Clarisse Pessôa: new PhD in Communication Sciences

The doctoral exams in Communication Sciences by Clarisse Pessôa were held on December 15 (2:30 p.m.), in the ICS (Social Sciences Institute) Sala de Atos of the University of Minho, in Braga. The thesis is supervised by Sara Pereira (University of Minho), and is entitled “Media education in school context: action research with elementary school children”.

According to the new PhD, nowadays there is a reality in which children’s routines “are increasingly populated by the media, which are configured as important agents in the construction and mediation of their daily personal and social relations”. There are studies that conclude that this reality presupposes a range of opportunities for those who are able to take advantage, and others that indicate potential risks associated with media usage. In this sense, Clarisse Pessôa underlines the importance of promoting the development of skills “that allow children to be critical actors towards media, but also active participants and creative media producers, is highlighted”, being that the school institution plays a major role in Media Education, “especially if we take into consideration that the media are also a source of learning”. However, the task of fostering media literacy in school contexts has presented constant challenges for the agents involved. It is in this sense that the present research aims to understand the ways in which Media Education can be integrated into the formal contexts of learning, so as to contribute to the development of media skills among children.
According to the action-research methodology, the empirical study was conducted in a school in Braga District during the academic year 2014/2015, weekly, in two classes of primary school, under the discipline of Education for Citizenship.
The panel of examiners was chaired by Manuel Pinto, Full Professor at UMinho’s Communication Sciences Department (Institute of Social Sciences) and CECS Director, representing UMinho’s dean, and was composed of the following members:

– Helena Pires, Lecturer at UMinho’s Communication Sciences Department (Institute of Social Sciences), and CECS investigator;

– Armanda Matos (Lecturer at Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra [Faculty of Psicology ans Education Sciences of University of Coimbra];

– Paula Lopes (Lecturer of Communication Sciences Department at Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa [Autonomous University of Lisbon]);

– Nelson Zagalo (Senior Lecturer at Departamento de Comunicação e Arte da Universidade de Aveiro [Senior Lecturer at Communication and Art of University of Aveiro])

– Sara Pereira Senior Lecturer at UMinho’s Communication Sciences Department (Institute of Social Sciences), and CECS investigator