Television Studies and Pedagogy

  • Manuel Alvarado


Len Masterman’s book Teaching About Television1 is a key text for all Film and Television Studies teachers. It is a condensation of a long report written for the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) as a result of a Schoolteacher Fellowship awarded in 1976 and it represents the first attempt to offer a book-length study of the problems of teaching about television — it also suggests a range of different ways of approaching many areas of television in the classroom (some of which have yet to receive serious critical attention). The book includes a list of useful periodicals and organisations, an outline of a Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) Mode III syllabus for Television Studies (although this would require more contextualising material for it to be really useful) and a valuable select annotated bibliography. Many of the suggestions Masterman makes for classroom work are innovative, suggestive and valuable. This is the only book of the sort in the field and there is no doubt as to its value to both practising teachers and to teachers from other disciplines (for example, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) and relatively new to Media Studies.


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  1. 1.
    Len Masterman, Teaching About Television, London; Macmillan, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stuart Hall and Paddy Whannel, The Popular Arts, London: Hutchinson, 1964;Google Scholar
  3. 2a.
    Stuart Hall, Roy Knight, Albert Hunt and Alan Lovell, Film Teaching, London: British Film Institute, 1964;Google Scholar
  4. 2b.
    Jim Kitses and Ann Mercer, Talking About The Cinema, London: BFI, 1966;Google Scholar
  5. 2c.
    A. J. P. Higgins, Talking About Television, London: BFI, 1966;Google Scholar
  6. 2d.
    Graham Murdock and Guy Phelps, Mass Media and the Secondary School, London: Macmillan, 1972;Google Scholar
  7. 2e.
    Roy Knight, Film and English Teaching, London: BFI/Hutchinson, 1972.Google Scholar
  8. 3.
    Stan Cohen and Jock Young, The Manufacture of News, Constable, 1972.Google Scholar
  9. 3a.
    The books I am referring to about practical work include Douglas Lowndes, Film Making in Schools, London: Batsford, 1968;Google Scholar
  10. 3b.
    Robert Ferguson, Group Film Making; London: Studio Vista, 1969;Google Scholar
  11. 3c.
    Keith Kennedy, Film in Teaching, London: Batsford, 1972.Google Scholar
  12. 6.
    For example, Harold D. Lasswell, ‘The Structure and Function of Communications’, in Lyman Bryson (ed.), The Communication of Ideas, New York: Cooper Square Publications, 1948;Google Scholar
  13. 6a.
    Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver, Mathematical Theory of Communications, Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1949;Google Scholar
  14. 6b.
    David. K. Berlo, The Process of Communication, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1960.Google Scholar
  15. 9.
    See James Donald. ‘Examinations and Strategies’, Screen Education, no. 26, Spring 1978: also, for different but related arguments see Geoff Whitty, ‘Teachers and Examiners’, in Geoff Whitty and Michael Young (eds) Explorations in the Politics of School Knowledge, Driffield: Nafferton, 1976,Google Scholar
  16. 9a.
    and Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976.Google Scholar
  17. 11.
    Louis Althusser, ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’, in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, London: New Left Books, 1971.Google Scholar
  18. 13.
    For a critique of ‘progressivism’ in primary education see Rachel Sharpe and Anthony Green, Education and Social Control, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975.Google Scholar

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© Manuel Alvarado 1993

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  • Manuel Alvarado

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