Nine out of 10 teachers want media literacy to be an explicit part of the national curriculum, according to research findings.
A report published by the The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Media Literacy today calls for media literacy skills, such as fact-checking and digital media creation, to be integrated into the national English curriculum.
The report’s introduction says Covid has demonstrated “how dangerous misinformation can be” to public health and the “considerable harm” that can be inflicted on anyone misled by information online.
She says it is “crucial” that children and young people are educated to “identify trusted sites” and “evaluate the content of what we read”.
It also calls for the concepts of disinformation, misinformation and misinformation to be included in the school curriculum.
The report includes a poll of 6,500 teachers, conducted by the Teacher Tapp survey app, which found that nine out of 10 teachers wanted media literacy to be explicitly included in the national curriculum, excluding media literacy. 8% who said the question was not relevant to them or they couldn’t answer.
Responses were similar across primary and secondary schools, although there were some differences between age groups, with 92% of teachers in their twenties supporting the call, compared with 86% of those over 50.
Further research by teacher Tapp found that many teachers said media literacy was already part of their school’s curriculum, with 47% saying it was part of computer science lessons and 35% saying that it was part of the personal and social courses. , health and economic education.
But 10% said it was not on any topic and 23% said they knew if it was.
The survey also suggested high levels of media illiteracy among some students, with teachers working in schools in the most deprived areas of England saying that only 37% of their pupils were media savvy.
The new report asks a mandatory educational levy on social media companies to explore, to fund off-platform initiatives led by local media literacy, online safety and mental wellbeing organizations.
It also recommends the establishment of a train-the-trainer program in media education for professional development. It says this should be piloted in areas of the 55 education ‘cold spots’ in England identified as part of the government’s Leveling Up white paper.
The report says that the Department for Education (DfE) previously told the APPG that “there are many opportunities within the curriculum to improve digital literacy, in subjects such as Computing, English, History and citizenship” but that the group thinks it confuses media education with digital education, which is different.
It says that currently citizenship, history and English curriculums at all key stages do not explicitly reference digital media or media literacy skills, such as identifying misinformation. , disinformation and misinformation.
Conservative MP Damian Collins, chairman of the APPG, said he was “crucial” that children are educated so they can identify trusted sites and make informed choices about the news they share.
He added: “Teachers and schools need more support to integrate media literacy effectively into the school curriculum.
“Our ambitions to make the country the safest place to be online can only be met if we also increase learning opportunities in high quality media literacy.”
The DfE has been contacted for comment.