Algklassilaste meediatarbimise harjumused: õpetajate vaatenurk
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”Media use habits of primary school children: teachers perspective” Key words: media use habits, media effects, primary school children and teachers, screen media, communication, mediation. The aim of this bachelor thesis was to find out teachers` perspective about media use habits of primary school children. In addition, the author aimed to find out teachers perceptions about possible media influences on children and to study, if teachers have noticed the implications of childrens` media use also in their everyday life, school-settings in particular. The research also studied how primary school teachers evaluate medias` possible influence on childrens` behavior, communication and studies. Among other things, the author studied how teachers see their own role in childrens` media use, how teachers use media content in school and guide childrens` media use. The author also aimed to find out how teachers evaluate parents and peers role in guiding childrens` media use. In the first chapter of the thesis, the author gave a theoretical overview about childrens` cognitive development related to media use, and dwelled upon the general media use habits of children. Furthermore, possible media influence and role on a child is discussed, and the role of important others in mediating childrens` media use is described. In addition, the theoretical chapter ends with a short overview about media use in schools. The empirical part of the study is based on two semi-structured focus group interviews with primary school teachers in Saue Gymnasium (N=4) and in Kiili Gymnasium (N=5). The data collected from the interviews were analyzed using the method of qualitative content analyses. The results, analyses, conclusions and discussion drawn from the focus group interviews are shown in four main chapters of the study. The analyses brought about the following results. Primary school teachers who took part in the focus groups have an opinion that children are active media users and they mainly prefer to use screen media. According to the perception of primary school teachers, different programs and movies directed to adult viewers are also the TV programs the primary school children are most often interested in viewing. Teachers presume that childrens` computer use is mainly oriented to communication and playing. Focus group discussion with teachers also led to the assumption that various social networking sites are not just leisure time activity for children, but have become an important social world for them. From the conversations with teachers occurred, that the implications of childrens` media use can also be seen in the everyday school settings. Implications of media use can be seen mostly in childrens` games and phraseology. As positive implications, teachers see kids imitating various television shows or competition-shows in their games. Teachers consider these kind of games positive, as they assume that kids learn through imitating. Teachers consider violent behavior and foul-language as negative implications from the media use. Furthermore, teachers believe that multi-tasking may cause troubles in paying attention and concentrating. Primary school teachers do not think they have a notable role in shaping childrens` media habits. Teachers use media willingly in lessons, but usually with the wrong purpose in mind. Teachers use media to make lessons more attractive and interesting, not to teach children how to use media critically. On the other hand, teachers believe that parents have a considerable role in guiding childrens` media use. However, teachers are in opinion that parents mediate childrens` media use mainly through restrictive mediation way, supervising mainly the time spent in front of the computer or TV. On lesser occasions, parents try to keep child away from possibly harmful content. Teachers consider, that in addition to parents, childrens` media use is also mediated by peers, as teachers had noted that it is very important for children to use the same kind of media as their peers use. Due to the limited sample of this paper, it is not possible to make an overall conclusions about childrens` media use habits. Although, it can be seen from the teachers point of view, that changes in kids media use habits run along with changes in media and mediums. In the time of continuous interactive media flow, it is comprehensible that childrens` media use habits are also becoming more interactive. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind, that although children are very active media users, they still may not understand everything they witness. That is way, it is important that child would have someone, a parent or a teacher, who would explain media content and develop his/hers media literacy skills. In the future, it would be interesting to study more thoroughly childrens` use of social networking sites, especially how their relations format and develop in online settings. The latter would be interesting as the research at hand shows, that primary school teachers have perceived that children often dispute and make up in online platforms.
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