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Title: Teaching about newspapers : what determines what is taught when teachers teach about newspapers, and how theories of texts, contexts and readers might contribute to a broader, more coherent approach
Author: Hicks, Alun John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3555 8918
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis argues that teaching about newspapers is problematic. Problems arise out of the range of publications currently sold as newspapers, the diversity of text types to be found within each newspaper, and the lack of consensus amongst the English teaching community as to the value in and purpose of studying newspapers. The thesis concentrates specifically on the 14 to 16 age group, that is, those pupils who are studying within United Kingdom schools at Key Stage 4, and for whom study of the media, within the National Curriculum for English, is mandatory. The thesis begins by exploring the constraints on and opportunities for teaching about newspapers in the English curriculum. The curriculum is defined by the government agency, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, and mediated by the General Certificate of Secondary Education English examination syllabuses and examination papers arising from them. The thesis moves on to examine published educational research for an overview of what is known about current practice with regard to teaching about the media, about news and about newspapers. Empirical evidence on the current situation is then offered. Through interviews with teachers in eleven schools and observation of eleven Media lessons, it explores the curricular, institutional and interpersonal contexts in which teachers of English currently operate. This research also considers how teachers' own views about the media and about Media Education might helpfully be described within three Media/English paradigms. Arguing that the resulting newspaper curriculum is too narrow, the thesis discusses how a broader curriculum might be possible. Chapter 4 explores issues of craft knowledge in teaching and considers the circumstances that might be necessary for curricular change to take place. Chapter 5 moves the discussion from what is taught and what determines what is taught to a consideration of what textual and socio-cultural theories (in particular, Critical Discourse Analysis) might be brought to bear in attempting to broaden our understanding of how newspapers function.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: National Curriculum