Teaching Media Studies Part 1: Introduction
Aims and Objectives Aims To consider the ways in which meaning is presented by the media and how form, layout and presentation contribute to impact and persuasion To explore strategies for enabling pupils to consider the ways in which audiences and readers choose and respond to media Learning Outcomes: Be able to grasp basic theory underpinning media studies education Understand the position of media studies in the National Curriculum for English Evaluate a range of activities for teaching still images, with an emphasis on media languages, agency and representation Gain an initial understanding of approaches to teaching media studies within English at KS3 and KS4
Media studies in an area where we find a great diversity of experience amongst English students.What are your own experiences of media studies as either a learner or a teacher?
English Media Studies ? What is the relationship between media studies and English? Spend a few minutes noting down your ideas.
English Media Studies synergy between conceptual frameworks; critical analytic & literacy skills; narrative, genre & audience; talking about, reading, writing about & producing media texts literary, non-fiction & non-media texts? production techniques? institutions?
National Curriculum – English Where does media studies fit in?
National Curriculum – English Programmes of study: En2 Reading 2.2The author’s craft Pupils should be able to understand and comment on: k) how writers structure and organise different texts, including non-linear and multimodal Explanatory Notes For non-linear and multimodal texts, it could include using links and hyperlinks or interactive content on websites or CD-ROMs, or editing and sequencing shots in moving-image texts. English Learning Objectives: http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/secondary/framework/strands/874/67/17782 http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/secondary/framework/strands/874/67/17787
National Curriculum – English Programmes of Study: En3 Writing In their writing pupils should: a) develop ideas, themes, imagery, settings and/or characters when writing to imagine, explore and entertain b) analyse and evaluate subject matter, supporting views and opinions with evidence c) present ideas and views logically and persuasively d) explain or describe information and ideas relevantly and clearly. The forms for such writing should be drawn from different kinds of: e) stories, poems, play scripts, autobiographies, screenplays, diaries, minutes, accounts, information leaflets, plans, summaries, brochures, advertisements, editorials, articles and letters conveying opinions, campaign literature, polemics, reviews, commentaries, articles, essays and reports.
BFI Areas of Knowledge & Understanding • Media agencies • Media categories • Media technologies • Media languages • Media audiences • Media representations DES/BFI (1989) Media Education: A Curriculum Statement
BFI Signpost Questions • WHO is communicating, and why? • WHAT TYPE of text is it? • HOW is it produced? • HOW do we know what it means? • WHO receives it, and what sense do they make of it? • How does it PRESENT its subject?
Four Key Media Concepts • Media language, forms & conventions • Media audiences • Media production, industries & institutions • Meanings, messages & values: re-presentation QCA (2005) Media Matters http://www.qca.org.uk/downloads/ReviewMediaStudiesWebfiles.pdf
Theoretical Framework • Read Media Matters Appendix 2, taken from the QCA (2005) review of media studies teaching. • Think about how the four key media concepts might be addressed differently in KS3 and KS4 English, GCSE media and A/AS media.
Teaching Media Studies Part 2: Reading Still Images
Describe this image in as neutral terms as possible, trying not to bring in any of your world knowledge or to interpret it in any way. (Difficult, isn’t it?) • What is in sharp focus? • What is in the foreground and the background? • Describe lighting and colours.
Tie down the interpretation of the image by writing a newspaper caption …
? ? • Tie down the interpretation of the image by writing speech and thought bubbles …
This is a small section of a larger photograph • Describe carefully what you can see. • What can you say about the lighting? • From what you see here, can you tell where the object in the picture is?
Describe carefully what you can see in this photograph. • From what you see here, can you say more about: Where the doll is? Why it is there? What is in the complete photograph? • Who would take this photograph, and why?
Describe carefully what you can see in this photograph. • Is this what you expected to see? (Give reasons.) • What difference does the doll make to the meaning of the picture? (Remember that the photographer included it on purpose.) • When and where do you think this photograph might have been published?
Photograph by Phillip Jones Griffiths. It was taken in Vietnam between June 1966 and June 1968, or possibly during 1970. It was originally published in a volume of anti war photographs called Vietnam Inc. (Griffiths, 1971). http://www.musarium.com/stories/vietnaminc/
Describe what you can see in this advertisement from the 1970s (apologies for the poor quality). • How does it work to persuade the intended audience to buy Badedas bubble bath? • Where would you expect to see this advert?
On the next slide you will see the Badedas advertisement as it originally appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine in June 1973. • What is your reaction to this? • What effect does this juxtaposition have on your reading of the advertisement?
Teaching Media Studies Part 3: Denotation & Connotation
Semiology Semiology is the study of signs and meanings: • Sign – the word, picture, sound or other object that represents meaning within a specific culture • Systems into which signs are organised • Culture within which signs and systems operate • Meaning is to be found in the use of signs by individuals and groups in specific sociocultural contexts
Semiology Signs can be classified into three types: • Icon (a visual connection between the sign and what it represents) [e.g. a photograph of the London Eye physically resembles the London Eye itself] • Index (a causal connection between the sign and what it represents) [e.g. sweat on a brow indicates heat] • Symbol (a conventional connection between the sign and what it represents) [e.g. gestures have different meanings in different cultures]
Semiology A sign is composed of two parts (Saussure): • Signifier (eg word) • Signified (eg object)
Orders of signification (Barthes) • Denotation – common sense or obvious meaning of the sign • Connotation – associations produced in the minds of those who interact with the sign, which can vary according to context ‘The two orders of signification probably happen almost simultaneously in the human mind. Separating the two and holding them apart for purposes of analysis is quite an artificial practice.’ Price (1993)