Talking to the darkness

‘Baddies’ in the classroom

Should popular culture be allowed in the classroom and if we do what happens next. Oh the alienation question. The one that says; if we bring in the culture that young people interact with those that feel ‘outside’ those that find it difficult to learn might join in. As someone who works mainly with those I would call low-level learners who achieve few  qualifications, it is not what they are made to learn about but how they learn, that is important. However, in the primary classroom, surely these developing minds will write in the vocabulary and style with which they are most familiar. They were also able to discuss, stretch and mix media text to create new stories.

If we look at this as media research we gained a lot that David Gauntlett would see as effective. As the researcher has a long connection with the subjects they seem able to express some interesting points of view. Would an adult group discuss the level of blood and death content of a scene or story? The research was also seeking to look and find out rather than answer a question that the researcher already has an answer to and wants proof. This is the sort of question that seeks to find violence in computer games.

Finally I would like to suggest that just because these ‘baddies’ have media names and characteristics, they still follow a long line of hero based storytelling and literature. Again as Gauntlett says we seem more worried at a child seeing fictional violence whereas a child of 8 or 9 watching the news and seeing gun-toting soldiers in many parts of the world is not unusual.

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One response

  1. Rebekah

    Yes, I agree, the colonisation of children’s/teen’s culture as a way to ‘motivate’ learning is seriously problematic. First, it misses the point – seeing media only as motivating; second, it can easily back-fire because it’s easy to overlook and then cancel the motivational factor by turning it into a school text (for example, the peer cultural value).

    Your last paragraph touches on arguments also made by Anne Haas Dyson – relating Greek myths to modern superhero stories.

    November 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm

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