The Relationship between the Teacher Candidates’ Level of Media Literacy and Participation Levels to Protest and Social Change

  •  Tugay Tutkun    
  •  Remzi Y. Kıncal    


The term active citizenship is defined as participation in civil society, community and/or political life, characterized by mutual respect and non-violence and in accordance with human rights and democracy within the European context (Hoskins & Mascherini, 2009). Promoting active citizenship is one of the European Commission’s strategies for increasing social cohesion and reducing the democratic deficit across European countries within the context of the wider Lisbon process. Developing citizen awareness, knowledge and skill level of democratic rights, sensitiveness to social issues and defense against negative impact of media messages are among these objectives. European Commission considers media literacy an extremely important factor for active citizenship in today's information society. Within the European context active citizenship is defined as the combination of four dimensions; (1) protest and social change, (2) community life, (3) representative democracy and (4) democratic values (Hoskins & Mascherini, 2009). Teachers’ perceptions of citizenship are among the frequently researched subjects in terms of both their effect on students’ perception of citizenship and as a citizen. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between teacher candidates’ level of media literacy and active citizenship, in terms of their participation level to protest and social change. Survey method is used to collect data in this casual comparative research. Sample of the study is 1101 freshman and senior teacher candidates studying in Faculty of Education at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University in the academic year of 2011-2012. The relationship between media literacy level and participation level to protest and social change is explored after controlling for the effect of socio-economic factors. It is explored that there is a significant relationship between media literacy level and participation level to protest and social change which is preserved after controlling for socio-economic factors. According to results, this study discusses how to handle digital and media literacy education in formal and informal settings in teacher education programs in relation to active citizenship.

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