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Title: The origins and development of media education in Scotland
Author: Powell, Mandy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 2295
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2010
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This study combines analytical and narrative modes of historical enquiry with educational policy sociology to construct a history of media in education in Scotland. It uses the development trajectory of a single case, media education in Scotland's statutory education sector, to deconstruct and reconstruct a history of the institutional relationship between the Scottish Film Council (SFC) and the Scottish Education Department (SED) that stretches back to the 1930s. Existing literature describes media education in Scotland as a phenomenon located in the 1970s and 1980s. This study disaggregates media education discourse and dissolves chronological boundaries to make connections with earlier attempts to introduce media into Scottish education in the context of Scotland's constitutional relations within the UK. It employs historical and socio-cultural methods to analyse the intersections between actors and events taking place over six decades. The analysis and interpretation of the data is located in three time periods. Chapter 3 covers the period from 1929 until 1974 when, on the cusp of the emergence of the new texts and technologies of film, the SFC was established to promote and protect Scottish film culture and audio-visual technologies. During this time, the interdependence of teachers, the film trade and the educational policy-making community led to the production, distribution and exhibition of new and popular forms of text to national and international acclaim. By juxtaposing public and private documents circulating on the margins of statutory education, this chapter generates a new understanding of the importance of film and its technologies in Scotland in the pursuit of a more culturally relevant and contemporary model of education. It also describes how constraints upon Scotland’s cultural production infrastructure limited its capacity to effect significant educational change. In the 1970s, cultural, political and educational ferment in pre-devolution Scotland, created a discursive shift that gave rise first to media education and then to Media Studies. Articulating documents with wider discourses of educational and cultural change and interviews with key players, Chapter 4 describes a counter-narrative gaining momentum. The constraints of the practices of traditional subjects and pedagogies combined with the constraints on Scottish cultural production gave shape and form to the media education movement. Significantly for this study, the movement included influential members of Scottish education’s leadership class. Between 1983 to 1986, the innovative Media Education Development Project (MEDP) aimed to place media education at the centre of teaching and learning in Scottish education. This was fully funded by the SED, managed by the Scottish Council for Educational Technology (SCET) and the SFC and implemented by the Association for Media Education in Scotland (AMES). The MEDP overlapped briefly with another initiative in SCET, the Scottish Microelectronics Development Project (SMDP). During this period, Media Studies enjoyed rapid success as a popular non-advanced qualification in the upper secondary and further education sectors. Media education, however, did not. Chapter 5 explores the links between the MEDP and the SMDP through the agency of three central actors: SCET, the SFC and AMES in the context of a second term of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. This study concludes that between 1934 and 1964, the SFC was a key educational bureaucracy in Scottish education. The SFC’s role as an agent of change represented the recognition of a link between relevant and contemporary Scottish cultural production and the transformation of statutory education. Between 1929 and 1982 three iterations for media and education in Scotland can be discerned. In 1983, the MEDP began a fourth but its progress faltered. The study suggests that if a new iteration for media and education in Scotland in the twenty-first century is to emerge, an institutional link between media culture, technology and educational transformation requires to be restored.
Supervisor: Kilborn, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: media education ; educational policy sociology ; Media Studies ; Scottish Film Council ; Scottish Education ; analytic and narrative modes of historical enquiry ; Association for Media Education in Scotland ; Scottish Educational Film Association ; Scottish Council for Educational Technology ; Media Education Development Project ; Scottish film history ; Mass media in education Scotland History ; Mass media Study and teaching Scotland ; Media literacy Study and teaching Scotland