New Literacies Development Programme
Uudet lukutaidot (‘New literacies’) national development programme is aimed to strengthen media literacy, digital competence and programming skills of children and young people in early childhood education and care (ECEC), and in pre-primary and basic education. The programme runs between 2020 and 2023 and it is part of the wider Right to Learn development programme (2020–2023) of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
KAVI is responsible for developing media literacy and programming skills work strands of the programme while Finnish National Agency for Education (OPH) is responsible for digital competence. As a part of the programme’s implementation, local development projects are conducted across the country in ECEC, pre-primary education and basic education.
With more than 13 million euros funding by the ministry, New Literacies has been the most significant single media education investment in Finland.
The core outcomes of the project are competence descriptions for media literacy, programming skills and digital competence. In basic education, they describe the pupils’ good and advanced competence after certain grade groups. In ECEC and pre-primary education, they describe good pedagogical practice. The descriptions concretize the goals in pedagogy and learning according to the national core curricula for ECEC, pre-primary education and basic education. The aim is to promote equity when teaching these skills and competences to children and young people.
The descriptions are intended to be support material for planning and implementing teaching, learning resource making and in drawing up and updating the local curricula. They have been drawn up by the governmental agencies together with teachers and other experts, and they are tested and developed during the programme. The descriptions are published in Finnish, Swedish, English, and three different Sami languages.
Pedagogical resources such as guidebooks, pedagogical models, examples and tips are produced and disseminated to support teaching and learning in accordance with the descriptions. Resources are available in six languages (Finnish, Swedish, English, and three different Sami languages). All the educational materials produced by administrative agencies and local projects can be found from Library of Open Educational Resources. Media literacy and programming competence resources are also available on KAVI’s Media Literacy School web page.
The funding for the programme was divided in two different categories: 1) project funds for administrative agencies and 2) special grants for municipalities or other educational service providers.
1) Each three themes were funded with one million euros for 2020-2022, including staff costs and operational expenses.
2) First, in 2021-2022, 46 municipalities or other service providers were granted for almost 2 million euros for piloting the outcomes of the programme. Finally, in 2022 a total of 9 million euros were distributed for 112 municipalities or service providers responsible for early childhood education, pre-primary education, and basic education for implementing the results of the New Literacies programme.