Developing Media Literacy: From Research to Practice

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Social Sciences


We are proposing a programme of knowledge exchange activities following on from our current ESRC-funded project 'Developing Media Literacy: Towards a Model of Learning Progression' (RES 062-23-1292), which will be completed in December 2011. We are proposing to work with some of the teachers and developers of educational materials who have been involved in the current project, in order to generate a set of outcomes that will maximise the impact of the research on educational practice. These outcomes will focus specifically on the primary school age range, and will include:
- teaching materials for use in classrooms
- professional development resources for teachers
- curriculum plans that will facilitate the development of media literacy education in schools.
The work will be centrally informed by the key findings of the research in relation to learning progression, and will build on existing materials developed in the course of the current project, which will be revised and developed in light of further piloting in the schools. The outcomes will be published online by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education and the English and Media Centre (the project partners), and disseminated through a series of professional development activities, conference workshops and articles in professional and academic journals.

Planned Impact

This Knowledge Exchange proposal is designed to secure maximum impact of our current research (the Developing Media Literacy project) on future educational practice in the field. Our project seeks to improve the value and effectiveness of media literacy education, through providing high-quality, 'tried and tested' classroom materials and resources for teachers' professional development. In common with growing numbers of educators and policy-makers, we see media literacy as an essential element of contemporary citizenship in an increasingly media-saturated world.

Although the DML project covered both primary and secondary schools, we have chosen to focus specifically on primary schools here, for several reasons. We believe that concentrating our efforts on this sector represents an achievable ambition within the scope of the available funding. It may also be that primary schools are more open than secondary schools to the kind of cross-curricular innovation that media education necessarily entails. More importantly, in terms of impact, it is in the primary sector that additional work in the field is most needed.

As such, the main beneficiaries of this work will be primary school teachers themselves. There will be direct benefits for the two schools involved in the project, for example in terms of professional development for staff and support for curriculum planning, and for the wider Local Authority and Federation networks of which both are a part. By enabling teachers to take 'ownership' of innovation, and by embedding our work in everyday classroom practice, we believe our approach will have more lasting impact.

Beyond this, we intend to seek maximum impact on primary education practice much more broadly. In seeking to reach a wider range of primary teachers, we will work closely with two organisations with whom we have collaborated on the DML project, the English and Media Centre and the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education: both have a long-established history in this field, and are very widely known and respected among teachers both nationally and internationally. We intend to work with these organisations to develop the draft materials used in the DML project further, to pilot new versions, and to bring these to publishable quality. These materials will be supported by a curriculum planning document that will provide an overview and rationale, and guidance for teachers seeking to implement this work in their schools; and by professional development resources in the form of short videos of classroom practice. These materials will be published via the websites of the two organisations.

In addition, we propose to run our own professional development event, and contribute workshops based on our project outcomes to other professional development conferences within relevant fields, mainly those convened by teachers' subject associations.

Finally, we hope that the outcomes will have a further influence on the continuing development of policy on the primary curriculum; and to this end we will have an official 'launch' event intended to attract relevant policy-makers in both education (e.g. DFE) and media regulation (e.g. DCMS, Ofcom).


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English And Media Centre (2014) Developing Media Literacy (Teaching Pack for KS2-3)

Description Please see final report submitted in April 2014
Exploitation Route Please see final report
Sectors Education

Description Impact report and key findings contained in final report submitted in April 2013
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal