Educating for democracy?: The role of media and information literacy education for pupils in Swedish compulsory school

Year of production: 2020

Image is illustrative. By charley pangus on Unsplash.

This paper reports a study of pupils’ experiences of media and information literacy education in five Swedish schools by answering the following overarching question, what roles do the teaching of information seeking and critical assessment of information play for pupils in their school-work as well as in their everyday life? Pupils in ninth grade were asked to fill in a questionnaire regarding their use of digital technology as well as their thoughts on media and information literacy education. The study shows that many pupils are knowledgeable about the terms of production pertaining to content in most online sources they mention. Still, infrastructural meaning-making that take into consideration issues of personalization, data integrity and surveillance, are largely lacking. The study also shows that the school’s teaching is central to the pupils’ development of a critical stance towards the information that they encounter online. These findings underline the importance of how schools choose to treat media and information literacy education. It is concerning then that infrastructural meaning-making is quite absent in the pupils’ responses.