Menis Theodoridis (1949-2021) was a film director specialized in the use of media in education. He has a double major B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. On behalf of different educational and cultural institutions he has designed and participated in several projects regarding the areas of Media Literacy and use of Media in Education, with partners from Greece and collaborating EU countries. He has designed educational material assisting the teaching of History in Primary School and educational material for the acquaintance of children and students with the means of cinematic expression. Member of the Central Committee for the “Melina Project; Education and Culture” (1995-2003) and Head of Media Education and Audiovisual Expression activities. Since 1984, he has been working as a film director in ERT (Greek National Broadcasting Television). As a member of Karpos (Center for Education and Intercultural Communication) he published educational texts for the media literacy training programme: European Media Literacy Standard for Youth Workers.
Crucial issues in a few words:
- The possible relationship between Film Education and Media Literacy activities:
In my experience, there is not a single Film Education concept which, at the same time, is not a Media Literacy concept as well. The two terms could be regarded as the two distinct but complementary sides of the same coin. Studying Film aesthetics (shots, camera angles, camera movements, editing etc.) is studying the language in order to express a message. Studying a film’s content or social views is no different than studying issues of representation in a film. Of course, in Film Education our focus is on film as a piece of art while in Media Literacy our focus is on film as a media text. Many people would even argue that Media analysis is a more “scientific” and “objective” way of looking at audiovisual texts, while in Film analysis we approach a film in a more subjective and intuitive way. The truth is that, in a context of Primary and Lower Secondary Education, both tools of analysis contribute to an audiovisual text’s understanding. In this sense, we may refer to all film and media education activities as Audiovisual Education activities. (M.T., March 2020)
Developing a proposal for the introduction of Audiovisual Education into the National Curriculum: This would imply the formulation of some minimum knowledge and experiences that would be addressed to all students throughout the compulsory level of national education, in contrast to the introduction of a special cinema elective to be chosen by interested students. In other words, each proposed audiovisual activity in the National Curriculum should be applicable even to the most remote communities with minimum audiovisual facilities and lack of specialized educators. Is such a vision realistic and possible? This is a challenge for all Film and Media educators. (M.T., March 2020)
- Can we conceive of Education for the Audiovisual Expression as a framework encouraging children to express their own thoughts and views using pictures and sounds in the form of audiovisual texts digitally communicated through social media? Perhaps introducing elementary projects of audiovisual expression such as “how to water a plant in four photos”, “my favorite corner in our home in 4-5 photos with commentary”, “our visit in the museum in 20 photos supported by commentary and recorded sounds”, “how is Evil Queen in Snowhite different/similar from Cruella Devil in 101 Dalmatians? explained in a three minute video”. This production of audiovisual language texts could also be integrated in all subjects of the general curriculum in small projects such as “how to explain Newton’s concept of gravity in a three minute video addressing to classmates and parents”, “produce a three minute video as an excerpt from an imaginary dialogue between Cromwell and another historic person of his time” etc.