UNESCO: Media and Information Literacy (Lifelong Learning)
- Learning Sector
- Adult/Lifelong Learning
- Initiative Type
- Initiatives/projects aimed at development of IL as social objective
- Literacy Area
- Lifelong Learning, Transversal
- Geographical/Social Range
- Type of Institution
- International organization; United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization UNESCO
- Contact Details
- Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg , Alton Grizzle
Project Coordinator and Partners
United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Communication and Information Sector
Empowerment of people through Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is an important prerequisite for fostering equitable access to information and knowledge and promoting free, independent and pluralistic media and information systems.UNESCO’s global action to promote media and information literate societies has at its basis the development of knowledge societies and free independent and pluralistic media, and information providers.
The aim is fostering information and media literate societies by encouraging the development of national information and media literacy policies, including in education. That means the impact on actions for different bodies official and non-official, especially connected with educational and lifelong learning sector.
UNESCO’s mission is to engender media and information literate societies through a comprehensive strategy which include preparation of model Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Teachers
, the facilitation of international cooperation, development of Guidelines for Preparing National MIL Policies and Strategies, articulation of a Global Framework on MIL Indicators
, setting up MIL University Network, articulation of and establishment of an International Clearinghouse on MIL in cooperation with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
A particular focus will be on training teachers to sensitize them to the importance MIL in the education process, enable them to integrate MIL into their teaching and provide them with appropriate pedagogical methods, curricula and resources.
The project contributes to the spread of information and media literacy in lifelong learning. The resources – documents, publications (concerning education, indicators, new technologies for IL development, etc.) are available on the website.
1. UNESCO launched a model Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Teachers in July 2011.
UNESCO believes this will enable its goal to increase drastically the number of media and information literate teachers worldwide who will in turn train students, thus leading to media and information literate societies. Therefore the starting point is to partner with UNESCO Member States and other stakeholders to adapt and integrate the MIL Curriculum into teacher training institutions globally.
The UNESCO MIL Curriculum is divided into two parts.
Part 1 provides the MIL Curriculum and Competency Framework, which gives an overview of the curriculum rationale, design, principal themes and the main competencies teachers should acquire through its use. It is complementary to the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (2008).
Part 2 includes the detailed Core and Non-Core Modules of the curriculum. On the whole, the MIL Curriculum mainstreams interdisciplinary issues relating to civic participation, problem-solving, gender equality and women’s empowerment and intercultural dialogue.
The publication is the product of a comprehensive process carried out over a three-year period. This process consisted of baseline surveys, expert group meetings, drafting, reviews and validation by experts from a wide range of domains such as media, information, ICTs, education and curriculum development.
2. The First International Forum on Media and Information Literacy was the first of its kind at the international level to examine media and information literacy as a combined set of competencies. Over 200 participants representing all regions of the world, including educators, information and media experts, civil society actors and social scientists gathered to discuss MIL and share experience and knowledge. The participants adopted the Fez Declaration of MIL .
3. Global Framework on MIL Indicators
In 2007, UNESCO initiated a development of a set of Information Literacy (IL) indicators which would allow its Member States to measure the IL at national and individual levels and know the extent to which their citizens are able to participate in knowledge societies.
In 2011, UNESCO decided to apply a joint approach including media literacy in already ongoing IL indicators development process. UNESCO believes that media and information play an important role in the creation and development of democratic culture and an active civil society. It is also built on a conceptual assumption that literacy is a dynamic, perforce situational and both culturally and linguistically diverse.
As new information and communication technologies (ICTs) proliferate, opening up new possibilities for social, economic and political development, a new set of critical competencies (skills, knowledge, attitudes) are required to make effective use of their potencial. Individuals needs to become variously literate, demonstrating different levels and uses of literacy according to their environments and needs.
UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector and UNESCO Institute of Statistics in Montreal collaborate with number of institutions currently engaged in measuring activities in order to develop a set of indicators to be used for the measurement of MIL literacy.
Other actions include:
- Research activities on MIL and other relevant types of literacies;
- Setting up of the MIL University Network;
- Development of Guidelines for Preparing National MIL Policies and Strategies;
- Establishment of an International Clearinghouse on MIL in cooperation with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations; and
- Provision of Guidelines for electronic media on user-generated content and MIL.