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Student research question - Digital Media

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by bob_hawke, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. bob_hawke

    bob_hawke New commenter

    I am pleased to be a new member of the TES community, and have just started my final year of my BA in Digital Media Design, and aiming to become a teacher over the next few years.

    I am presently tasked with my first research paper (a short one - entitled Teaching Digital Media - Specialism or Diversity)
    and I have come to TES community to add to my research, with these questions for anyone who would care to answer them.

    1. As a Digital Media Teacher, is it better to be specialised in one field (eg photography), or have a teaching knowledge of many fields within the New Media arena
    (please mention whether you referring to primary, secondary, FE, or HE level teaching in answering this question)
    (Please expand on your answer - why? what experience leads you to this opinion)

    2. In the general teaching arena is it better to be specialist in one area (eg mathematics) or have teaching knowledge of many subjects.
    (please mention whether you referring to primary, secondary, FE, or HE level teaching in answering this question)
    (Please expand on your answer - why? what experience leads you to this opinion)

    3. If you were to start training to be a teacher all over again, would you choose a different field. If so from what subject to what subject, and why. (eg move from physics to mathematics because... move from specialised to general teaching because, etc)

    I wish to thank you all for your answers in advance - this is partly for my research paper, but also to inform me as to a possible direction when I myself start teacher training.

    Rob Hawke
  2. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    OK so I'll give this a go.

    1) I am a secondary teacher with a general Media Studies degree and a PGCE in Media Studies. I have been a teacher for 10 years. I definitely feel that for teaching in a secondary school having a more generalised degree with an overview of all media areas is useful, because GCSE and A-level specifications for Media are very broad now and experience in a range of areas is very useful. I know some media teachers who specialised in web design at uni but then have found teaching things like tv and film hard. You need to be prepared for the fact that if you do a degree in Digital Media it doesn't mean that when you are a teacher that is all the media you will teach. Perhaps if you went into university lecturing you could specialise in a niche area but in Secondary School / FE it is highly likely that if employed you would be employed to teach a range of different media qualifications and age ranges, covering a huge range of topics including advertising, video games, tv, film, social media, magazines, newspapers, radio etc

    2) For the most part all secondary teachers will have one specialism (the one related to their degree and the one they did their PGCE or other teacher training qualification in). This gives you a good in depth knowledge of your own subject area. However it is VERY common when becoming a Media teacher that you will end up being given classes of other subjects to teach as well (regardless of whether you want this). This is because there is very rarely enough Media on the timetable in any school to give someone an entirely full timetable of Media, unless maybe they were a one person department. Plus headteachers can give you literally anything in secondary school to teach as long as you are a qualified teacher, so in my 10 years I have also had the odd classes of English (most common) but also RE, History, Citizenship, Drama etc. You don't get a choice. I hate having to teach other subjects BUT it does make you more employable to have taught other subjects and I guess it depends on how much you enjoy the other subjects you are required to teach.

    3) If I were to train again (not sure I would be to be honest!) then I would still stick with a Media specialism as its the only thing I enjoy enough to teach full time. There are very few specialised Media teachers out there (they tend to be English teachers who have side stepped across or been forced across into Media!). So when a school gets an application from a specialist with experience of technology / programmes then it can be very appealing. However its worth nothing that the demand for Media teachers seems to be going down year on year as more and more schools are unable to fund the subject or the facilities / equipment needed.
  3. bob_hawke

    bob_hawke New commenter

    That is a superb answer 'bunnies', you are my third citation (in first hand research) and confirm my overall findings; that is - is it better to be specialsed or diverse - answer, both (sort of)

    thanks alot :)

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