many ways on our and our children’s and adolescent’s everyday life. We could even speak about media(ted) cultures based on media environments including traditional printed media (like commercials on the walls, magazines), audiovisual media (like TV, films, videos, DVDs), interactive computer media (like computer games and Internet), as well as the rapidly growing phenomena; the different mediated and mobile ways of communication (like mobile phones), CMC (computer mediated communications), Web-communities and networked game and virtual reality communities. That significance and influence of media environments is seen and we propose should be seen in many ways also on the educational and developmental contexts of children and adolescents (Thakkar, Garrison, & Christakis, 2006). Luskin (2003), argue that today’s educational institutions need faculty and staff who understand higher concepts in media arts and sciences. Our new tools are both physical and intellectual, with an understanding of psychology being central to the most effective use of new media in society. Individuals must understand implications of media to perform competitively in the majority of new and emerging occupational specialities. The study of media relations and effects in the ecological model of media environments and understanding the psychology of media are fundamental to emerging trends. WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY OF MEDIA EDUCATION? The Media Psychology has been introduced as one of the subject studying the media from different disciplines For example according Luskin (2003), media psychology embraces pscybermedia, a neologism that combines psychology, artificial intelligence (cybernetics), and media. Another conceptualisation for the concept Media Psychology is based on the effects of media for commercial purposes as well as the study of media relations between psychology and (mass)media. Media Psychology has also introduced to include an understanding of both physical and emotional aspects of the brain, range of emotion, the psychologies of expression, persuasion, sexuality, and gender. It encompasses study of theories of emotional control, believability, situational cognition, assessment, learning, mapping, feedback, reinforcement, mastery, persistence, success, and failure. Psychology of Media Education is a theoretically-oriented, empirical science at the intersection of psychology, development and learning and media. In the main focus of study are: psychology of media, educational and developmental psychology and educational sciences. Of interest are the psychological and sociopsychological antecedents and consequences as well as the educational and developmental influences of mass media, especially television, computer networks and the internet. Nearly all aspects of psychology, educational psychology and social science have relevance to media studies, especially cognitive science, social psychology, and child development. The new Psychology of Media Education includes the study of how the individual interacts with the multiplicity of sensory stimuli and with the complex informations and mediated social surroundings. It tries to understand the perceptions, emotions understandings and behaviors, one wishes to achieve is fundamental to the purpose, architecture, design and construction of new software. This comprehension is in addition to, and synergistic with, understanding theories of intelligence, learning, communication, cognition and emotion. PSYCHOLOGY OF MEDIA EDUCATION IN MODERN TEACHER PROFESSION From the educational viewpoints, the Media Psychology has too broad scope to be successfully beneficial for the becoming teachers and other staff close education and child development. We argue therefore that the Psychology of Media Education would be the best possible definition for the core subject for educational and teacher training contexts. The rationale of the Psychology of Media Education is based on the same rationality than the Educational psychology, it is combinating the areas of education, psychology and media sciences. It addresses the theory and application of psychology as an art and science to media and technology issues, problems, and opportunities in 3. 2.

educational and developmental contexts. Developmental, personality, sensory and cognitive psychology, systems theory, human development, motivation and learning, emotions and communications theory are all overlapping and synergistic specialties together with the educational research for implications for Psychology of Media Education. The psychological understanding of some of the fundamental media mechanisms from the developmental and educational viewpoints like the emotional power of drama, multimodality, immersion, and interactivity as well as the positive effects of multimedia, digital „mental tools” and networked learning environments for learning or in leisure times for amusement and relaxing is from those starting points essential to understand for any of the educators of our times. But as well is important to understand the some potential threats, the possibilities for negative physical health influences as well as mental health influences like traumatisation, desensitisations and negative social learning models for children watching or using some highly emotional violent or otherwise harmful media. Other important issues to consider are e.g. seeing the possibilities for psychosocial regulation in mediated communications and possibilities and threats it provides for the social communications, networks and activities as well as for identity work of children and adolescents. The Psychology of Media Education as a multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary area of research is trying to answer for those questions.It provides that knowledge and understanding linking together the educational sciences, computer science, educational, social, and developmental psychology, psychological research of media and other relevant sources of knowledge from other disciplines for a cross-curricular subject of study. The Psychology of Media Education provides psychological understanding on the research of the media mechanisms and mediated communications. It offers intellectual tools for any educator or educational scientist to both understand and develop educational media literacy and awareness of psychological influences of media, as well as helps to utilise the benefits of media, like power of hypermedia and CMC from the psychological viewpoints in their educational contexts. CONCLUSION To summarize, Psychology of Media Education is concerned with a wide swath of human behaviour, especially so in an increasingly media –dominated society. It explores the media as they exert influence on social, educational and strategic communications, on Information Technology and telecommunications, on our everyday life, on physical and psychological well being. The Psychology of Media Education and the ecological model of media environments are some of the starting points in building a core discipline for the research and understanding of those effects. Media technology, embodied in celestial eyes or global cameras, provide witness to our private thoughts and public forays. In the beginning there was the word. In the beginning there was the image. And in the beginning there was the voice. Psychology of Media Education is about this trilogy. Especially, it concentrates its eyes on developmental, educational and learning related issues. It is about all that is human and all that is of interest to humans. The media is devoutly a reflection of its creators, in all their mediated reflection, incarnation, aspiration and rumination. To study this remarkable panoply is to study the creators and their creations.” To study Psychology of Media Education is, in the final scene, to study how humans represent themselves to themselves through lenses, through harmonics and through spectra and how humans send these self-images across time and space in a fierce proclamation of existence”( Fischoff, 2005, p.15). 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. REFERENCES Anderson, G. A.Dill, K. E. (2000). Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior in the laboratory and in the life. Journal of Personal and Social Psychology, 78(4), 772-790. Bandura, A.(2001).The changing face of psychology at the dawning of a globalization era. A Canadian Psychology-Psychologie Canadienne,42 (1): 12-24. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Towards an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32(7), 513–531. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. 9. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1988). Interacting Systems in Human Development. Research Paradigms: Present and Future. In N. Moorehouse, A. Bolger, G. Caspi & M. Downey (Eds.), Persons in Contex: Developmental Procsses (pp. 25–49). New York,USA: Cambridge University Press. 4.

10. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1999).Growing Chaos in the Lives of Children Youth and Families: How Can We Turn It Around? 11. Retrieved from http://parenthood.library.wisc.edu/Bronfenbrenner/ Bronfenbrenner.html 12. Belsky, J. (1980). Child maltreatment: An ecological integration. American Psychologist 35, 320-335. 13. Cicchetti, D. & Toth, S. (1997). Transactional ecological systems in developmental psychopathology. In Luthar, Sunya & Burack, Jacob, A. & Cicchetti, Dante & Weisz, John, R. (eds.) Developmental psychopathology. Perpectives on adjustment, risk and disorder. Cambridge: Cambride University Press. 14. Fischoff, S.(2005).Media Psychology: A Personal Essay in Definition and Purview. Journal of Media psychology, 10( 1). 15. Giles, D.(2003). Media Psychology___LEA, Inc. 16. Haythornthwaite, C. (2002). Strong, Weak, and Latent Ties and the Impact of New Media. The Information Society, 18(5), 385–401. 17. Luskin, B.(2003).Media Psychology: A field Whose Time is Here.The California psychologist,15(5-6). 18. Lehtonen, M.,Page, T.& Thorsteinsson, G.(2005). Emotionality considerations in virtual reality and simulation based learning. Proceedings of the IADIS international conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2005) 14-16 December 2005, Porto, Portugal. 19. Lehtonen, M. et al. MobIT: Empowering media environment for all? Proceedings of the DFA Conference, September, 2006, Rovaniemi, Finland. 20. Mayer, R.E. (2005). The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Leraning. Cambridge University Press: Camridge. 21. Thakkar, R. R., Garrison, M. M. and Christakis, D. A. (2006) A Systematic Review for the Effects of Television Viewing by Infants and Preschoolers. Pediatrics, 118, 2025-2031.

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