The PhD

Despite a constant rise in the attainment of Sats results year on year, the perception remains that British primary school children are underachieving and that they are reluctant readers and writers. Teachers find it difficult to engage their pupils, especially boys in writing activities and to foster enthusiasm for written texts. In order to motivate their students, some teachers use film as a visual stimulus to provide students with ideas and create a personal and emotion connection with the written text.

Since its invention 115 years ago, film has continued to affect human beings in a way that very few other media can. My PhD discusses the connection between the emotions that films can evoke and children’s potential engagement with writing as a result of the subsequent strong feelings. In the school years of 2013/14, I will observe a range of Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 classes which are involved in a media literacy scheme run by the Bradford UNESCO City of Film initiative. Currently, my research focuses on linking the available literature on film, emotion and education.You can find the initial idea of the studentship here.

This website documents my journey through the literature review, conferences and talks, research and politics. The PhD, which is funded by Bradford University, has received a bit of press as the first long term study which investigates literacy on different levels and we hope that it will make a real difference in encouraging more teachers, parents, schools and policy makers to support film education as part of the National Curriculum.

On the following pages you can find information about the research, the pilot and resources and other projects I have been involved in. As the CEO of the International Student Film Organisation and founder of various student film festivals, I am feeling very passionate about the importance of media to young people.

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to get in touch!