Today’s children and adolescents grow up in a world where computers, tablets and smartphones are self-evident. This offers them important opportunities in terms of entertainment, education, communication and cultural development, but there are also risks for their well-being, such as game addiction, online bullying behavior, a distorted self-image, and poorer learning performance. In order to ensure that children can fully benefit from the opportunities and are less sensitive to the risks that media entails, media literacy education is indispensible.
This research project aims to investigate how media literacy education programs can be developed in order to be effective in helping children to deal with media in a more autonomous, conscious and critical manner. In doing so, the project adopts a media empowerment approach. This approach is based on theoretical insights from the field of persuasive communication and social and developmental psychology, and seeks to explain how children can become more in control over the influence that media have on their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Read more about the media empowerment approach.
A subproject of this research project is the Media Empowerment Monitor. The aim of this subproject is to develop a user-friendly, valid and reliable measurement tool that can be used in the classroom to investigate the effectiveness of the Nationaal Media Paspoort, a school-based intervention program aimed to increase the media empowerment of 4-12 year-old children.