„Educational Media for Adults“ – IGSBi Conference 2023 in Gdańsk (Poland)
The annual conference of the International Society for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) took place at the University of Gdańsk from 6 to 8 October 2023, in cooperation with the Faculty of Languages, Department of Modern Languages (Dr. Ewa Andrzejewska). The topic of the conference was “Educational Media for Adults”.
Researchers and teachers from various European countries and from Sub-Saharan Africa dealt with different aspects of the topic from a historical and current perspective and with different methodological approaches. After an introductory lecture on the specifics of adult learning, the focus was on educational media for teachers (e.g. teacher handouts), for higher education (such as study books and multimedia applications) and language education (literacy for refugees, foreign language teaching), but also on informal educational media for adults such as historical leaflets, current parent letter series and educational games. In addition, there were workshop reports on the concrete development of educational media, for example for the independent energy supply of local communities in East Africa.
Presentations on the importance of artificial intelligence (e.g. Chat GPT) for educational processes as well as on myths and possibilities of digital learning environments completed the program.
The contributions stimulated lively discussions.
The conference volume with many contributions will be published in 2024.
New Publication on Primers Research
Learning to Read, Learning Religion. Catechism Primers in Europe from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries (2023). Ed. by Britta Juska-Bacher, Matthew Grenby, Tuija Laine & Wendelin Sroka. John Benjamins.
Catechism primers are inconspicuous but telling little books for children combining the teaching of reading skills and religious catechesis. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, they have been produced, disseminated and used in huge numbers in many regions of the world, in particular in Europe. Remarkably, similar texts appeared across the continent, spanning confessional traditions that were in other respects highly divergent. In different places, and across the whole period, different denominations used not only similar pedagogical and religious strategies, but also shared the same formats and iconography.
This volume, edited by scholars from Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom – among them three members of the International Society for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. –, is the result of a collaborative transnational and interdisciplinary effort including education, language teaching, children’s literature, book history, and religious studies. With contributions on seventeen European countries and regions, it sheds new light on a fascinating but largely neglected part of European cultural heritage, and, by establishing a comprehensive and authoritative summary of the field, offers fresh impetus for further transnational research.
Newsletter of the Reading Primers Special Interest Group
Newsletter No. 18 of the Reading Primers Special Interest Group (RP SIG)
Luciana Bellatalla / Piergiovanni Genovesi / Eva Matthes / Sylvia Schütze (Eds.): Nation, Nationalism and Schooling in Contemporary Europe (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2022)
During the 19th century, up to the middle of the 20th century, the theme of national identity – and even more so of the absolute primacy of the nation – was firmly at the center of the educational projects of European states. Moreover, schools had and have been one of the fundamental instruments in the processes of nation building and, subsequently, in the establishment of nationalist perspectives, being used as a place of transmission of narratives aimed at legitimising the primacy of the nation, whether historically or ethnically based.
A significant undermining of the absolute primacy of the nation emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War. A widespread desire to reduce the scope of national sovereignty, to fight against the drifts of nationalism, took on a new consistency. The ideological struggle centered on the two blocs, which characterized the age of the Cold War, contributed to strongly circumscribing the political space of nationalism, but the fall of the Wall has opened up new spaces both for the role of the nation and for the phenomena of micro-nationalism and neo-nationalism.
Scholars of different European countries contribute in this volume to the reflection on the interrelation of nation(alism) and schooling with a special focus on educational media. This reflection is more urgent than ever and is central to the future social, civil, and cultural development.
Sonja Maria Meinlschmidt: Die Repräsentation von Heterogenität in Grundschulbüchern des (Heimat- und) Sachunterrichts. Bayern und Bremen im Ländervergleich. Eine qualitative Evaluation zur Vielfalt im Schulbuch (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2022)
Textbooks are a key instrument of teaching. Through the school as institution, they reach everybody, and the implied knowledge is often considered to be absolute. Currently, the educational system is confronted with new challenges, especially with regard to the diversity in German society. Primary schools, which are attended by children from all social classes, are particularly concerned with this heterogeneity. It is important that all children can identify with the content of the texts. Therefore, it is worthwhile to deal critically with knowledge stocks in textbooks. This volume deals with the diversity which is represented in primary school textbooks for Social Studies in the federal states Bavaria and Bremen. The focus lies on the dimensions “gender/sex” and “migration/ethnicity” and on their interrelationship. Along these lines, the author reveals both progress and desiderata and develops criteria for a heterogeneity-sensitive textbook.
Eva Matthes / Stefan T. Siegel / Thomas Heiland (Eds.): Lehrvideos – das Bildungsmedium der Zukunft? Erziehungswissenschaftliche und fachdidaktische Perspektiven (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2021)
The internet market for educational videos both on commercial platforms like YouTube and TikTok and on educational platforms is booming, and representative surveys show the growing importance of educational and explanatory videos in research and practice. These are increasingly used at university and school as well.
This volume comprises multidisciplinary perspectives on these educational media, which have been mostly neglected so far. There are still many open questions: What exactly are educational videos? What should we know about the providers of these educational media (for example explanatory videos on YouTube)? Do there exist any quality criteria for these videos? What kind of chances, challenges, limitations and possibly even dangers are connected with their use?
The aim of our volume is to make a contribution to answering these questions and to provide clarity and transparency. Therefore, it includes:
(1) fundamental articles which introduce to the subject matter,
(2) analyses of explanatory videos from domain-specific perspectives,
(3) contributions regarding the use of educational videos in teacher (further) training at university.
Oliver Mayer-Simmet: Offene Lehr-Lernmittel (OER) für den Geschichtsunterricht. Marktlage, Nutzungsmotive und fachspezifische Qualitätsanforderungen (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2021)
Educational media play a decisive role in teaching and learning processes. This refers also to the actually growing offerings of open educational resources (OER) for teachers and students. This leads to the question which quality characteristics are necessary to make OER didactically acceptable.
This volume deals with the phenomenon of OER for the teaching of History. In this respect, it engages in fundamental research and explores the topic for the first time for the didactics of History in Germany. It is oriented towards the already existing general-didactical research approach, which was developed in Augsburg (cf. Neumann and Fey, both 2015, in this series), and tries to “translate” it into the subject-related didactical thinking in History. The author looks at the offerings in the internet, analyses History teachers’ reasons for using OER, and presents a History-didactical instrument which may support History teachers in the critical revision OER.
Kristina Schippling: Zur Vermittlung von Film im Schulbuch. Eine diskursanalytische Studie zur pädagogischen Subjektivierung (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2021)
Films and media influence the everyday life of children and youth more strongly than ever. At the same time, current studies about film education are very rare; thus, the volume at hand can close a gap with regard to the topic “Films” at school. Moreover, it presents for the first time a historical-comparative study on educational media and textbooks, which examines their content with regard to subject constitution.
The core research question focusses on the issue how students and teachers are addressed and subjectivated in textbooks that deal with film educational matters. In the theoretical part of the analysis, the author develops a questionnaire with a range of topics, which are oriented towards the philosophy of Michel Foucault; this questionnaire can also be used as heuristics for further studies on film education. In the empirical part, the author presents a discourse analysis of the textbooks and works out five content dimensions, by means of which the constitution and positioning of the subjects can be retraced and structured. Thus, the implicit subject conceptions of the educational media can be reconstructed.
The book specifies Althusser’s idea of “invocation” and Foucault’s considerations to subject theory in respect of the topic “film” in school pedagogy and helps to make these philosophical approaches more suitable for research.