Following our two years of research, the findings of the Film Focus project was published on December 3rd 2012. This has been a hugely interesting endeavour for us at IFI Education, but also, we hope, for the educators, facilitators and students who took part. Starting with a survey to map out film education activities around the country, we then invited participation from a number of educators and facilitators who developed a range of pilot projects around different engagements with film. These included Film for Learning Support, Film for Subject Support; Film Studies; Film as Cultural Experience; Filmmaking and Film for Collaborative Learning.
While film was the initial point of interaction, the projects lent themselves to wider learning and promoted media literacy among the participants. Evaluations focused on these aspects as well as the collaborative learning possibilities and critical thinking that the projects encouraged. These skills are in keeping with the aims of a revised Junior Cycle curriculum but also Key Skills at Senior Cycle. A third aspect of our research involved case studies of film education projects around the country including festivals, youth projects and Cinemobile.
Through the course of the project, our emphasis has shifted from locating film within curricula to one where film is seen as one aspect in the much broader landscape of media literacy within which young people already move with certain fluency and confidence. We hope that Film Focus findings can contribute to the Literacy debate and have relevance for curricular developments now and in the future.
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