My first opportunity for work, teaching in Ireland, has come and passed. This is not a bad thing although it would have been better if it came and stayed. I look on the "job" of finding a job in teaching media as a process. This process, like everything else, is fodder for analysis, criticism, reflection and learning.
I was delighted to be given the opportunity to offer a night class at the Carrowbeg College of Further Education in Westport, County Mayo. For the course to run I needed ten people to sign up for the class which would consist of 8 two-hour classes. At a cost of 100 Euros per student these types of classes are self-funding. This area of education has come on a lot in recent years with classes in subjects like flower arranging to navigation. This area of learning is referred to as "Lifelong Learning" courses in many establishments.
The title of the class, which was advertised in two of the local papers was, Media and Communication: Educating ourselves and protecting our children in a media-saturated world. I attended the night of registration when the prospective students came in with a financial commitment and signed up for their preferred class. It was a great and new experience for me. Everything is worth doing. Some people spoke to me with interest in my powerpoint presentation and one came and looked at a little segment of Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang which I had playing on my laptop.
I couldn't resist embedding that - for old time's sake.
No one signed up for my class and I was informed that the overall registration was down on previous years. However, I wonder if there was something I could have done differently to get a more positive result. Perhaps the economic downturn is impacting people's pockets for further education? On the other hand, people might have more time free now as a result of the economic downturn and therefore might have a stronger inclination towards more education. Maybe people are just not interested in studying media?
If they are not, then it is our (my) duty to inform that studying the media is very important. I believe understanding the media and having the ability to decipher some of the mediated messages is as important in this age as the ability to read and write. We need to get media studies into every educational institution on the planet.
So how do we get this message out to the people with the power?
4 days ago