Minister for Education and Skills Mr. Ruairi Quinn TD today launched IFI Education’s Film Focus Report, the findings of a major action research project, supported by the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann, that outlines new directions in film education and media literacy for young people.
Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD said ‘Improving literacy is a key priority for this Government. Working with IFI we can help to develop different kinds of literacy for our young people. In this context I am pleased to announce that IFI Education plans to devise a short course in film and media, to include Irish film, as a Junior Cycle Short Course under the new Framework for Junior Cycle. I would like to thanks the IFI on their work to date and wish them the best in their continuing work in supporting literacy.
Alicia McGivern, Head of IFI Education said ‘Film Focus has yielded a number of exciting projects and ways of working in film and moving image that are motivating, engaging and pleasurable for young people, and will enhance their existing abilities to critically and creatively navigate the mediated world of today.’
Running in tandem with IFI Education’s Schools Programme and building on over 15 years of expertise in film education provision at the IFI, the report looked at existing provision for film education and, using an action research model, developed 14 pilot film education projects with an innovative and motivated group of educators across Ireland. These included film to support subject and first and second language learning, film as art form, gaming, filmmaking, film as cultural engagement.
The report highlighted the importance for today’s young people of having the opportunity to engage with film as a key contemporary art form and vital part of Irish heritage and a medium by which they are already motivated; as well to foster their skills in media literacy – so they can access and navigate the myriad media platforms that are integrated into everyday life. Drawing on these skills in the classroom encouraged creative and critical engagement and collaborative learning and allowed students to bring ‘out of school’ media skills to enhance their classroom learning.
As an outcome of Film Focus, IFI Education will be devising a short course for the Framework for new Junior Cert specifically. Routed in the findings of the research, there will be an emphasis on skills based learning as well as specific attention to learning outcomes. IFI Education will also be working with the Irish Film Board to launch a GearrScannán project bringing short Irish language films into the classroom with accompanying study guide to support the enhanced focus on oral language skills in assessment.
The report also makes a number of medium and long-term recommendations for expanding film education and enshrining media literacy skills as a key component across the Irish curriculum, with aims to investigate new partnerships for Initial Teacher Education in media literacy, and to develop a Module for Continuing Professional Development for teachers in film and media literacy.
The IFI acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.
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