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Just about to introduce an Alevel in WJEC Media Studies...any ideas?

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by cupcake1788, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. cupcake1788

    cupcake1788 New commenter

    Hello guys,

    My school is just about to introduce an Alevel in Media Studies for next year's sixth form cohort. I have volunteered to help run the course but I was just wondering if anyone had any advice for me? I am hoping to attend the WJEC course for New Teachers in June but as that is a long way off I want to be more prepared!

    Any ideas would be appreciated. I want the course to be rigorous and demanding because I'm afraid that some teachers will try and push students to take it because they see it as a 'soft' option.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Great to see another soft subject entering the curriculum! I'm 18, shall I do an academic A-level in German or Chemistry?? No I'll pick a Mickey Mouse subject like media.....
  3. cupcake1788

    cupcake1788 New commenter

    I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but.......

    Well all I can say is thank you so much for your helpful advice! I'm wondering whether the children I teach would benefit from being able to speak German or create an explosion or whether understanding the world around them would be more beneficial. Like I said, each to their own!
  4. The World Around Us - isn't that what history and geography are for?
  5. cupcake1788

    cupcake1788 New commenter

    I can see that we are not going to agree. I do think that Media Studies has generated a reputation for being a 'soft' subject which is why I asked for advice. I want to challenge the students that I teach and just because Media Studies has a reputation does not mean that I will allow that to happen in my teaching. I could easily argue why do students need to know what has already happened (History) and why do they need to learn about volcanoes(Geography) however that would suggest that I have a narrow-minded viewpoint on the subject which I don't. If you cannot see past tabloid headlines designed to create this image of Media (oooh I think that involves representation, something studied in media studies) then I suggest you do not impose any more of your pearls of wisdom on to this thread.

  6. Sorry, really not looking to stir the pot.
    Fact of the matter is our school is stopping media studies as one pupil who applied to Edinburgh University was rejected because one of their A-levels was media and in the eyes of Edinburgh it doesn't cut the mustard as a subject which prepares pupils for third level study.
    Frohe Weihnachten!
  7. The fault lies in the perception of the subject, not the subject itself. One of my students eloquently defended her choice to study Media Studies in a recent Oxford interview and secured her place. I would never describe the exploration of ideology, hegemony and cultural studies as a "soft" subject. If Shakespeare and Wilde were around today, they would be devising screenplays and then, no doubt, tweeting about them afterwards...
    Anyway, back to your actual question before ignorance became the theme of this thread. I teach the WJEC board and whilst their website can be difficult to navigate, there are some useful guidance notes on there. The AS curriculum is very broad in terms of theory, but the production element is quite straight forward. I am currenty delivering the theory element for A2 and my students have loved studing the newspaper industry. Particularly because it's so current with the whole phone hacking scandal and subsequent Leveson Inquiry. This was a real hook for them and I chose this topic as the focus of exam section on "Industry"; looking at whether new media has had a democratising effect on the newspaper industry, or not. This, obviously, looking at the current developments in regulations. It is a very engaging area of study and really developed their critical thinking skills.
    Good luck - you and the students are going to love it, even if your constant reference to Marxist theory and hegemonic rule will blow their minds at times.

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