New Literacies Programme
The New Literacies Programme aims to strengthen children’s and young people’s media literacy, competence in information and communications technology (ICT), and programming skills in early childhood education and care, pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education.
In autumn 2020, the Ministry of Education and Culture launched the New Literacies Programme for 2020-2023, which is part of the Ministry’s wider Right to Learn programme.
In spring 2021, the programme published descriptions of targeted competence in ICT, media literacy and programming skills. The descriptions of competence are based on the national core curricula for early childhood education and care and those for pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education. The National Audiovisual Institute and the Finnish National Agency for Education are jointly responsible for developing the descriptions.
Descriptions of good and advanced competence were produced for each year class in primary and lower secondary education. Descriptions of good pedagogical practices were prepared for early childhood education and care and for pre-primary education. The descriptions promote the realisation of equity when teaching children and young people digital skills and competence in the whole of Finland.
The descriptions serve as support material, building on the core curriculum for early childhood education and care and on the core curricula for primary and lower secondary education. They are not binding; instead, their purpose is to support teachers in their work in implementing the curricula for early childhood education and care and in primary and lower secondary education as well as for use in the development of local curricula.
Using competence descriptions
The Ministry of Education and Culture awarded a special grant for 46 development projects in spring 2021. The projects will pilot competence descriptions in 2021-2022. Discretionary government grants were awarded to a total of 22 providers of early childhood education and care and to 24 providers of pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education.
Between 2021 and 2022 the programme will produce Creative Commons-licensed case contents and training based on competence descriptions to support early childhood education and care and teaching. The learning materials generated in the programme will be published in the Library of Open Educational Resources and will be compiled on the www.uudetlukutaidot.fi website.
Guiding and directing the programme
To implement the programme, the project groups on media literacy and on information and communication technology, which played a key role in the preparing and implementing the programme, were convened in autumn 2020. Approximately ten experts from different parts of Finland participated in each project group. In addition, regional experts, education providers, and providers and producers of early childhood education and care were contacted when the descriptions were being drawn up, as well as children and young people.
A steering group appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture guides and directs the programme.