The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Planning a unit of Pre-Production Coursework for Media GCSE after school, myself and the boss get somewhat carried away with the subject.

I started in on this subject one month ago as a beginner, terrified that I had no idea what I was undertaking ... and now I'm there with my iconography, my 'shouldn't we do a lesson on representation?', 'By what means do we classify criminal behaviour?' and so on.
I'm all, 'hey, we could fit the uses and gratifications theory in there', and 'we can't continue without some reference to control and regulation', or 'I think the target market should be the focus group's project before we create a product.' Blinding white heat of target vocabulary I thought I'd never learn.
(A sudden thought as I write: experience of B- coursework essays teaches me that someone who's just learnt how to overuse the buzz words may have advanced a step, but rarely has any solid grasp of the concepts underneath.)

We've given up on the half cocked introductory theory of film tasks, after some disastrous lessons spent trying to define the conventions of surrealism in film (talk about an oxymoron) using Le Chien Andalou. Classes are sick to death of the easy colourful poster opportunism of still image analysis.

We're fizzing over this Pre Production unit, though, putting in all our favourite theories, trying to weegie in the theoretical exploratory tasks we love to pontificate on (news simulation, anyone?). Making sure we've covered all the critical angles, and namechecked every theory you'd need to know before storyboarding the intro and credits to a tv police drama.

It's a good long while before we sit back, look over what we've written, and realise we forgot to ask the kids to a) have any fun; b) do any work.

Whoops. Still, that's another twelve lessons programmed in with ease. "Do the work."