Teaching the Media

Teaching the Media

Teaching the Media

Teaching the Media

Excerpt

This book is organised around a number of simple questions. They are questions to which all teachers, from primary to post-school, will need to have answers if they are to teach about the media effectively. Why teach about the media? (Chapter One). How can we best go about it? What kind of conceptual framework will help us make sense of the field? (Chapter Two). Upon what kind of assumptions has media education been based in the past, and why has it been less than conspicuously successful? (Chapter Three).

Chapters Four to Seven are the core of the book and describe in some detail how the conceptual framework outlined in Chapter Two might be developed in the classroom. Chapter Four asks why media texts are as they are and looks at a number of important interacting determinants of media texts. This is a lengthy chapter, much of which is intended to be a handy reference guide. Since it has been necessary to cover a great deal of ground, to provide resumés of a large number of arguments, and to pack in a good deal of information, first-time readers are advised to skim this chapter judiciously wherever they feel it to be necessary.

Chapter Five asks how the media achieve their effects, and explores their wide range of rhetorical strategies. Chapter Six tackles the thorny question of how to teach about ideology, whilst Chapter Seven examines an area traditionally neglected by media education, that of the complex interactions which exist between texts and audiences. Finally, Chapter Eight asks how media education might best be developed as a lifelong, school and community-based process.

Teachers coming to this book in the expectation that it will primarily offer them a series of lesson plans, ideas on what to do on Monday morning, descriptions of the minutiae of classroom organisation, or even a linear developmental model for media education, may be disappointed. There are, I hope, in these pages, enough concrete suggestions and ideas for innovative classroom practice to satisfy the most pragmatic media teacher. But Teaching the Media is not Son of Teaching about Television. It attempts to do something quite different and, in the long term, I hope, more important. It seeks to move towards the delineation of a number of

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