Media Education Summit (MES) 2013 – David Buckingham


Taken from the DoE English GCSE Specification report, June 2013

Sheffield was the venue for this year’s Media Education Summit. Collated here are a series of posts with fragments, observations and provocations from key notes and presentations. More here: Sarah Pink, Susan Orr, Natalie Fenton.

David Buckingham
DB gives a customary sombre account of the status of UK Media Education (Med Ed), the implications of recent policy reforms (ref. latest English GCSE specification on subject content, DoE, June 2013, page 4: “Digital texts must not be included”...) and makes reference to Barker’s examination of ‘discourses of derision’ in relation to teachers. But rather than dwell on this he signals the need for a change in emphasis in the following ways: 1) we can no longer afford to regard media pedagogy and content as separate entities and 2) we need to talk in clear prose.

Subject disciplines have always struggled to establish their legitimacy in the curriculum  eg. subjects such as geography (Ivor Goodson) and even English (Stephen Ball) in the days of Leavis when English was up against Classics. “Audiovisual aids” and ICT to date have been used as leverage for Med Ed to get a foothold in schools, forestalling the critical and creative elements in the process. Techno-rhetoric still holds sway.

Should attention be drawn to the chasm that exists between Med Ed as academic discipline and Med Ed as school subject? In so doing, might the integration of theoreticians and practitioners influence Med Ed pedagogy so as to form a new realm of critical practice and critical practitioners?

In a marketised social system, employability is top of the agenda and arts and humanities diminish. The gradual ‘casualisation’ of work (ie. lots of work, but no jobs) means that social capital and networking skills become more important. With this as the context, what added value does the teaching of media practice offer the learner beyond that which he/she can learn off Youtube?

Relevance to my study: I can see this being relevant in my (what I’m now calling..) Ethnographic Action Research (EAR) project ref. experimental responsive pedagogic practice involving iPads, Year 6 children and media making.


  1. Pingback: Media Education Summit (MES) 2013 – Sarah Pink | Making is Learning

  2. Pingback: Media Education Summit (MES) 2013 – Susan Orr | Making is Learning

  3. Pingback: Media Education Summit (MES) 2013 – Natalie Fenton | Making is Learning

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