Learning Is a Two-Way Street: Participation in Communication and Education | Topics | DW | 02.03.2012
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Learning Is a Two-Way Street: Participation in Communication and Education

BrightSpark Education offers long-distance tutoring via the internet. This young UK company outsources math tuition for 7-16 year-olds to graduates recruited and trained in India. Source: Nina Potts

25 June, 4:00 p.m., Pumpenhaus
Hosted by
Commonwealth of Learning

As stewards of mass communication resources, media organizations have a key role in addressing (not just covering) citizen rights, including the right to education. Communities across the world, particularly in developing areas, have urgent needs for both formal education and non-formal learning. Traditional approaches to education are challenged by the sheer scale of learning needs - from vocational skills to maternal and child health - and are hindered by conventional one-way and didactic approaches.

As the reach of both new and conventional media continues to expand, so does the media's potential to contribute substantially to meeting international education and development goals, e.g. Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Are media playing this role? Given the number of countries likely to miss their EFA and MDG targets, the role of media in education and learning should be in sharper focus. Is it? It is not only the scale of learning enabled by mass media that is critical to its educational mission: It is in the media's ability to engage audiences in learning processes that we find its great potential for participatory and constructivist learning, education that results from dialogue among stakeholders and the collaborative building of understanding and knowledge. Are media embracing this potential?

Using experiences from Africa and Latin America as a starting point, this session intends to offer insights into the potential and pitfalls of participatory communication to address the challenge of education for all. The workshop will explore a series of questions: What is meant by participation and how is it achieved in practice? Is it effective? What are the tradeoffs between participation and scale? What are the opportunities presented by community radio on the one hand and social media on the other?


Malik, Kanchan K.
Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, India

Perkins, Kevin
Executive Director, Farm Radio International, Ottawa, Canada

Pringle Ian (Moderator)
Specialist in Participatory Communication and Community Media, Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada

Simbi, Charles
Head of Programs, Story Workshop Educational Trust, Malawi

Valdés, Mónica
Trainer Director, World Association of Community Broadcasters Latin America and the Caribbean, Colombia