This booklet is one of a series about the teaching of language, literacy and English to children and young people aged 3 to 19. The aim of the series is to inspire and inform debate about school strategy. The booklets draw on seminal studies and development work carried out over many years. The series is a co-publication between the United Kingdom Literacy Association and Owen Education, an independent school-improvement agency.
About this booklet
This booklet provides a brief overview of the development of media education in the United Kingdom, up to the point of the virtual excision of media education from the new National Curriculum for English in England. It presents theoretical perspectives to make a case for media education’s importance across the whole age range of mandatory education. It describes media education’s concerns with popular culture, with critical understanding of media institutions, texts and audiences, and with creativity. The booklet argues for a strong relationship between media education and English and drama, and for work which integrates these domains, rather than confining them in separate ‘boxes’. It presents a wide range of examples of media work in the classroom, drawn from real practice, and demonstrating what media education might look like across different media (newspapers, film, animation, television, advertising, video games, comic strips), and across the primary and secondary age range. Finally, the booklet offers a possible alternative media curriculum from 3 to 16: a recursive model, based around the ‘reading’, ‘writing’ and contextualising of media.
About the author
Andrew Burn is Professor of English, Media and Drama at the UCL Institute of Education. He has conducted a wide variety of research projects in media education, in collaboration with teachers, the British Film Institute and other organisations. He is the UK representative on the European Commission’s Media Literacy Expert group. Before entering higher education, he worked as a teacher of English, media and drama in comprehensive schools in Cambridgeshire. He directed the media programme in the first specialist media arts school in England, and has described this work in his book with James Durran, Media Literacy in Schools: Practice, Production, Progression.