Focus 2006

MED in Italy - UPS01-07-2006

Project: MED - Media Education Association, Italy
Date of foundation: 1996
Place: Rome
Province: UPS

I would like to tell you about an experience of media education (ME). It was in 1991, that is, at the beginning of ME activities promoted in some schools in Rome and Milan starting from what was already known of media education and media educators in Europe and America. Len Masterman was our Teacher (we have translated one of this media educator’s books: A scuola di media, La Scuola, Brescia 1997). We have also been in contact with other media education writers we have met in Canada (in particular, I recall John Pungente and Barry Duncan coordinators of the project: Media Literacy. Resources Guide, Toronto 1989), in England (Cary Bazalgette, the one in charge of the education department of the British Film Institute in London with his book: Media education, London 1991), in France (Jacques Gonnet, Professore at the Sorbonne and, at that time director of CLEMI of which we have translated: Educazione, formazione e media, Armando Editore, Roma 2001), etc.

Convinced of the proposals coming from the English and French-speaking world, I began to experiment, with the help of Prof. Pier Cesare Rivoltella (now Dean of Didactics at the Catholic University of Milan), with some ME courses in four upper primary schools in Rome and Milan. It was, as I have said, September 1991.

One principle was clear to me, over the years spent in the Faculty of Education at the Salesian University (and at the time as Dean I was setting up the new Institue for Social Communication at the same University): “a pedagogical theory is not credible until it has been verified in the field”. I would add: until it really gives rise to an authentic innovation in teaching practice. To put the experiment into action, I was inspired by the action-research model of Kurt Lewin (USA) re-shaped for Italy by Michael Pellerey and Cesare Scurati. The results of these first experiments were published in: R. Giannatelli and P.C. Rivoltella, Teleduchiamo, Elledici 1994.

The first experiences of media education together had much potential. The 28th February 1996 the ME pioneers in Italy founded the MED-Media education Association. The Association’s journal, “Intermed” and the site (where you can also download Intermed from) provide information on the developments and results obtained over these ten years, finishing, on 3 and 4 March, with the Congress “The wisdom of communicating” at the Sapienza University in Rome (the Acts were published in Autumn by Erickson Publishers, Trent). One of the aims achieved was the curriculum for media education for primary school First steps in media education, the first of a collection of media education items published by Erickson in Trent (it will be in the bookstores the beginning of September). The book offers a course that has been used for three years by around fifteen Italian schools and develops some 13 different ME topics: from photography, to video production, and from comics to video games and internet. A DVD comes with the book, with support materials for the curriculum.

Another very successful initiative of MED’s, has been the Summer School of ME atCorvara (Bolzano) already in its 15th year. At Corvara they have set up the “Italian media educators” group. The theme for the Summer School this year: “Report on media education” (Corvara, 8-16 July). As always the Summer School is seens as a place for encounter and exchange between scholars, professionals, teachers and educators, following a much appreciated style of conviviality and sharing of experiences and wisdom.

The Founder: Fr Roberto Giannatelli, SDB

Address: Media Education s.r.l.
via Cavriglia 8 -00139 Roma
Tel: 0974 827 101
Web site: