It's been a busy few months for The MEA so before we head off into the summer holidays, we would like to share a round up of what we've been up to recently.
In March we published Steve Connolly's, our MEA Chair, first Curriculum Observatory report. The aim of this ongoing observatory project is to examine where Media Studies is in UK schools and, more broadly, what media education looks like in the wider school education landscape. The second report will be coming out in the Autumn so if you'd like to be involved, please look out for the calls on our social media.
Following the successful Teachers Talking: What Could Media Studies Be? event in February, run by Dr Viki Walden from The University of Sussex in association with The MEA, we are pleased to publish the report from the event (below) and you can find the videos here. Thank you to everyone who attended, we got some excellent feedback about the event and it was obvious there is a clear appetite for media educators to build on the issues and ideas that came out of the day. To keep the dialogue going, Viki presented her report findings at our recent event + AGM with some clear steps on how to take the outcomes of the day forward to agitate for change.
In March this year, several of the MEA exec presented at the newly online The Media Education Summit 2021, postponed from the previous year due to the pandemic. MES brought together a global network of media educators, scholars and researchers to share research, pedagogy and innovation on all aspects of media education, media literacy and media in education with the theme, this year, being ‘Media Education, Diversity and Voice’.
Other events The MEA has been represented at include Aspire: The Power of the Arts to Transform Learners’ Lives in April where Brian Mulligan ran a workshop on engaging students in current affairs and, in July, The MEA was a partner for The BFI Media Conference 2021.
The session, run by Steve Connolly and Michelle Thomason, outlined recent MEA work around the Ofqual consultations over the last 18 months, and invited delegates to participate in a discussion about how The MEA can best represent members' views and key concerns in our future discussions with the body going forward.
As mentioned earlier, we held our Media Education Past, Present and Future event to coincide with our 2021 AGM. In addition to Viki Walden's brilliant presentation on the follow-up to the Teachers' Talking event earlier in the year, Jenny Grahame drew on her extensive experience over four decades as a media educator to tell the fascinating and important history of Media Studies, including the evolution of The MEA. Both presentations are a must-see for media educators new and old as they served to powerfully restate the vital importance of Media Studies as a subject and media education in the wider curriculum. We were delighted to have graphic illustrator, Jo Rooks, capture and illustrate the presentations.
The MEA is also delighted to welcome four new members to the executive, Bethan Thomas, Dr Keith Perera, Kirk Campbell and Dr Victoria Grace (Viki) Walden. Their experience spans secondary through to HE and we are looking forward to their contributions to The MEA as we move forward in our work as a subject association for all media educators in schools from primary through to HE, as well as in media education settings. The MEA also continues to work in collaboration with other associations such as NAMLE, IAME, UKLA, the newly formed Primary Literacy Research Collaborative.
Please look out for forthcoming Twitter chats, podcasts and an event in the Autumn focused on Fake News.