Media Education as Philosophy

This source preferred by Mark Readman

Authors: Readman, M.

Editors: Fraser, P. and Wardle, J.

Publisher: Palgrave

Place of Publication: London

In this chapter I argue that education in general, and media education in particular, should be philosophical. By this I mean that it is necessary for students to adopt a systematic scepticism in relation to all judgements, categories and assessments of value. Media education, with its roots in critical theory, is well placed to engage conceptually with debates about meaning and rhetoric, but only if it resists the instrumentalist tendency to mimic industry practice.

The concept of ‘creativity’, co-opted by governments and education policy in service of a ‘knowledge economy’ agenda, provides a lever with which to prise open and examine the formulation and mobilisation of judgements in the media classroom. Definitions of the term range from being so open as to include almost everything, to so narrow as to exclude almost everything. Given this disparity I suggest that students could quite easily identify different definitions, which would then lead to an interrogation of ‘creativity’ as a term of assessment, and then to an engagement with the purpose and nature of practical work. Ultimately the adoption of a critical stance in relation to this single word could lead to an engagement with epistemological issues and, therefore, realise the potential of media education to be philosophical.

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