Panel E.05 — Mediology of education

Convenors Alessio Ceccherelli (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy); Elisabetta Gola (University of Cagliari, Italy); Emiliano Ilardi (University of Cagliari, Italy)

Keywords medium, teaching practices, mediation, imaginary


We can observe educational and didactic issues from many perspectives. The one attributable to mediology is often – if not always – missing (McLuhan, McLuhan 1988; Debray 1999). It is inconsistent when we consider how increasingly central the topic of media education (Masterman 1985) is in a highly mediatised society (Hepp 2020). Nevertheless, even about mediatisation and media education, there is a tendency to elude the mediological point of view; a point of view that highlights how educational practices are closely linked to the space and time in which they take place, to how the body moves in space and interacts with other bodies, to the technologies that enable the context in which learning and teaching take place (Rivoltella, Rossi 2019), to the languages used to define the educational relationship.

It is a holistic, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach, often of long duration, offering a conceptual framework in which media are not reducible only to tools to be used or educated. Mediology interprets media as environments that make didactic and educational mediation possible (Maragliano, Pireddu 2014), both between reality and its representations and between subjects (teacher and learners) and objects (the disciplinary contents). Environments in which a continuous – not only didactic (Grusin 2017) – mediation takes shape, where the bodies of those who teach and those who learn interact through technologies in specific spatiotemporal contexts (Lave, Wenger 1991). In these contexts, we can also read teaching and educational practices as power relations, which refer to specific (educational, cultural, ideological) imaginaries. As such, practices can give rise to dynamics of social (in)equality deriving from design, methodological, evaluative, communicative, and epistemological choices, capable of turning on or off some modes of relationship and not others. What is the degree of awareness of these often implicit dynamics? What role does the imaginary of reference play in stimulating these dynamics? To what extent do media environments act on them? What is, for example, the relationship between educational systems, their presence or absence in networked environments and social inequality?


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