“Is this Degree Practical or Theoretical?” Screen and Media Education, Studio-Based Teaching and Signature Pedagogies

  • Brian MorrisEmail author


This chapter explores how discourses of theory and practice operate within the context of screen production and media pedagogy in tertiary education and inform decisions about what is taught and how. The analysis makes use of speculative fiction (as a device to “re-enchant” understandings of the theory–practice relationship) as well as critical reflections on some of the author’s own academic and institutional biography. It also draws upon relevant theories of teaching and learning (such the notion of “signature pedagogies” for different professions) and grounds this broader discussion in the concrete experience of a recent major shift in the pedagogical approach in the Media degree programme at RMIT University, where the author works. That change, implemented from 2015, placed the notion of studio-based pedagogy firmly at the centre of a screen- and media-focused curriculum. This chapter argues that the adoption of a studio-based pedagogy has been a generative experiment in terms of finding new ways to integrate media production and media studies teaching. It has also been a valuable mechanism in terms of students and staff rethinking what they do as not being strictly theory or practice but rather a continuing exploratory journey through an unstable ontological territory.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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