On the 2nd - 4th March 2023, the annual Media Education Summit (MES) was convened by Bournemouth University's Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, and hosted by Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, in partnership with the McLuhan Foundation. Keith Perera, one of our MEA executive board members, course leader of the PGCE in Media at The University of Sussex and senior leader, was invited to speak. Of the event, he writes:
I was lucky to have had a paper accepted at the Global Media Education Summit that took place in Vancouver earlier this year. This is an important international event for media educators, researchers, and creatives. I was really thrilled to present but I also benefited from listening to some amazing and inspirational speakers at the event.
Highlights for me included Clauda Magallanes Blanco’s pioneering work with indigenous people in Mexico that showed how community media production goes beyond activism and offers meaningful ways for marginalised communities to confront power structures from a cultural and political perspective based on their everyday life.
Martins Priedols, from the University of Latvia, shared some really challenging research on confirmation bias. His work on attitudes towards Covid vaccines showed that those who were pro-vaccine were actually less inclined to question their view than those who were broadly anti vaccine. This insight challenges the extent to which our own confirmation bias unquestioningly defines so many of our attitudes and maybe indicates why we find it so difficult to understand (or even listen to) those with very different attitudes.
My own paper entitled ‘Teaching Teachers: Exploring attitudes to immigration’ shared some of the work I have done in Sussex as a tutor and teacher. The presentation shared a piece of empirical media literacy research that explores how to approach the teaching of a potentially contentious social topic - in this case - immigration with a group of trainee teachers of media. My research is motivated by a genuine commitment to understand how and why there are some very entrenched (and often polarised) attitudes towards immigration through developing teaching strategies with trainee teachers.
You can see some of our older work here (which we are developing with this year’s PGCE Media, and English and Media cohort at the University of Sussex) feel free to comment: https://www.poliliteracies.com/