MEDIENBILDUNG (German Media Education)

by Winfried Marotzki and Benjamin Jörissen

There is no general knowledge

Structural media education (Medienbildung) deals with the analysis and design of media in the context of social structures. The theory does not consider media in isolation but in relation to the social, cultural, and political conditions in which they operate. It views media as one of the most important factors in the social orientation of individuals and their self- and world-relations.

A central assumption of media education is that it should not only convey individual skills in dealing with media but also consider societal structures and power relations. Therefore, media education should not only impart technical skills but also promote critical thinking, reflection, and social responsibility.

The use and application of media articulation forms allow for the handling of the unknown and the plurality of society, which many people do not experience in their everyday lives. Thus, media such as films and video games have the potential to show people worlds and emotions they would not otherwise encounter. This can lead to educational processes that positively influence individuals‘ self-perception and worldview in a sustainable way.

There is a need to structurally anchor media education by creating institutional framework conditions that enable comprehensive media education. This includes integrating media education into school curricula, promoting media literacy among teachers, and fostering collaboration among various stakeholders such as schools, parents, and media producers.

Furthermore, media education calls for a critical examination of the societal impact of media. It is not only about consuming or producing media but also about critically reflecting on media content, structures, and effects. Media education aims to develop a conscious and reflective relationship with media and enable active and responsible engagement with it.

Overall, Winfried Marotzki’s structural media education aims to understand media education as a societal task and create the structural conditions for comprehensive and critical media literacy.


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