Researching Media Education in English

The Models of Media Education research project in England explored major issues about the aims and methods of media teaching among teachers of English. Its central research question was ‘What are teachers of English doing when they say they are doing Media Education at Key Stage 4 (age 14-16) in secondary schools?’ This article begins with a brief contextualisation of the current curriculum of media teaching within English. It then examines, through a detailed case study, the work of one teacher in the classroom and relates it to the wider picture in secondary schools. This is followed by a discussion of the project's general findings. It concludes that the study of media production and institutions is frequently avoided by teachers of English and that teaching methods often repress essential aspects of social learning in relation to the media, privileging limited teacher knowledge over young people's own cultural experience. Finally, it suggests a new focus for research in the future that will encompass these neglected learning areas, teaching methods and new media technologies.