In this project we were interested in the way in which boys and girls approach, in a critical way, the violent contents seen in the media. Within this context it is also essential to analyze the process of shaping one´s identity, since we are dealing with a group of teenagers. For this we analyzed a multimedia workshop in which students developed a web page with their reflections over the violent contents seen on TV.
Hence, one group was in charge of criticizing several television programs that can be of interest to teenagers, the second one dove deeper into opinion issues, the third one conducted a survey to find out other people’s opinions and, finally, the fourth one worked on the image.
Based on the dialogue in small and large groups, teenagers built a web page titled ‘Counter-violence in television’ in which they expressed the result of their reflections over the different issued approached in relation to violence in the media.
By assuming a double role as users and producers of content for the media, boys and girls came into contact with a reference framework that enabled them to criticize what they see and decide based on their own criteria. In this way, children learn to look at the media from a critical stance and to reflect upon what the different media have to offer.
Confronting in an active and critical way an analysis of the different media helped them to progressively become aware of the importance of the target audience of their web page. Boys and girls became aware of the difficulty of conveying a message clearly and the importance of thinking about its intended audience. The task, in this way, has the ultimate purpose of communicating and not just writing.
When debates are proposed in the classroom, the role of the teacher as the one guiding the dialogue is essential to encourage the reflective process. The adult contributes to generating a critical conscience so that, gradually, they are the ones that shall generate their own doubts and questions, in order to learn how to pose and defend their own opinions. The teacher does not only help in finding answers, he or she is also the one that guides the discussion.
As the children share the construction of knowledge collectively to publish their reflections on the web, they take on a role within the group and negotiate aspects that will become part of their identity as members of a group. In this way, it is established as a socially situated identity in which they share elements from their own personality with aspects from the group identity that they are building.
This project is part of a research study subsidized by the Community of Madrid (06/0136/2001) under the title ‘Escenarios educativos y reconstrucciones narrativas de contenidos televisivos sobre la violencia(Educational settings and narrative re-construction of television contents regarding violence)’.
Children in Year 1 of Secondary Education and their teacher