What does the MEA do?
Who are we?
We seek to support media educators, promote media literacy work and raise the status of media education. We aim to build a dynamic online community where people are encouraged to connect, share and talk about media education. This space is not just for teachers but anyone who is passionate about media education at a broader level.
The MEA is comprised of you, its membership, and run by a board of executive officers, all volunteers and all from a range of diverse backgrounds and experience in media education. We need more local area officers so please email us if you would like to discuss this further.
The MEA Executive
STEVE CONNOLLY (Chair)
Steve Connolly has been a media educator for more than 20 years. Currently Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, he previously taught at The University of Bedfordshire and, prior to that, Media and Film Studies in a range of London secondary schools, including a five year stint as a Director of Specialism in a Visual and Media Arts College. His research covers a wide range of topics including the role of cognitivism in film education, vocational media education and philosophies. In 2021, Steve published his first book ‘The Changing Role of Media in the English Curriculum: Returning to Nowhere’ Steve is The MEA's Chair.
John is a professor of Media in Education at the University College London Institute of Education, based in the UCL Knowledge Lab. He has worked in literacy and media in education as: a primary school teacher in East London, a local authority advisor, a teacher educator and, most recently, as an academic and researcher, teaching on MA programmes and supervising doctoral students. He has been an active member of the MEA executive for a number of years and a former chair of the association . His research and publications are in the fields of: media education and new literacies. In his work, he advocates for media education from the earliest years and a wider and more ambitious definition of literacy which encompasses the culture, interests and agency of younger learners.
David is an Emeritus Professor at Loughborough University, and a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London. He has taught about media at all levels, from primary and secondary schools through to PhD, and has trained hundreds of Media Studies teachers. He has directed numerous research projects on young people’s interactions with media, and on media education, and has been a consultant for bodies such as UNESCO, the United Nations, Ofcom, and the UK government. He maintains a blog on media education, and is currently writing a series of essays,‘Growing Up Modern: Childhood, Youth and Popular Culture Since 1945’, which can be found at www.davidbuckingham.net.
Dr. Michelle Cannon has worked in the field of informal film and media production in the primary and early secondary years for 16 years. In 2016 she finished her doctorate focussing on new media literacies and the moving image at The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University. She has evaluated and collaborated on BFI film education programmes as well as international research projects, presenting at film and media education conferences in the UK, Madrid, Prague, Boston and Hong Kong. Currently she lectures at the UCL Institute in Education London, leading the BA module Media Production in Education and working on the MA in Digital Media, Culture and Education
Kirk is a senior leader in secondary education, having worked previously as a subject specialist and head of department for media studies and film studies in a range of schools and colleges across London. He is currently Head of Sixth Form at a school in South West London and has been responsible for teaching and learning, student voice and digital curricula in his time as an Assistant Head. Kirk is committed to making media literacy a statutory part of the National Curriculum for England.
Melissa has taught Media and Film in a comprehensive School in East London for twenty years. Over that time she has worked as Head of Vocational Media and Head of Department. She also ran the specialist schools programme which included media arts. She is still very much involved in Media teaching in her school which she juggles alongside her role as Director of Sixth Form. In addition she has worked on a number of examination board qualifications and she is on the senior examining team for AQA GCSE Media Studies. She is the current MEA secretary.
Jenny Grahame is a founder member of the MEA. A longtime media educator in London schools, she worked at the English and Media Centre for 30 years, where she trained media teachers, produced many classroom resources and publications , and launched and edited MediaMagazine for sixteen years.
Brian is currently Principal Examiner of the CIE A Level Media Studies course and teaches part-time in a sixth form college. He is also Director of Newsliners, a truly social media community non-profit project. Prior to this he was the head of department for Media in a large sixth form college for over twenty years and a team leader for OCR A Level Critical Perspectives. Brian is looking to increase membership and participation to make MEA the voice of Media teaching at all levels.
Claire Pollard is an advisory teacher for Media Studies at the English and Media Centre and the editor of MediaMagazine. She also runs the Goldsmiths PGCE Media and Film and English. Prior to that, she spent 16 years teaching English and Media in secondary schools in London. Despite not being very creative she holds a degree in English and Creative Studies and an MA in Creative and Media Education.
Symon is a founding member of the MEA who has extensive experience as an educator in media and film studies. He has worked across the secondary, tertiary and Higher Education sectors and written widely about education, media and film. His research interests include short film, political ideologies and the representation of the working class. His current roles include leading on the BFI’s/National Film and Television School’s Film Academy and lecturing at Brunel and Bedfordshire universities. Simon is the treasurer of the MEA.
Bethan is a Film and Television graduate and teacher, and is Media and Film Subject Lead in her school in South Wales. She is also the Central South Consortium Lead Practitioner for Film and Digital Media. Through founding @mediaeduchat on Twitter, she hopes to connect teachers and provide support, resources and CPD events for practitioners of all levels. She also blogs regularly about teaching Media at secondary level.
Michelle taught media in the post-16 sector for over twenty years. A former Curriculum Area Leader for Media at an inner London sixth form, she now works as a senior lecturer on the Post-Compulsory PGCE at UEL whilst completing a doctorate in education at Bournemouth University’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice. Her research is focused on the impact of the recent curriculum reform on Media Studies at post-16. She has also written journal articles, blogs and resources for a range of publications and websites related to media education. Michelle is the communications officer for The MEA.
Sarah has taught and led on Media Studies at GCSE and A Level for over ten years. Now based in South Wales, Sarah has previously worked at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in the Film and Television Department. Sarah is setting up a Wales, Regional MEA network to connect Secondary and Higher level educators, and media industry professionals.