Sign up to the future of Media and Film Studies!

Jenny Grahame, EMC’s media consultant, calls for responses to the forthcoming DfE/Ofqual consultation.

Just what is it that constitutes a subject as appropriate for examination at GCSE or A Level? Is it the intellectual contribution it has made to contemporary letters and culture, or its consonance with the economic well-being of society? Is it the relevance of its body of skills and knowledge, its longevity or its adaptability to the 21st Century workplace? Or is it about supply and demand, the requirements of Higher Education, or the ease with which it can be assessed or administrated?

These are not rhetorical questions. Coming your way soon will be an online DfE/Ofqual consultation on this very topic, to which we hope you will respond.

You may be aware that in the latest round of curriculum overhauls, approval has been given to the revision of a wide range of subjects for first teaching at GCSE and A Level in 2015 and 2016.

However, so far, Media and Film Studies have not been scheduled for revision at either GCSE or A Level. The good news is that for the foreseeable future, or until 2017, teaching will continue unchanged. The less good news is that until there is a date for their revision, the futures of Media and Film Studies are uncertain.

The Media Education Association, which represents media educators in schools and colleges, is keen to ensure that Film and Media Studies will be included in the list of approved GCSE and GCE specifications for 2017, at a time when they are more important than ever to the development of informed and critical citizens and to the creative economy.

Click here for a link which provides some background context both to the consultation, and its particular significance to Media and Film Studies.

EMC would like to encourage as many English and Media teachers as possible to contribute positively to the forthcoming DfE consultation – and to stand by with support prepared in readiness for what might be a modest ‘blink-or-you’ll-miss-it’   opportunity to respond. MEA has prepared a one-page position paper summarising the key points of evidence you might wish to refer to in your response, and is planning a delegation to DfE to support the case for Film and Media as GCSE/ A Level subjects. You can find a summary here.

By registering with MEA’s mailing list, you’ll be sent regular updates on the situation, with some suggestions for points to raise and further opportunities to participate in any forthcoming campaign or action. EMC will be right behind you.

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One thought on “Sign up to the future of Media and Film Studies!

  1. As I commented on Michelle Cannon’s tweet on the same subject last week, I think it is reprehensible that any subject which seeks to interrogate ideology or support the development of critical thinking in response to the multimodal world we live in … is invisible and no longer even seen as worthy of attack! Media and Film Studies obviously our concern here but Sociology and Cultural Studies also at risk. The ongoing educational debate I am witnessing is entirely centred on pedagogy and the reliability of its research base for evidencing impact ie Cognitive Science/ Direct Instruction vs Constructivism/ Group Work : Willingham vs Vygotsky. The majority of the very vocal pundits for the former (including R and D directors for Ark Academies and Teach First) reference the delivery of ‘fundamental knowledge’ with no irony at all. Because it obviously exists you know, this culturally neutral, legacy repository of really important stuff. The anxiety about formal qualifications in Media entirely echoes the foundations we see already being built in schools. Within five years there will be no expectation that a child at school will ‘learn’ about media at all as part of their mainstream experience. The new NC only refers to media in terms of giving us permission to show some films to help understand challenging texts in English. It will be up to skilful and committed colleagues to find spaces in their curriculum to deliver more than this. So in ten years, where will the new colleagues come from who will have the confidence and the enthusiasm to ensure wider entitlements? Why would anyone choose to do Media Studies as a qualification in this context? Never has it been so important to speak up.

    Please can you tweet a link to this post so I can keep reminding people in other networks? Media is totally invisible in the corner of the twittersphere I am colonising. I spent last week trying to raise the profile of EAL (another elephant in the room of this bright new world) so feel a new imperative coming on. Maybe even (another) teacher blog! You wouldn’t think there could possibly be room for another would you? If only.

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