Promoting Independent Learning in the Primary Classroom

Promoting Independent Learning in the Primary Classroom

Promoting Independent Learning in the Primary Classroom

Promoting Independent Learning in the Primary Classroom

Synopsis

• What is the relationship of popular cinema to the concept of 'modernity'?

• What now are the key areas of debate which focus the study of cinema and its audiences?

• How can we understand the relationship of cinema to both the pleasures of consumerism and the inequalities addressed by critical politics?

Cinema and Cultural Modernity carves a lucid path through the central debates of film and cinema studies and explores these in their social and political contexts. The book includes histories of the ways in which we view Hollywood's global dominance, up to the development of late modernity and the declaration of 'postmodernity'. In an accessible fashion, it discusses changing theorizations of the economics, audiences, and fascinations of cinema, addressing concepts such as agency, negotiation and identification, and global 'popularity' within contemporary cultures of celebrity, consumption and the visual. Gill Branston outlines the need for cinema study that is both sensitive to the formal 'textiness' of films, but also less anxious about arguing for its position within broad agendas of representation. At the same time, the author links such areas to both the pleasures of consumption, which cinema so often evokes and embodies, and to the need for a new, critical politics to address the persistent inequalities of modernity, inequalities which still fuel lively interest in questions of representation. The result is an incisive text for undergraduate courses and an essential reference for researchers.

Excerpt

Glenn has taught across the age range in different primary
schools for the last 15 years, specializing in art. in that time,
he has had to make many adjustments in his thinking. The
emphasis now appears to have shifted significantly from
considering the learning needs of children as paramount, to
'delivering' a curriculum over which he feels little ownership
and about which he feels even less real enthusiasm! The
National Curriculum, with its individual subjects and language
of 'teaching', not to mention an impending Office for Standards
in Education (Ofsted) inspection, has shaken his confidence
somewhat in his own understanding of what primary education
is all about. It has also meant that he feels he is doing most of
the learning, rather than the children – all those detailed plans
and topic packs for individual subjects which teachers have
been developing within the school seem to Glenn to leave
little for children to actually do except explore the occasional
artefact and fill in work sheets.

Yet he knows that he enjoys the 'buzz' of teaching, revels in
being part of children's progress and achievements, delights in
those rare times when he can indulge in art activities with
children, is appreciated by parents and colleagues for the
quality of his work and, generally, still finds his real heart lies
in being an educator and doing something worthwhile. His
constant question to himself is 'How can I work with children
in ways I feel and know are appropriate and yet meet the
outside demands made on me?'

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