Some of the papers collected here represent fairly recent work in which I have tried to provide overviews - historical, institutional or theoretical, and sometimes all three - of media education in the UK. However the first paper is one I gave many years ago and reflects the issues of that time. Many of these papers were written for foreign audiences so include rather more explanation of UK customs and practices than some might expect. They are grouped thematically rather than chronologically, and you will find some overlaps between them. My central theme is that, rather than use the neologism "media literacy", we should simply expand our notions of what it is to be literate. Click here for a full list of my publications.
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history | current overviews | children's media | international | literacy
Presentation to the
National Association of Teachers of English conference, April 1993. I wrote it hastily that morning as I travelled by train and plane from Dundee to Brighton, snatching at what I saw, heard and read as I went, and building it into the mix. The result is a passionate and not entirely coherent account of "national culture" and an attack on the iniquities of the Tory Government. It is more personal, and in many ways more strongly felt, than the papers that follow.
Whatever Next? Media Learning 1972 and 2008
In this keynote presentation to the BFI's Media Studies Conference in July 2006 I tried to trace the links between the first formal, publicly funded film course for young people which started in the National Film Theatre in 1972, and the issues currently facing media teachers. According to the evaluations afterwards, about half the audience couldn't see the point of such an exercise, while the other half thought it was great. Download pdf and decide for yourself.
The Development of Media Education in England: A Personal View
In 2005 I was asked to write a history of media education in England for US audiences but didn't have the time or the energy to do the massive amount of research that would require, so instead presented this very personal account: snapshots of what seemed to me key moments from the 1970s onwards, and a review of the current scene. Published in the Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts, vol ii, by James Flood, Shirley Brice Heath and Diane Lapp, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007.
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Media Education in the UK
Another weighty chapter, this time for the Spanish journal Revista Comunicar, which published a special report on media education in Europe (vol XV, no 28, March 2007). This does attempt a proper overview, for foreign audiences, of what gets taught, to whom, and by whom, under the heading of "media education" in the UK. Extensive footnotes (for once) and links to key agencies in the field.
Education for Media Literacy in the UK
I was asked to provide this overview for a meeting of education ministry staff in the Arab states in 2010. It attempts to give a realistic account of provision and policy, based on observable evidence. When read alongside more anecdotal accounts from the UK and elsewhere, it can be interpreted as offering a rather pessimistic view; in fact I am well aware that in many respects media education in the UK is still well ahead of that in most other countries, in terms of established curricula and numbers involved. This doesn't mean that there is not plenty of room for improvement.
Teacher Training for Media Education in the UK
Again for foreign audiences, this is an explanation of the teacher training system in England, how it fits into the national education system and the extent to which training for media teaching is available. Written for the Austrian journal Medienimpulse, no 59, March 2007.
Making Movies Matter: Seven Years On
In 1999 the report of the Film Education Working Group, Making Movies Matter, was widely praised as an important step forward in the development of policy about moving image media literacy. By 2006 the picture was not quite as rosy as one might have hoped. This paper, this time very much for a UK audience, explains why.
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Expanding Cultural Horizons: The Role of Education
Presentation at the International Film Parliament, London, November 2005, making the case for the importance of non-mainstream film for children. As the BFI developed classroom resources for primary children based on very powerful non-mainstream short films (mostly not made for children originally) I became very keen on the idea that media educators have as much responsibility to widen children's cultural horizons as any other arts educators.
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Prima Convenzionale sulla Media Education in Italia
Because I have family living in Italy I'm always ready to take up invitations from Italian organisations. I made this presentation on media education in the UK, in dreadfully-pronounced Italian, at the first national convention on media education in Italy, at Bellaria-Igea Marina near Rimini in April 2002.
Media Education Around the World: Three Notes of Caution
This five-minute presentation was part of the UK's contribution to the National Telemedia Council's international online debate on 7th November 2007. I sought to temper the evangelistic enthusiasm of some US colleagues with three hard questions about any media education: "is anybody learning anything?" "is it sustainable?" and "who's paying?"
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Being Literate: Functional Skill or Cultural Participation?
Japanese audiences being a lot more patient than Western ones, this is an extensive account of media education as part of literacy, given to a conference at Osaka Kyoiku University on 4th December 2004.
Literacy and the Media
This is a much shorter version of the ideas about literacy in the Osaka paper, which was written for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's online "futures" debate in 2004.
Literacy in Time and Space
I'm exasperated by much of the current debate about technologies and literacy, which seem to be mired in instrumental uses of technology rather than in thinking about the kinds of content and practices that the technologies may be enabling. This paper, presented at the UKLA's Reframing Literacy conference in November 2008, is also published in the first issue of PoV, the Media Education Association's journal. It argues for more thought about texts, less excitement about technologies, and for a new way of defining the literacy skills needed to interpret and create the different kinds of text now available to us.
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COMPLETE LIST OF PUBLICATIONS
Primary Media Education: a Curriculum Statement BFI 1989 - editor
Teaching English in the National Curriculum: Media Education Hodder and Stoughton 1991
New Directions: Media Education Worldwide/L'Education aux médias dans le monde: nouvelles orientations BFI/CLEMI/UNESCO 1992 - editor with Evelyne Bevort and Josiane Savino
Report of the Commission of Inquiry into English BFI 1994 - editor
In Front of the Children: children's audio-visual culture BFI 1995 - editor with David Buckingham
Making Movies Matter: Report of the Film Education Working Group BFI 1999 - editor and co-author*
Moving Images in the Classroom: a guide for secondary teachers using film and television BFI 2000 - editor and co-author*
Look Again! A Teaching Guide to using film and television with three- to-eleven-year-olds BFI/DfES 2003 – editor and co-author*
* available online at www.bfi.org.uk/education
Teaching Media in Primary Schools Sage 2010 - editor
Reading Pictures BFI 1981
Selling Pictures BFI 1983 - editor
Starters: Teaching TV Title Sequences BFI 1983 - editor
Picture Stories: starting points for media education in the Primary School BFI 1986 - editor
Criminal Records: teaching TV crime series BFI 1988 – editor
Media Education: An Introduction (teacher training pack) BFI/OU – editor
Screening Middlemarch BBC/BFI 1994 – with Christine James
Switch On! Ofcom 2010 - with Marion Janner
Animagine Film and Video Workshop/BFI 2011 - with Simon Oatley
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
'The Myth of Transparency' Screen Education 10/11 (Spring/summer 1974)
'You saw all the Sweat: Analysis of Classroom Discussion Through Tape Transcript' Screen Education 15 (Summer 1975) - with Danny Padmore and Neil Galbraith
'Regan and Carter, Kojak and Crocker, Batman and Robin?' Screen Education 20 (Autumn 1976)
'Real Entertainment: The Iranian Embassy Siege' Screen Education 37 (Winter 1980/1) - with Richard Paterson
'Teaching Power' The English Magazine 1983
'Teaching the Television Generation' The Listener 17th Jan 1985
'Making Sense for Whom?' (review) Screen vol 27 no 5 (October
'They Changed the Picture in the Middle of the Fight: New Kinds of Literacy' in Language and Literacy in the Primary School, eds Margaret Meek and Colin Mills, Falmer Press 1988
'The Politics of Media Education' - paper presented to BFI Easter School, 1989; reprinted in Alvarado and Boyd-Barrett, eds, Media Education: An Introduction (BFI/OU 1992)
'What Would Lord Reith Have Said?' Spectrum no 9, Spring 1993
'From Cultural Cleansing to a Common Curriculum' English and Media Magazine Summer 1993
'Teaching for Tomorrow' Public Policy Review October 1993 (with Giselle Dye)
'La Enseñanza de los Medios de Comunicación en la Enseñanza Primaria y Secundaria' in La Revolución de los Medios Audiovisuales, ed. Roberto Aparici, Madrid, Ediciones de la Torre,1993
'L'Education aux Médias dans le Débat sur les Programmes Scolaires en Angleterre' in 'Education et Médias', Mediaspouvoirs no 35, 3eme timestre 1994
'Screening Middlemarch: the Pack of the Film of the Book' English and Media Magazine, Autumn 1994 (with Christine James).
'An Agenda for the Second Phase of Media Literacy Development' in Media Literacy in the Information Age, (Information and Behavior, vol. 6) ed. Robert Kubey, New Brunswick, Transaction Press, 1997
'Why Media Studies Matters' in Formations ed. Dan Fleming, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2001
‘The Development of Media Education in England: A Personal View’ in Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts, vol ii, eds James Flood, Shirley Brice Heath and Diane Lapp, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007
‘Media Education in the UK’ in Revista Comunicar, vol XV, no 28, March 2007
‘Teacher Training for Media Education in the UK’ in Medienimpulse, no 59, March 2007
‘Media Education: International Strategies’
- both in in Empowerment through Media Education eds Ulla Carlsson, Samy Tayie, Genevieve Jacquinot-Delaunay and Jose Manuel Perez Tornero, The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media, 2008
'Towards a Manifesto for Media Education: The Entitlement Project' (Spring 2011) at
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