The role of „Children’s University” in the development of media competence in primary school students

Sławomir Koziej (Poland)

The Polish education system does not offer a separate school subject dedicated to media competence. Media education is adopted within the curricula of various subjects and extracurricular activities. For many years, the system has been criticised by media education experts and perceived as requiring change. Skills related to the use of modern technologies can also be acquired outside of school with the support of other institutions, such as higher education facilities. One example may be Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce which has addressed the needs of school children for several years by conducting classes within the framework of Jan Kochanowski Children’s University. The present paper analysed the opportunities created by this type of educational programme and evaluated its effectiveness in terms of complementing school education. The data gathered from the survey, addressed to both participants (school age children) and their parents, was subjected to qualitative and quantitative analysis. The survey’s results reveal that the classes dedicated to the use of modern technologies within the framework of Children’s University play a significant role in improving the students’ media competence. Both the children and their parents point out to gaining new knowledge and skills related to the use of communication and information technologies. Furthermore, the classes encourage students to develop a critical attitude toward problems arising from the use of digital media.