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Media Pedagogy and Interdisciplinary Artistic Education
Analogies and Synergy Effects

Iwan Pasuchin, 2004

The following article unfolds the analogies in methods and goal settings between media pedagogy and artistic education in Germany and the reciprocal synergy effects. The conclusion gears towards the vision of a close cooperation between the two pedagogical fields in a future joint function. The perspective is limited to Germany (and German-speaking publications) due to the fact that media pedagogy there, contrary to Anglo-American countries, holds a very long tradition and for many decades various attempts have been pursued towards cooperation in the above-mentioned areas.
The central field of research evolves from the premise that in the present multi-media saturated world, a strict separation between artistic-pedagogic areas is becoming less possible, producing the effect that all creative fields (art, music, literature, dance, etc.) progressively become considered as one interdisciplinary entity .

1. A Comparison between the Historical Development of Media Pedagogy and Artistic Pedagogy in Germany

In comparing the development of media pedagogy and artistic pedagogy in Germany from the reform pedagogy until the early 1970s, numerous significant analogies are evident. In the critical phases of media pedagogy history, artistic pedagogy played a decisive role in the respective devel-opments. Numerous researchers (e.g. Hüther; Podehl 1997, 119; Tulodziecki 2000, 22; Kübler 1994, 60) claim that the origin of media pedagogy in the beginning of the 20th century (which dealt foremost with film media), was a result of the Art Education Movement (Kunsterziehungs-bewegung) within the reform pedagogy. Contrary to the so-called Bewahrpädagogik (Protection Pedagogy), which aimed at defending against a media offer which was classified as corrupt (and in part, exerted much influence until the end of the 60s), the Art Education Movement conveyed a direction toward good and valuable medium, in connection with education in art appreciation and judgement ability (Hüther; Podehl 1997, 119). An inseparable synthesis between media and aesthetic education is visible in the conceptions of the reputable teachers and researchers, referred to as the pioneers of media pedagogic. In the 1930s, one of these, Adolf Reichwein, using the research from Berthold Otto, developed the conception of Critical Visual Education (kritische Seherziehung), the goal of which was to enable students to observe and use media in a reflective manner, whereby the recipients were granted the ability to decode film contents. One of the working methods included experimenting and testing media production (mainly with the help from photographers) to obtain independent media design knowledge (cf. Schorb 1995, 29f; 1994, 162f).
Another significant point in the history of the two pedagogical fields was the reform discussion in art education in the early 1970s. According to Baacke, it gave an important incentive towards the final separation from the protective pedagogical tendencies within German media pedagogy (cf. Baacke 1995, 34ff; cf. Vollbrecht 2001, 46ff). The central point here was the conception of Visual Communication (visuelle Kommunikation) which granted optical mass media such as photography, film, television, magazines, advertisements, comics, etc. a significant role in art education, and thereby intensified the focus on media pedagogical issues (cf. Ehmer 1971, 7f). At the same time music pedagogy also initiated similar conceptions entitled Audio Perception Education (auditive Wahrnehmungserziehung) and Audio Communication (auditive Kommunikation) whereby the definition of art was quite broad and every form of music, including acoustic events was accepted as part of the curriculum (cf. Frisus et al. 1972, 0.9) the increase in employment possibilities of technical mediators in class played a central role within this conceptions (cf. Helmholz 1996, 31).
In the historical development, both fields reveal not only analogies but also sources of numerous mutual misunderstandings and prejudices. For example the conception of Visual Communication, based on ideology criticism (Ideologiekritik) of Adorno, Horkeimer etc., can be described as extremely anti artistic relating to the traditional art (such as painting, sculpture, etc.) One of the most significant representatives of this movement, Heino R. Moeller, even went so far as to demand the deliberate discrimination of art as an instrument of authority as the most important educational goal for lessons in art education (cf. Moeller 1971, 23). Due to the fact that these conceptions were closely involved with media pedagogical objectives, one of the consequences of the detachment in the subsequent artistic-pedagogic movements included a less consideration of media educational perspectives. As one of the results of this process adequately developed media pedagogical conceptions and didactic models exist neither in (visual) art pedagogy nor in music pedagogy up to now (cf. Kirschenmann 2003, 7; Münch 2003, 32).

2. Media Competence Discourse

The genesis of modern day German media pedagogy is Dieter Baackes 1973 augural dissertation entitled, Communication and Competence The Foundation of a Didactic of Communication and its Media (Kommunikation und Kompetenz Grundlegung einer Didaktik der Kommunikation und ihrer Medien) introducing his conception of Communicative Competence. Today, the term Media Competence (even though Baacke used the term only after 1996) is used by German media pedagogues referring to this publication (cf. e.g. Groeben 2002, 11; Fromme 2002, 158; Moser 2000, 213; Vollbrecht; Mädgefrau 1998, 267), hence the reason the conception of Communicative Competence will briefly be introduced. The basics of this conception (and that of the media competence discourse) allow the following superior competence conceptions classification: communicative, social, and action competence (kommunikative-, soziale- und Handlungskompetenz - cf. Groeben 2002, 11f).

2.1. Origins of the Media Competence Discourse

Baackes communicative approach, his Basic Axiom of Communicative Competence (Grundax-iom der kommunikativen Kompetenz) originated mainly from the theories of the linguist Chomsky. Chomskys main theory maintained that due to a universal system of rules which everyone is born with and need not learn, everyone has the potential to generate an infinite amount of sentences and hence express any amount of thoughts. Chomsky termed this the creative aspect of language use (according to Baacke 1973, 100). Subsequently, Baacke concludes that man is capable of using individual creativity and competence to generate new knowledge without pedagogic intervention - without depending on imitating foreign behaviour or external stimulation (cf. ibid, 100ff). Hence, Baacke demanded (long before the term constructivism gained importance in learning theory) a pedagogical understanding of learning as a mutual constructing process between teachers and students, whereby the usual hierarchy situation is lifted for symmetrical communication because only in this way can each participant develop their communicative competence (Baacke 1973, 332). This wording refers to the central meaning of the term competence in modern pedagogy: Regardless how problematic this term appears, it has the decisive advantage to suggest (if not to enforce) the utilization of related terms in language use (and comprehension) in pedagogical context, which correspond to the recent postulates of learning theory. Competence (in the sense of a natural ability that each person possesses or individually acquires) cannot be taught, nor can a person be raised to competency. Even publications which explicitly disassociate themselves from Chomskys competence understanding as an innate, universal ability, only speak about the promotion, improvement, and expansion of competence (cf. e.g. Hurrelmann 2002, 111).
For the social approach, Baacke proceeded from Habermas Interaction Theory. Habermas de-veloped his pragmatic communication theory often mentioned as authority free discourse (herr-schaftsfreier Diskurs) to prove the possibility of authority free communication as a prerequisite for the universal emancipation of man (cf. Habermas 1971, 101ff). Proceeding from the bond be-tween socialization and sociological theoretical perspectives, Habermas postulated that the structures of cognitive, social, and moral development can be derived from the general levels of communicative competence (Sutter; Charlton 2002, 134). This aspect of the conception of Communicative Competence results, at first glance, in a contradiction of two approaches: On the one hand, the radical democratic approach (cf. Baacke; Röll 1995, 16) the acknowledgement of the innate or rather socially acquired competences toward an independent lifestyle for each and every one and the effort to reach an authority free discourse between teacher and student; on the other hand, simultaneously the strong bond of the social and moral aspects with the cognitive aspects of media competence (cf. also Tulodziecki 1992, 59; Gapski 2001, 14). For media pedagogical practice, the consequences are that the ethic, democratic, and similar dimensions of communicative, respectively, media competence, which go beyond the basic skills and abilities of man for a personal life style plan, must not only be supported but also conveyed by intense pedagogical intervention and, accordingly, the learning process must be accompanied and directed by external ethic-moral factors. (Schorb 1997, 68) These two approaches are compatible, as Baacke continually stressed that media competence cannot be subjectively-individualistically diminished but must be looked upon as a planned objective of an ultra individual social level (cf. Baacke 1997, 27; 99) that means every person, regardless of his/her liberties, has a responsibility to society. This aspect is currently described as critical reflection (kritische Reflexivität) (cf. Schorb 1997, 67).
In the approach to action competence, Baacke commenced mainly from the action-oriented pedagogy based on the theories of John Dewey. Most important for Baacke was the activity aspect: An acting person has control over himself/herself and what occurs. Action is therefore intentional and in contrast to behaviour shows itself through a dimension of independence towards the situation (Baacke 1997, 55). Action is not understood as conduct within a predestined or social process adopted behavioural pattern, but implies a behavioural independence (Baacke 1973, 262). This makes it clear why the term emancipation took such a central position in Baackes augural dissertation (for example, the complete second half was entitled Communication: Competence and Emancipation - Kommunikation: Kompetenz und Emanzipation): Emancipation for Baacke strives for self realization of the individual: adapting someone elses authority as ones own. (ibid. 313) To Baacke, emancipation in a pedagogic context means not only teaching the student independence, but also to create the social preconditions which enables the self realization of the individual; therefore, education is always political (cf. 314). It is self-explanatory that such thought constructions lead to demand for a reform of the educational system (cf. 363). Baackes recommendations regarding this new pedagogy resemble the postulate of the current (radical) constructivistic learning theory: It is a definite decision for democratic educational structures; the autocratic management in the school should even be renounced, if one expects higher learning effectiveness regarding the subject (302). In the long run, people learn much better when they have the opportunity to deal freely and independently with tasks they choose themselves. (325)
The conception of Communicative Competence was summarized by Schorb et al. (1980, 622) into the following three components, which can also be combined with the superior competence conceptions (cf. Groeben 2002, 11f):

- - :

Superior conceptions: Components of the Communicative Competence conception (according to Schorb et al.)

Communicative competence. Communicative component:
Ability to an adequate and reflective experience managemebt and representation

Social competence. Analytical component:
Ability to reflect the blocking connections of the mass media and realize possibilities to overcome them.

Action competence. Creative component:
Ability to find alternatives with regard to the ruling communication structures and push through personal collective interests

2.2. Current Media Competence Discourse

The term Media Competence stems from the federal German education policy discourse of the 1980s. At that time fears settled in that the young working force was not qualified enough compared to other industrial nations and that they were competitively at a disadvantage. The business community demanded to shape up the youth for the working world by teaching them how to professionally deal with technical applications. The psychological dimensions of the learning process were neglected and social and political implications in the technology development were grossly ignored (cf. Ackermann 1992; Brehm-Klotz 1997; Schorb 1995, 51). For this reason, the media pedagogy struggled against accepting this terminology (cf. Binder 1992, 21). But by the mid 1990s, the term media competence was so deeply imbedded in the general vocabulary, that the academic media theory was compelled to execute a pedagogical turnaround (Gawert 1996, 2). In 1996, Baacke introduced his own differentiations to the pedagogical dimensions of media competency in his article Media Competence Network (Medienkompetenz als Netzwerk). He concluded his article with the following words: A concept is booming we should seize the opportunity. (Baacke 1996, 10)
The media pedagogical opportunity of this term was the possibility to take this concept and reinstall it into the original conception of Communicative Competence (as it was practically non-existent to the public) the description of this initial conception encompassed more than half of Baackes network-essay (1996, 4-8). The most important difference between the two conceptions is: Communicative Competence treated mainly general, day-to-day aspects of competence; Media Competence concentrates on the promotion of skills to master the media development (cf. ibid, 8; Schorb 1997, 65). For this reason Media Competence is an actualization and simultaneously an actual reduction of the conception of Communicative Competence. (Schorb 1997, 63)
The question, what has to be actually understood by the term media competence, leads to a vehement discourse in the German media pedagogy. Moser, for example, criticizes that Baackes opinions are too focussed on the old media and the ideologies from the 70s, rather than on new technology (chiefly, the computer). Consequently, Moser develops his own didactic model where he expresses the absolute importance of technological competence as a necessity to be able to han-dle media (from the remote control to computer programs) properly (Moser 2000, 215f). Accord-ingly, first and foremost media competence is the understanding of routine technical abilities and the corresponding fundamental knowledge as the basic qualifications in the information society (cf. Mandl; Reimann-Roithmeier 1997, 80). Media pedagogues, such as Bernd Schorb view with detachment theories of that kind because they believe that the world is so saturated with media (technology) that it is practically impossible for an individual to accumulate the necessary detailed knowledge (Schorb 1997, 66). In his opinion it is much more important to accumulate structural knowledge (Strukturwissen), in order to be able to cross-reference information, and orientation knowledge (Orientierungswissen) using historical, ethical, and political views and facts to evaluate the phenomena of information and communication technology (ibid.). Based on such postulates numerous media pedagogues, first and foremost Baacke (1996, 8), but also Aufenanger (2001, 119f), Tulodziecki (2000, 25f), and Pöttinger (2002, 88), stress the cognitive, social, ethical, and moral abilities, as most important in dealing with the media and demand to strongly pursue critical-reflective abilities in view of media constructed realities (cf. Schorb 1997, 76f). A third group of media pedagogues differentiate themselves from this stand point of media competence as being too rationalistically diminished and criticize the neglect of the emotional media competence components. (Groeben 2002, 17; cf. Luca 2001). In their opinion media pedagogy pays insufficient attention to aesthetic experiences beyond a discursive practice. (Mikos 2000, 2) Recently this leads to an increasing importance of aesthetic-based media pedagogical conceptions (Paus-Haase 2001, 91). On the other hand such approaches are already present in established media competence models. For example Baackes media competence model contains the dimension of creative media design that emphasizes aesthetic aspects. They are described as going-over-the-boundaries-of-routine-communication (1996, 8). Stefan Aufanger imparts his media competence model with an aesthetic dimension (2001, 120) and even Bernd Schorb stresses that creativity and fantasy are imperative in designing something innovative in order to overcome the codified rules of reality. (Schorb 1997, 71)
These diverse approaches to the term media competence need not be regarded as contradictory but can also be interpreted as differing facets of a concept especially valuable through its pedagogical versatility. Based on the conception of Communicative Competence and the superior competence concepts it is possible to summarize the presented dimensions of media competence and to formulate the objectives of media pedagogy as follows (compare also Pöttinger 2002, 88; 96):

Aspects of Media Competence
Objectives of Media Pedagogy

Promoting personal competences of each individual, to understand media contents, to express oneself coherently with help from media technology, and to use media productively for personal (day-to-day) interests;

Imparting ultra individual abilities to use media considering social, democratic, and ethical aspects and knowledge in relation to structures, formal designs, and possible effects resulting from media

Promoting personal competences of each individual, to understand media contents, to express oneself coherently with help from media technology, and to use media productively for personal (day-to-day) interests.

2.3. Pedagogical and Didactical Consequences of Media Competence Discourse

Principally, communicative competences are perceived as personal competences of each individual in association with media (technology). Basically, each individual possesses this user-know-how, and acquires this capability by causal demonstration and advising, and through learning-by-doing and learning-by-experience (Kübler 1999, 35). Consequently, a very momentous opening () in relation to informal teaching methods takes place in current media pedagogy (Fromme 2002, 166). Fromme also speaks of learning with new media within the education system as a possibility to broaden the learners self-organized, autodidactic learning. (ibid, 165) This does not conclude that media pedagogy can be reduced to offering information access for mediating basic communicative competences because independent learning in a hyper-media environment requires effective search, evaluation, and learning strategies (ibid). The pedagogy cannot leave students possessing weak strategy abilities alone with their learning requirements, questions, and problems (cf. Müller 2000, 29), but must develop methods to promote capabilities toward efficient self-control in the learning processes (cf. e.g. Ziegler et al. 2003 Self-regulated Learning and the Internet - Selbstreguliertes Lernen und Internet). On the other hand, it is a fact that people of all ages not only can, but also increasingly have to learn lifelong within multi-media educational environments. This opens a vast working field for media pedagogues because it is proven that only a few of the existing products in this area can be utilized efficiently for self-regulated learning, hence there is a great need for future development (cf. e.g. Astleitner 2002, 148 The Quality of Learning in the Internet - Qualität des Lernens im Internet; compare also Astleitner 2001).
As previously addressed, social competences are closely related to critical reflection which must be conveyed by intense pedagogical intervention. Apart from imparting information regarding complex historical, cultural, and social relationships and teaching of discursive abilities (defining, deducing, debating etc.), also collaborative learning forms (collective problem solving) and open learning environments (to increase the independence and responsibility of the student) are seen as concrete pedagogical possibilities to convey social competences not only in the classical form of teaching but also in a more or less virtual learning environments (cf. Astleitner 2002, 88; Tulodziecki 1997, 54). Regarding to social competences the pedagogues developing multi-media learning environments are confronted with a special challenge since many are of the opinion that the individualization of learning situations through media can lead to an estrangement of essential social learning processes (cf. Aufenanger 2001, 116; Brehm-Klotz 1997, 150).
The possibility to promote action competences is most likely to occur with the establishment of practice-oriented opportunities for integral creative learning experiences with the media. In practice, these leads to regarding the task of action-oriented media pedagogy primarily as creating possibilities to support and carry out creative media projects, subsequently, active (alternative creative) media work has developed not only into the most important option but as well into the ideal way [Königsweg] of media pedagogy (Kübler 2002, 176; cf. Thiele 1999, 63). This also ex-plains the above mentioned increased significance of aesthetic media pedagogy conceptions. In this point, media pedagogic and artistic education widely correspond because creative media work usually means nothing else than the production of medial or multi-medial art projects including primarily (video-) films, but also songs, performances and interactive CDs, DVD-ROMs, respectively, net projects. The topics are usually developed from an everyday situation, an event from the participants life or from a current political problem (cf. Baacke et al. 1999). In the recent past, regarding to media pedagogical projects the reflection aspect is increasingly stressed: With every newly acquired experience and piece of information, its relevance, placement, and context should become clear to the students in order to enable them to transform it into knowledge and results for their own actions (cf. Aufenanger 1999).
The singular aspects of media competence discourse can be assigned the following concrete Tasks of media pedagogy:

Competences Tasks of Media Pedagogy


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