Media education in the UK: moving beyond protectionism



In this essay I describe the history of media education in the UK, tracing its evolution from its Leavisite origins, through the advent of cultural studies to the more explicitly political approaches developed in the 1970s. These approaches reflect a gradual democratization of the curriculum, as well as a form of cultural or political protectionism. I also discuss recent moves beyond this approach, resulting from changing views of young people's relationships with the media, and from classroom-based research. I outline the conceptual framework of contemporary media education and discuss the unresolved questions about learning and pedagogy.