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Not just another photography project! An action research initiative to help build meaningful interactions between creative companies and aspiring young students.

McKinlay, M., 2020. Not just another photography project! An action research initiative to help build meaningful interactions between creative companies and aspiring young students. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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MCKINLAY, Michael_Ed.D._2020.pdf



This dissertation provides clear evidential support for the argument that KS5 (years 12-13) is the crucial stage for providing early career intervention. It is a Doctoral study approached from the standpoint of a practicing teacher, applying an action research framework to ‘unpack’ the benefits of work placement opportunities for creative and media students and addresses three key themes: identity, pedagogy and industry. Firstly, it provides rich empirical data from individual students who played out and explored possible professional roles and identities in the creative and media industry. Their narratives provide lived experiential accounts of Bourdieu’s theoretical concept of ‘habitus’, and Giddens’ theoretical notion of ‘structuration’. Secondly, this research lays claim for teachers to adopt and adapt different modes of pedagogy within their classroom practice which can only be drawn from a closer understanding and interaction with the professional working environment. Thirdly, it suggests that creative and media teachers can only embrace institutional changes in the creative and media industry into their classroom practice through a much closer connection and working relationship to the expectations and changes in this industry. As Bulger and Davison suggest, media education needs to develop a ‘coherent understanding of the media environment’ and ‘develop curricula for addressing action in addition to interpretation’ (2018, p. 4). As such, this framework of interaction – which I have called Creative Pathways – provides a model of successful intervention to address the ‘disconnect’ between the academic (A level) classroom and the local creative and media work room. Indeed, as a result of this research I can now present this (replicable) framework for fellow practitioners and encourage them to set-up bespoke, structured work placement schemes that also look to build similarly positive, productive and useful relationships between their classrooms and their local creative and media work rooms. The focus on a structured work placement scheme is key, and this paper outlines how this can be achieved and how it can be distinguished from a familiar position of ‘ad hoc’ relationships with the local creative and media community. Finally, this research is also presented in support of the positive and productive stance of the ‘teacher- as-researcher’. A radical position aimed at changing and improving professional practice, where teachers are in themselves able to reconsider and thereafter reject orthodox educational research, or ‘the unchallengeable validity of mainstream modes of research’ (Kincheloe, 2012, p. 172). In summary, it is my contention that the relationship between the academic (A level) classroom of creative and media subjects at Key Stage 5 and the local creative and media industry, which has thus far been neglected from academic scrutiny, is an area that can be more richly developed, contextualised and understood, with a clear benefit for students, teachers and the local creative and media community. As such, this paper looks to be the start of an innovative approach towards positive intervention that links the creative and media classroom and the creative and med ia workroom, in a relationship that is more than ‘just another photography project!’

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:creative and media education (key stage 5); action research; situated cognition; praxis; reflexivity; critical theory; structuration theory; creative workers; experiential learning; work placements; creative industries
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:33912
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:23 Apr 2020 12:34
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:21


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