The effectiveness of reaching media practitioners through mainstream media training.
This training manual has been written for in-service and short-term situations. However, those of us from tertiary institutions who deal with the training of student journalists feel that there are valuable insights and examples contained within this tool kit that can be fruitfully added into our curricula.
We do feel that while our business is often to deal with the very basics of journalism and media, gender is one of those extremely important issues to mainstream even into the teaching of basic skills. But this takes planning and communication in advance of actually teaching courses and colleagues must be consulted and involved in any shift in curriculum.
This toolkit not only contains examples and ideas that lend themselves to incorporation into courses, but is also based on participatory teaching methods in which students can become engaged in the knowledge process. All of these are useful for tertiary teaching.
We feel that we should not take for granted that gender-sensitive teachers imparting basic skills will also impart by osmosis a gender-sensitivity in their students. Gender as a perspective must be made explicit and must be taught consistently through our courses and through the various levels: from basic reporting and skills acquisition right through to media specialisations (print, broadcast, new media etc) and into the theory.
Assessment is a critical component of formal training and if we want to understand the success of mainstreaming gender into courses we will have to also think about assessment techniques that evaluate not just skills but attitudes and mindsets. This manual points the way to useful techniques that help gauge attitudes and feelings about gender-related issues. We feel that it is an important addition to the tertiary teacher’s toolkit.
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