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Screen Education

Screen Education Summer 2014 (72)

Screen Education is essential reading for those with an interest in media literacy. Produced by educators, scholars and critics, the magazines content is tailored to the primary and secondary classroom, as well as some tertiary-level material, offering a unique and engaging perspective on screen education.

Country:
Australia
Language:
English
Publisher:
Australian Teachers of Media Incorporated
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4 Issues

In this issue

13 min.
a tapestry of tales tim winton’s the turning

In 2004, Tim Winton released a short story collection that contained ‘a nest of stories about the smalltown milieu of [his] adolescence’The Turning is a set of seventeen tales set on the Western Australian coastline, in and around the (fictional) town of Angelus. The stories intersect and interweave with each other, with characters from some stories making appearances in others. While the WA setting is spectacularly evoked, the characters at first glance may seem ordinary; for the most part, these are ordinary people leading rather ordinary lives. Yet out of this raw material, Winton crafts a series of exquisitely drawn moments that reveal Vic, Gail, Bob, Max and Rae (and the others) to be as complex, as beautiful and as fragile yet strong as the coastline they live on. A LITERARY…

12 min.
blokes & jokes armageddon on the big screen

Hollywood has long been obsessed with the apocalypse. On the silver screen, America’s world has been ending since 1933, when RKO’s Deluge (Felix E Feist, 1933) saw earthquakes destroy the east coast, causing a tsunami to drown New York and its inhabitants. As it happens, the US was actually a bit slow to catch on to the dramatic possibilities of the apocalypse. The Danes and the French had both previously made films titled The End of the World (August Blom, 1916, and Abel Gance, 1931, respectively), in which a visiting comet causes social unrest. It isn’t difficult to see how global concerns have influenced the sort of disaster tales Hollywood has chosen to tell. As the world entered the atomic age, films such as On the Beach (Stanley Kramer, 1959), The…

7 min.
the earth wins a bird’s-eye view of climate change

The Australian Curriculum’s strong focus on sustainability encourages teachers to develop learning experiences that focus on understanding practices, actions and changes that can make a difference to our environment and the world around us. With the growing acceptance that climate change and global warming issues need significant and immediate human action, there has never been a more appropriate time to harness the unique and highly creative problem-solving skills of young Australians. Australian teachers are renowned for having an approach to teaching and learning that encourages critical and creative thinking and the ability to find solutions in innovative ways. The Earth Wins (Jerry Grayson, 2013) provides an opportunity to encourage these problem-solving abilities in upper primary students. It is a short documentary-style film featuring high-impact visuals, contemporary music and aerial filming. These…

16 min.
beyond the night sky exploring space in hidden universe

It’s difficult to gauge exactly how many of today’s engineers, scientists and physicists do what they do because they gathered around a black-and-white TV set in 1969 to watch humankind’s first step on the moon. Nonetheless, it’s impossible to deny that the cultural impact of the moon landing was immense – that grainy video did more for recruitment to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields than almost anything else. Humans have always been fascinated with space, but until now, we have not been able to see much beyond the stars. Hidden Universe (Russell Scott, 2013), a collaboration between seasoned 3D film producers and researchers from Swinburne University, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and NASA, explores the farthest reaches of the universe with incredible visuals. In doing so, it certainly…

17 min.
thinking with film engaging the emotions

Philosophy is increasingly being taught in primary and secondary schools, and growing numbers of undergraduates are studying philosophy units while completing other majors. But teaching philosophy to those who are only indirectly interested in its skills of analysis and abstraction presents its own challenges. Screening films with philosophical themes is a well-known means of engaging students with philosophical topics, and it’s an approach I take when teaching a compulsory philosophy unit to first-year Bachelor of Arts students. What I have observed in class is that films are especially effective in this sense if they impel students to connect emotionally with the concerns of philosophy. The discussion below outlines how emotional engagement is useful for teachers to draw on when prompting students to participate in philosophical reflection and analysis. Although my experience…

24 min.
the rise of raunch

Primary schools are beginning to see a phenomenon that has crept down from secondary schools: sexting, sexual assault, and inappropriate sexual behaviour and language. As media consumers, children are bombarded with gender stereotypes, an obsession with body image, and sexual themes in everything from films, TV, advertising and music videos to cartoons, games and magazines. In this article, Lee Burton, who researches the effects of pornography and raunch culture in both primary and secondary schools, provides information and strategies that empower children aged nine to twelve to become critical of media messages and to be aware that raunch culture is a construction. This is a sensitive topic. Teachers may want to amend activities to suit their classes and to undertake some activities tailored to girl- and boy-only groups. The key media concepts that…