‘Let me edutain you...’ Moving Image Education and young people not in education, employment or training

‘Let me edutain you...’ Moving Image Education and young people not in education, employment or training


George Head


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Whilst Media Studies has been taught in Scottish Schools for several decades and film has been used as an educational medium for most of the 20th Century, Moving Image Education is a recent Scottish Screen development aimed at helping young people engage with, appreciate and create their own moving images. As a consequence of the experiences of pupils and teachers using moving images in mainstream schools Scottish Screen and Scottish Enterprise Glasgow (now Skills Development Scotland) felt that it was an appropriate programme for young people who at that time were considered to be not in employment, education or training but who were, in fact, attending the Get Ready for Work programme offered by Scottish Enterprise through training providers. This paper is based on an evaluation of that project commissioned by Scottish Screen and undertaken by the author. The paper begins by making a case for the place of Moving Image Education in young people's lives. It then recounts the experiences of the young people and trainers involved in this study, and offers an explanation of why the programme worked in the way that it did. 


Moving Image Education (MIE)as the name suggests, is the study of moving images in film, animation and digital media and other moving images present on dvd, videotape, games and mobile phones. A recent Ofcom report (Ofcom 2008)  indicated that children in Scotland are more likely than children in the other three UK countries to have a wider range of media in their bedrooms, and are more likely to watch or download online video content (Ofcom 2008: 60-61). The report also indicates that 47% of those Scottish children aged 8-15 who watch television stated that they trust the content that they view. In addition, 59% of Scottish children of the same age indicated that they trust the content of sites that they access online. At the same time, only 3% of Scottish parents had major concerns regarding their children's television viewing and whilst almost half were concerned about their children's use of the internet, only 10% considered it to be one of their major concerns. This relatively high level of moving image consumption, set alongside parents' and others' concerns regarding the content and quality of the media with which young people engage, suggests that the development of young people's critical media intelligence is both an entitlement and an imperative.

This paper explores the arguments for MIE within a more general media intelligence framework related to the ability to access, appreciate and create moving image media. Evidence of the impact of MIE, based on an evaluation of an MIE project involving school leavers undertaking a training programme in preparation for the world of work, is presented. Finally, a theoretical explanation of the operation of MIE in this context is offered, with a particular focus on the development of media intelligence, young people's critical capacity, and the impact on pedagogical approaches of training provider staff.

In educational contexts, MIE is also a means of promoting literacy, in its widest sense. Traditional views of literacy as competence in reading, talking, listening and writing print-based material were challenged in the late 20th century and are no longer tenable in the 21st century (see, for example, Lankshear and Knobel, 2003). Whilst the ability to access, analyse and produce traditional word-based texts remains important for young people, the concept of literacy itself has been extended to encompass other media, thereby suggesting that it is necessary for young people to engage with other, non-traditional texts, including those constructed through moving images (Schwarz and Brown 2005). Indeed, Buckingham (2005:8) argues:

"...contemporary childhoods are now permeated, even in some respects defined, by the modern media – by television , video, computer games, the internet, mobile phones and popular music, and by the enormous range of media related commodities that make up contemporary consumer culture."

(Buckingham 2005: 8)

Moreover, Buckingham goes on to argue that young people today may, in fact, spend more time engaging with media than they do with any activity other than sleeping. This has led some sections of adult society to argue that the media, and television in particular, have 'destroyed' childhood (Buckingham 2000). The nature of television programmes and DVDs aimed at children and young people and the ability of children to access a range of materials on the internet has resulted in adults' concerns regarding the need to protect young people from possible corruption and exploitation (Buckingham 2000; Ofcom 2008). On the other hand, a counter argument, that the media, and television and the internet in particular, have served to liberate and empower children and young people, exists. Most young people have the ability to access materials relatively free of adult supervision, they are encouraged through gaming and advertising to behave as autonomous decision makers and consumers, and, through their own and others' interactive websites, express views and opinions on any topic that they and other young people consider worthy (Buckingham 2000, 2005). Regardless of whichever side or mix of the argument to which one chooses to subscribe, the current situation suggest an imperative to equip our children and young people with the skills and abilities to engage with the media, including moving images.

Media Literacy as a concept has been developed and contested in recent years. The precariousness of the concept is reflected in the range of terminology used to refer to various aspects of emerging thinking: for example, digital literacy, visual literacy, and, more recently, media intelligence.Whilst the term 'media' naturally embraces written, audio and visual forms of communication, it is perhaps a significant indicator of the popularity and pervasiveness of the moving image  that recent discourse appears to focus largely on moving image artefacts constructed for the visual media of film, television, video (dvd) and games. McBrien (2005) arguing for a critical approach to media education cites Considine and Haley's (1999) seven principles of media literacy as a foundation. In terms of moving image education, McBrien would recognise that all moving images are constructed, offer one version of reality and have a commercial purpose.  Furthermore, Considine and Haley's principles argue that moving images convey values and ideologies, that their messages have social consequences, and that meaning is negotiated by the viewer.  Put simply, the medium mediates and the viewer constructs meaning and sense in relation to the images portrayed. As Cortes argues:

"The mass media teach whether or not media makers intend to or realise it. And users learn from the media whether or not they try or are even aware of it."

(Cortes 2005: 55).

Buckingham (2006) argues that media literacy can and should be used to develop critical competence in a range of domains. The existence of communications media in which texts are no longer solely verbal but include visual images, sound and music has challenged the dominance of the written word and 'is fundamentally reshaping how we use language' (Buckingham 2006: 35). Thus, if our young people are to grow up capable of engaging critically with the world around them, they need to learn new ways of analysing media texts and the world that they represent.

For young people in training provider contexts MIE offers an opportunity to connect with digital communities, and to develop the levels of media literacy that have been argued are necessary for critical engagement with the world around them. For example, whilst recent figures indicate that Scottish Children are frequent and confident users of digital media, children from lower socio-economic bands are less likely to have access to the internet at home (Ofcom 2008). Young people produce their identities and cultures from a range of influences; from their own past experiences, through learning (Jarvis 2005) and through engaging with others (Wenger et al. 2002) including through images and ideas they receive from the media (Buckingham 2000, 2006). One aspiration of the MIE project, therefore, is increased engagement with media which, in turn, might lead to young people's greater understanding of themselves in the context of the cultures in which they live.

Buckingham (2000) argues that education in media generally has been centred on analysis of media as a 'defensive' approach related to adults' concerns to protect young people from the 'moral, cultural or political shortcomings of the media.' (Buckingham 2000:205). Furthermore, he argues, the pervasiveness of media requires us to develop beyond the stage of critical viewers to become critical participants and cultural producers(Buckingham 2000; Hart and Hicks 2002; Schwarz and Brown 2005). In pedagogical terms, this represents a shift from a passive position of 'being taught' or instructed to one of learners actively constructing their own learning.  Moreover, there is a general recognition within the literature that engaging with media is a social rather than solitary function, even where a child is watching or surfing alone. There are clear resonances here with those theories of learning that argue that learning is constructed socially (Vygotsky 1979; Bruner 1996; Wenger 1999). Whilst the media, and moving images in particular, may be ubiquitous in our everyday lives, and media studies have been taught in Scottish schools for several decades, moving images as a learning context, in which learners learn about and through the medium, is a recent pedagogical development and this represents a considerable challenge for teachers and trainers.

How this is manifest in training provider contexts raises questions of what constitutes good practice, the relationship between moving images in the training unit and outside, and how trainers are supported in developing the pedagogies necessary to support their young people's learning. In preparing the research and in subsequent interviews, it became clear that the trainers' approach to literacy has been dominated by the written word (Head 2008) but within MIE, visual images, music and sound are as important and trainers find themselves being learners as much as the young people (Goetze et al. 2005).  Buckingham likens this to a context of 'edutainment' in which students interact with a mix of visual texts, music, and sound, and which, therefore, demands 'more informal, less didactic styles of address' (Buckingham 2005: 18) than may be current within the training provider context. Buckingham (2006) argues that what is required is a pedagogical approach based on conceptual learning that has its roots firmly in the work of Vygotsky. Buckingham is particularly attracted by two aspects of Vygotsky's work: the suggestion that rather than wait until children are 'ready' they should be supported or 'scaffolded' through peer and adult support to achieve what they are currently unable to do on their own; and secondly, the interface between what might be termed spontaneous or 'folk' knowledge and scientific (including social scientific) knowledge (Vygotsky 1962, 1978). Buckingham envisages Vygotsky's theories as offering a dynamic model of learning and teaching based on dialogue. In the dialogic process, the adult first engages with students' spontaneous knowledge and through a collaborative process of action and reflection, together they develop a 'conscious mastery' (Buckingham 2006: 145). Buckingham's proposed model, however, has similarities to what has been advocated as a multiliteracies approach and he pushes the model beyond mastery to encompass what Scottish Screen have called the critical understanding that transforms practice (Scottish Screen 2009).  In terms of Moving Image Education, therefore, Buckingham's aspirations for media education can be seen to match those of Scottish Screen:

"The aim of [Moving Image Education] then, is not merely to enable children to 'read' – or make sense of – [moving image] texts, or to enable them to 'write' their own.  It must also enable them to reflect systematically on the processes of reading and writing, to understand and to analyse their own experience as readers and writers."

(Buckingham 2006: 141)

Whilst it is possible and relatively straightforward for learners to nurture and refine their skills in a particular domain, it is notoriously difficult, especially for young learners, to carry that skill into another aspect of their lives. In the context of MIE, taking learning into other domains consists of more than attempting to combine education and a medium still largely associated with entertainment, or being enthusiastic about the educational potential of MIE, but requires trainers to examine theories of learning, for example, metacognition and critical skills (see Head 2005, 2007; Martin 2007), that claim to address this issue. Research on any skills development initiative, particularly in the field of metacognition, highlights the problem of transfer, of taking what is learned in one context into learning in another. It is therefore of concern whether MIE has any impact on trainers' practice and young people's learning and their experiences beyond training.

The project

In 2007 Scottish Screen commissioned the author to undertake an evaluation of its Moving Image Education development initiative involving three training companies in Glasgow working with young people who were not in education, employment or training (NEET). The initiative was co-funded by Scottish Enterprise Glasgow (now Skills Development Scotland), which commissions a number of training companies to deliver a range of programmes with young people.

The purpose of the initiative was to explore the effectiveness of Moving Image Education learning and teaching practices with young people undertaking the Get Ready for Work programme, and to gauge to what extent the training companies could incorporate it into their own programmes.

Get Ready for Work is a programme offered by Skills Development Scotland via commercial and other training providers. It is aimed at young people 16 – 19 years of age who are not at school and are experiencing difficulty moving into college, further training or a job. The programme focuses on the development of the skills, abilities and confidence required to move into the job market or to apply for a place in further education or training. The standard type of activities that young people might be offered in this context would include completing application forms, drawing up a CV and receiving support preparing for interviews. The impact of MIE in schools contexts (see Head et al. 2008; Wilkinson et al. 2009), especially its attraction for otherwise reluctant learners, the development of new skills and the increases in confidence and the ability to work collaboratively, suggested that it was an appropriate programme to meet the aims of the Get Ready for Work programme.

In the three training providers included in this research, none of the trainers interviewed (n=7) had undertaken formal education training such as teacher training. Of the young people involved (n=13 comprising 9 males and 4 females) none had left school with the required qualifications to apply for courses at further education colleges. Whilst some of these young people may well have been involved in Media Studies at school, none of them revealed this to be the case either during observed sessions or in focus groups.

Scottish Screen has promoted the development of Moving Image Education in recent years, as a suite of learning and teaching practices involving cultural, critical and creative activities, collaborative learning and active questioning (Scottish Screen 2009). The agency seeks to support the development of such practices in various contexts through professional development, delivered largely by Scottish Screen 'lead practitioners'. In this instance, the lead practitioner was an experienced film professional. In addition to providing a training day for all training provider staff, he worked directly with staff and young people in their own contexts.

Whilst three providers participated in the initial training, only two were able to implement the programme. The first phase of this evaluation took place between June and July 2007. A confidential, unpublished interim report, completed in August 2007, provided an account of the work undertaken by the evaluator, presented the findings and summarised the key issues at that point. The second phase of the evaluation took place between November 2007 and March 2008.

Research Questions and methodology

The purpose of the evaluation for Scottish Screen was to assess the impact of Moving Image Education on the young people involved and their trainers. In addition, Scottish Screen wished to assess the sustainability of MIE in the NEET group context.  For the researcher, the evaluation suggested an opportunity to explore the impact of MIE on young people as learners, especially in terms of their ability to generate the knowledge and insight required to engage successfully with the analysis and creation of moving image artefacts.  Similarly, the project offered the prospect of investigating how trainers responded to the pedagogical challenges of working within and through a previously unfamiliar medium. In order to attend to these issues, the following research questions were addressed:

  • What impact, if any, has there been for the young people on the training courses?
  • What impact, if any, has MIE had on trainers and their training methods?
  • Is the MIE aspect of these courses sustainable?

In order to address these questions, a cross-sectional case study design was used. The researcher's principal instrument of evaluation was observation. Observations took the form of systematic recording of lead practitioner, trainers' and young people's activities, supplemented by field notes. The young people involved were invited to participate in focus groups that explored their reactions to MIE, any impact it may have had on their critical appreciation of film and other moving images, and any impact that involvement with MIE may have had on them more generally. In addition, interviews were conducted with Scottish Screen staff, the lead practitioner, trainers and training agency managers. Focus groups and interviews were themed around understandings of MIE, the impact of MIE on young people and trainers, and those aspects of MIE that are likely to contribute to it becoming an enduring experience in this context. The data gathered were subject to qualitative analysis around the themes of the research questions.

Impact on young people

The young people in the first training provider reported that they had made a video about drugs. They had chosen this topic themselves and directed, filmed, acted, scripted and edited the video themselves, with the help of the lead practitioner. It was important to them that this was their own work and at one point, when they felt that it was being 'taken away' from them, they protested and reclaimed ownership of their work.

"It was meaty, exciting, daring, coz it was our own idea. If he [lead practitioner] had told us [what to do] we wouldn't have been so good."

They saw MIE as 'different - something new. You might not get the chance to make a film [otherwise]. They all reported working on MIE as being enjoyable and a valuable learning experience:

"You learn more. It was a laugh, you enjoyed yourself and you learned. If you are enjoying something, you will learn from it but if you're not…"

The young people in the second group had concentrated on making shorter images, for example, two-minute biopics, but moved on to make a film about gang fighting. The group's response to MIE was unanimously enthusiastic. They reported enjoying both outdoor and indoor activities related to MIE. They also expressed their appreciation of the lead practitioner, their trainers and other adults who had contributed to their MIE experience. The group also appreciated the freedom and responsibility that had been encountered during MIE, especially the flexibility to work spontaneously without the demands of writing scripts and learning lines.

Most members of both groups found it difficult to articulate an impact beyond the group, admitting that they just watched films or television for enjoyment only. Only a couple of respondents claimed a wider effect, expressing an awareness of moving images as artefacts.

However, the young people were unanimous on the impact of working with MIE on them as a group. They had noticed qualities in themselves and each other such as acting ability, patience (e.g. with editing) and good ideas. The end result was the development of a sense of group identity that was palpable during the focus group session:

When asked to sum up their opinion of MIE, reaction was mixed, ranging from 'acting was a buzz' to 'awright' and one young person claiming that being in front of the camera or working in public was 'embarrassing'. There was unanimity in both groups that there should be more MIE made available to them.

In addition to enjoyment of working with this medium and a greater understanding of moving images, young people in both focus groups reported benefits in talking and listening, confidence and self-awareness.

The benefits perceived by the young people were confirmed by their trainers. At both sets of interviews, training staff were unanimous in their opinion that working with MIE resulted in 'a big confidence boost' for the young people concerned. They reported that teamwork had improved, that everyone had been involved and taken a pride in completing their tasks: 

"They were more of a team… best mates. They get on better as a group. I think for a lot this is the first thing they are dead proud of. Learners have bought into and enjoy it. Not just enjoying but learning."

This was as much (if not more) the case for 'backroom' tasks such as editing and scripting as it was for filming and acting. Staff could point to individuals who had 'come out of his shell' and others who participated more in MIE than they had in other areas of the curriculum:

"I think quite a lot of them have found their voices and as a group Will challenge things. They would not have done this before as individuals."

Trainers described the programme as developing independence and giving young people a sense of themselves as individuals, whilst appreciating each other within the group. Working together in the ways demanded by MIE had allowed young people to 'see outside themselves'. They described young people as being motivated, enjoying themselves and having fun.

For young people, therefore, the experience of MIE had both affective and cognitive benefits. The programme had a positive impact on young people's confidence and self-esteem. Cognitively, the programme had a positive impact on young people's creativity and learning skills, though the extent to which individuals gained was variable.Finally, the programme had a positive impact on young people's ability to worktogether.

The young people placed a significant measure of importance on the fact that the project became a context and outlet for their creativity. They took ownership and control of the entire project. This claim was substantiated in interviews with training staff in both providers. Above all, young people and trainers alike reported that MIE was enjoyable and fun. Qualitative evidence from both trainers and young people confirmed that this led to greater and deeper learning both as individuals and as a group.

Whilst young people appeared to have developed a measure of critical capacity concerning their MIE work, however, there was no evidence of this extending into other areas of their work or lives in general. Similarly, there was no evidence that critical reading of their own films had led to a more critical reading of visual texts and other media in general (Head 2008).

Within the NEET context, therefore, the perceived significant learning outcomes are 'soft' outcomes relating to confidence, self-efficacy, collaboration and creativity.

Impact on training staff

All training providers understood that the purpose of MIE was to encourage young people to see that they had skills, abilities and intelligence and were effective learners:

"Young people that have been disengaged can be intimidated with long numbers etc. They don't realise the intelligence they have. MIE allows young people to see they are not daft; they have learned, they have knowledge and information from what they have seen."

It was clear to all training provider staff, however, that the main value of MIE lay in its use as a learning tool, and in the pedagogical processes that it offered rather than in the making of a product.

In more generalised terms, training staff saw it as an enterprising approach towards developing young people's learning, attitudes and dispositions, especially the development of confidence and self-esteem throughexpressing themselves and taking ownership and leadership of their MIE tasks.

In response to questions regarding the ways in which they might find MIE useful, training staff's answers were enthusiastic and insightful, claming that it represents 'a different way of learning'. This was summarised in detail by one trainer:

"It's a change of approach. Other work is sessional and is work-book based. This is different. We have used video and role play before but this is different. They [the young people] are the ones making the story and them leading us. They feel ownership, progress and development, and they recognise it."

Even, in the case of one training provider, where more interactive and creative types of engagement with other media such as music were already present and being used, the introduction of MIE was seen to complement and enhance what staff were already doing especially through increased questioning, making connections between film and other parts of life and opening trainers' thinking up to other activities:

"It has opened our eyes to other options and ideas. It is a natural flow and they are developing a structure that allows them to take part. It provides a structure we can be flexible from."

Although the providers had used both the analytical and creative aspects of MIE, they felt that for their particular group of young people, a greater emphasis on the creativity, on the making of an artefact was the better way forward:

"It [analysis] took ages and didn't particularly work but deflated them… and we quickly moved to hands-on. Once it became practical, the young people began to engage better, began to work    together better. Having an end product was brilliant – something they'd looked forward to for weeks."

When this last comment was pursued, it was agreed by this trainer (and other training staff in their own interviews) that having something to look forward to as a result of working on MIE in this way presented an opportunity for the young people to experience the satisfaction that results from delayed gratification (Head 2008).

Overall, therefore, training staff were generally enthusiastic about MIE. This was particularly the case for staff who attended training days organised by Scottish Screen and Scottish Enterprise Glasgow. Training staff were aware that MIE presented learning opportunities that were new to them and their young people. At the time of interview, however, the exact nature of these learning opportunities remained unrealised and Training staff unanimously requested further staff development on the technical and theoretical aspects of MIE. For training staff, the lead practitioner's role in modelling and supporting teaching was vital to their own learning and confidence to undertake MIE with their young people.

At the first phase of the research all training staff were enthusiastic regarding the potential of MIE, but there was no clear understanding of what this would mean in practice. In two cases, there was recognition that MIE should have a value beyond itself and that a valuable next step would be to analyse what was different about learning and teaching in MIE contexts and how this could be incorporated into other aspects of their work.

By the second phase of the research, training staff had extended their repertoire of activities in MIE in order to ensure relevance and effectiveness for their young people. None, however, reported transfer of pedagogical technique into other aspects of their work and this remains an issue to be addressed in future staff development.


Sustainability was perceived to hinge on the quality of future staff development and on training staff's understanding of the nature of MIE and the pedagogical opportunities it presents. Sustainability was also perceived to be dependent upon training staff being able to integrate what they learned in MIE contexts into other areas of their work and on opportunities for capacity building inter and intra providers.

From the evidence present in the data, it was evident that sustainability is dependent upon appropriate and high quality staff development. There are two principal aspects to any such staff development: namely, the development of technical expertise in the making of moving image artefacts; and the development of a clearer understanding of the nature of MIE as a medium of and for learning.

Staff development is, therefore, a matter of capacity building both within and among the training providers. The materials and expertise for development within each provider was seen by trainers as existing within Scottish Screen. Development across providers was considered to be more complex. Since the training companies were in competition with each other, it was, and presumably remains, unlikely that capacity building would become a collaborative exercise.

Above all, however, the most significant factor affecting sustainability of MIE was its positive impact on young people and their learning.  Trainers indicated that as a consequence of the young people's enjoyment, level of engagement and increased tendency to work together productively, they would be more likely to embed MIE into the experiences they provide (Head 2008).

Criticality and pedagogy

This research has highlighted two vital factors that impact on trainers' and young people's learning in the training provider context but which have not yet been fully addressed, namely the development of criticality and the potential for a shift in pedagogy.


The training providers and lead practitioner all reported on the difficulty experienced in attempting to conduct analysis of moving images for this client group, with one provider explicitly stating that they had not addressed this aspect of MIE. There are two significant implications for the young people in not participating in intensive and extended experiences of analysis. The first of these relates to an understanding of MIE itself.  Analysis is an important aspect of understanding the provenance and purpose of moving images and interpreting their meaning.  It is also a significant factor in developing the ability to create new moving images. The second implication relates to the personal and social development of the young people. The literature on learning and behaviour among this client group highlights an ego-centric view of the world and impulsivity as issues requiring attention in developing a sense of themselves as effective learners and a sense of themselves as people in relation to others (Gray 2002; Head 2007; O'Brien 2002). It is perhaps the case, therefore, that this group of young people, more than any other, is in a position to benefit from developing critical capacity and, consequently, for whom analysis of moving images may be essential.


The pedagogical processes inherent in MIE, and the opportunity to use them in all areas of learning, are factors that signify the value of MIE in relation to other 'subjects', including media studies. 

In general terms, pedagogy - as far as it entails the trainers' beliefs about knowledge and learning, teaching techniques, and how young people learn - has an impact also on young people's identities as learners and as individuals in relation to other people. Consequently, there are no 'neutral' positions in pedagogy: whatever is taught and the way in which it is taught has an impact on young people. What might be termed 'traditional' pedagogies encourage the learner to be dependent upon the teacher and to be a passive recipient of knowledge. The possibilities offered by MIE challenge these roles and encourage autonomy and a sense of self as an effective learner capable of generating the knowledge required to deal with whatever challenges life may present. 

Looking holistically at the young people's and trainers' experiences, perhaps the most important factors were young people's ownership and leadership of the projects and the new opportunities presented for their learning and the ways in which trainers work with them. The young people's experiences of education (both in school and certainly within the training providers) are likely to have included pedagogies that operated on the basis of a perceived deficit (in ability or knowledge or both). Pedagogical approaches founded on a deficit basis tend to compensate for the perceived deficit through such measures as simplifying materials or outcomes, practising simple tasks, or through reduced expectation of output. Consequently, simplified work materials, lesser outcomes and lower all round expectations may well have reinforced students' own identities as 'poor learners'. MIE, however, offered a complementary pedagogy in which young people's current skills, ideas and imagination were given the opportunity to develop through working alongside their peers and trainers on a common task. The evidence from this research suggests that a complementary approach contributes to growth in confidence, collaboration and quality of work produced.

There are a number of ways of understanding the outcomes from this project and why its complementary nature proved effective in this instance. For example, some of the personal, social and professional gains accrued by the young people and their trainers can be understood as forms of capital.  Similarly, the ways in which the groups of young people and trainers, and trainers and lead practitioner came together over a short period of time in order to focus on a particular task, could be understood in terms of collaboration and active learning theory. However, as the main thrust of the effect of the programme appears to have been a mixture of young people developing a sense of themselves and others and an awareness of the group as a whole and their identity within it, then Wenger's theory of community (Wenger 1998) suggests itself as being most appropriate for this context.

Wenger's of learning communities challenges a convention that assumes that learning is individual, has a beginning and an end and is the result of teaching (Wenger 1998: 3).  Rather, he argues that learning is a social phenomenon based on four components of meaning (learning as experience), practice (learning as doing), identity (learning as becoming) and community (learning as belonging). Within this project, students and trainers learned together, developing a shared meaning of the project as it was discussed and student ideas were seen as imaginative and innovative by staff.  As they experienced the practicalities of acting, filming, editing and other components of the construction of moving images, the young people developed a sense of competence, individually through the development of previously unrealised skills and abilities and collectively, through working together towards the successful completion of their own moving image artefact,  thereby challenging current identities through the gradual creation of new identities rather than the denigration of old self-estimates. Finally, through the recognition of previously unrealised skills, abilities and knowledge in themselves and each other that contributed to the successful creation of a moving image artefact, the young people and their trainers developed a sense of community.  In the end, they had created an artefact that they owned individually and collectively. Equally, they each owned the experience of creating an artefact from inception to completion.

One must, of course, be cautious in making claims from such a small scale enquiry. Moreover, it may be the case that although it was never stated, that some of the young people may have undertaken Media Studies whilst at school and this could have influenced their attitude towards Moving Image Education. In addition, one must be aware that in any new initiative there will be a 'novelty' factor that might disappear over time. However, for the young people in this client group and their trainers to have as rich a personal and learning experiences as possible, it may be that an extended pedagogy such as that offered by MIE, in which learning is active, experiential and critical, and which complements young people's skills and interests rather than compensating for lack of ability, could prove beneficial. 


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media literacy, moving image education, non-formal education, pedagogy

Published in Volume 17,