Appendix 1: Shakuntala Banaji, Andrew Burn and David Buckingham (2006).
Appendix 2: The language of animation – Paul Wells
Appendix 3: Interview Transcript with Caroline Denyer, Head of Art, Broadland High School
Appendix 4: Interview Transcript with David Loyed, Animator and Educator
Appendix 5: Interview Transcript, Broadland Storyboard
Appendix 6: Interview logs from video recording – The Breakthrough Boys
Animation, sketching a history of animation
Animation and Creativity in the Classroom: How to encourage creativity through animation and machinima production.
The book is the description of a model of how young people learn about animation and machinima1 and looks at three key themes: creativity, which is the process of developing original ideas that have value, media literacy which is the knowledge, skills and competencies that are required to use and interpret media, and culture which influences critical and creative behaviour.
The study draws from Raymond Williams’ definition of culture, Lev Vygotsky’s work on the development and use of creativity and Paul Well’s analysis of animation language. It looks at the history of animation as an art form and a popular medium, the debate about high and popular culture, the history of art education and aesthetics and media education and criticality.
The research consists of case studies of action research that explore approaches to ‘camera-less’ animation, drawn animation, model animation and machinima, as carried out in Norfolk Secondary Schools and Schome Park2, a secure 3D virtual world for thirteen to seventeen year olds, set in Teen Second Life3.
The book argues that (1) Animation and machinima offer a multidisciplinary model of creativity that allows for play, imagination and fantasy, but it also needs a literacy framework to develop students’ creativity in order to produce animations that are original and valuable from a critical perspective. (2) Youth culture changes the way young people engage with animation. (3) Worthwhile learning about animation and machinima has some domain-specific elements, it needs specific knowledge and depends on multimodal choices and media literacies.
In all of this, the study proposes ways to consolidate art and media education, new media arts and their respective practices and pedagogies. Good teaching and learning are key factors that foster positive learning progression and are standards by which the quality of young peoples’ creative work can be encouraged, understood and evaluated.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 1: Plasticine model making in the classroom
I am indebted to all the young people, teachers and schools, many of whom have spent extra time in participating in the case studies for my action research.
I am particularly grateful and appreciate the help of Professor Andrew Burn. Thanks are also due to Professor Welby Ings and Doctor Maria O’Connor for their academic support.
I am especially thankful to Martin Sercombe for his support, guidance and encouragement. He always believed in me and helped me to be where I am today.
Chapter 1 Introduction
This introduction prefigures the study by discussing five issues. First, I position myself as a researcher, explaining the context of the inquiry and the personal teaching experiences that led to its development. Second, I outline the main book concerns including its three formative questions. Third, I outline the methodology adopted. I then briefly describe my approaches to the subject of creativity, culture and animation literacy. Finally, I discuss the study’s original contribution to the field, and conclude with an outline of the book’s structure.
1.1Positioning myself as a researcher
I began my teaching career in a secondary school for boys aged from 11 to 16 in the East End of London in 1997, where a large number of the students were from the Bangladeshi community and the Asian Muslim intake was 90%. I still remember my first months with the Year 10 GCSE group. Faced with active resistance, bordering on rebellion, I felt that I had three choices – the first was to quit, the second to continue with consistent, positive teaching, and the third, to follow the second option whilst seeking to make the Art and Design curriculum more popular, interesting and relevant. I did not take the option to quit, partly because I was fortunate to have begun my teaching career at a time when new digital technologies were beginning to surface. Given this I saw the opportunity during my Newly Qualified Teacher year to create my first animation project.
My project was funded by way of a £500 grant (worth $1650 at the time of writing) that allowed for a two-day residency by a professional filmmaker.4 The pre-production work was undertaken during normal art lessons over one term, whilst the production and animation work was done during the filmmaker’s residency. This was not always easy, but I remember the day when all the students watched the final version of Plastigeist over and over again.
Many other things happened also. By the end of the animation project, this particular GCSE5 group, which had been so disruptive and uninterested, showed that it respected the pupil-teacher relationship and that it was prepared to participate positively in the art curriculum and, as if to confirm my belief in my ideas, it achieved better results than anyone had expected. Through that experience my ideas about what creative teaching and learning might be began to develop. The sheer impact that the animation activities had on the young people motivated me to start considering the reasons why this approach could produce such dramatic learning outcomes.
By 1999 I was teaching Art and Design at a secondary comprehensive school of 1,600 students in Norwich, Norfolk, in the United Kingdom. It was still uncommon – especially for art departments, to be equipped with computers, or other advanced technology. However, between October 2001 and March 2002 the British Educational Communication and Technology Agency (BECTA) ran a digital video pilot project (DV Pilot Scheme) involving 50 schools from across the United Kingdom. The aim of the project was to gather evidence of the impact of digital video technology on pupils’ engagement and behaviours, and to identify models of effective practice. In order to explore this I participated and included animation in the art and design curriculum to gather and share evidence of its impact on pupil engagement and behaviour. My interest in research grew because of the particular questions the teaching of animation raised during its progress.
The final BECTA report (2002) by Mark Reid (British Film Institute), David Parker Creativity, Culture & Education (CCE) and Andrew Burn (London Institute of Education) concluded that ‘new technology had increased pupils’ motivation, broadened access to the curriculum and had fostered both creativity and moving image literacy’ (Reid; Parker & Burn, 2002:44). The published Evaluation Report (see Chapter 2, section 2.4) particularly recognised animation as being of ‘huge potential’. The evaluation noted that the pupils’ creativity, in relation to the film they produced, fell into two categories: (i) its positive aesthetic impact, and (ii) its wider references to popular animation and cultural experiences. The authors said,
‘The notion of creativity begins to become clear in this project in certain respects. Firstly, it is related to an emphasis on the aesthetic properties of the ‘text’ or film, being made. These aesthetic properties fall into two categories: the way in which the work creates an aesthetic impact is strongly emphasised and the less conscious incorporation of wider influences of cultural experience, especially the humorous and parodic references to popular animation’ (Reid, Parker & Burn, 2002: 44-45).
The report provided me with an initial framework for my research by suggesting ways to analyse the nature of the creative processes being undertaken, and their learning outcomes for both students and teachers. It confirmed my own observation that students are greatly motivated by the new technologies, and are quick to see their creative affordances. It also indicated the importance of considering how young people perceive the aesthetic properties of animated film and how they come to understand the cultural contexts which inform the ‘text.’
In 2003, I became a co-director of Media Projects East. Our company is concerned with using digital video technology, new media and multimedia to help young people and community groups make a wide range of creative animations, dramas and documentaries on issues relevant to them, such as disability awareness, homelessness and cyberbullying. The issue led work we have helped young people to produce has shown time and time again how important it is to consider the cultural contexts in which it is made, and how its content reflects broader cultural concerns.
From 2005 – 2008, my work as an Education Research Officer at Norwich University of the Arts prompted the Schooltoons6 project. Schooltoons was a research initiative that offered animation activities to schools in Norfolk, in the United Kingdom. It brought together artists in residence and teachers to explore the impact of animation on pupils’ education. The project culminated in the publication of a comprehensive animation teaching resource, that supports the integration of animation work into the Art & Design, ICT, English and Media curricula for pupils at Key Stages 3 and 4. Continuum Education7 (since 2012 a Bloomsbury8 company) invited me to work on an edition of The Teachers’ Animation Toolkit for its first publication in 2011.
The Schooltoons case studies offered a wide range of animation activities, which spanned Key Stages 2 to 4, inclusion groups and extra curricular activities (see Figure 2). These examples inspired and informed this book and encouraged me to explore notions of creativity and literacy, and to apply them to the analysis of animation and machinima production. After the publication of the Teachers’Animation Toolkit I continued my work at Norwich University of the Arts and as company director of Media Projects East. I delivered animation workshops to high priority schools as identified in the Aim Higher Strategic Plan 2008-2011 within Norfolk in the UK (http://www.nua.ac.uk/ideasfactory/clients/aimhigher/). The Aim Higher scheme aimed at getting young people from less-advantaged backgrounds to view Higher Education as a realistic, achievable and desirable goal. Priority groups were young people from lower socio-economic groups and those living in deprived geographical areas, including rural and costal areas.
The Aim Higher work highlighted another key observation which underpins much of this book. We found that traditionally low achieving students often respond very well to the opportunity to engage in animation production, as this quotation from an art teacher indicates:
‘Even Shaun stood in front of me jumping up and down with the excitement of doing animation next year!! He has never been excited about anything he does in school’ (Rebecca Staples, Repham High School, United Kingdom).
Thus, the teaching of animation has been shown to benefit students from a wide range of backgrounds, and with a broad range of academic abilities. With this in mind, I have sought to identify the common denominators in my pedagogy which can be applied in virtually any teaching context. This theme is explored more fully in Chapter 5, Animation in the Classroom, where I analyse a series of case studies of different classroom activities.
In 2007, I joined the Open University Schome community (www.schome.ac.uk) to explore the creative and critical potentials of virtual worlds for film makers and education, in the context of machinima production. The formal training I provided in machinima was documented as part of a research project at the London Knowledge Lab (Learning From Online Worlds; Teaching in Second Life). It also led to work with South East Grid for Learning and Skoolaborate, exploring how young people can collaborate at an international level on peer and teacher-led film-making projects. I worked closely with Westley Field, Director of Online Learning at MLC School in Sydney, Australia. Skoolaborate is a global initiative that uses a blend of technologies including blogs, online learning, wikis and virtual worlds to transform learning for young people. (http://www.skoolaborate.com). I developed a set of core concepts around animation and machinima, keywords and models to highlight the changes in moving-image practice precipitated by such developments.
At that time I created a virtual film academy, a 3D online place for people and educators to learn film production skills, to debate and to develop new ways to teach others about moving image practices and literacies. This work as an artist and teacher is documented by Professor Andrew Burn in his book Making New Media, Chapter 8, Machinima, Second Life and the Pedagogy, 2009. The work also forms the basis of Chapter 6: Machinima, in which I explore the ways working in this medium has informed and influenced film and animation pedagogies.
In 2008, I was commissioned by the Open University to design a series of socialisation activities to help students master the creative potential of Second Life as a learning platform. The research also involved a study of the design of virtual learning spaces in SL, and concludes with a set of design principals and recommendations for educators. Allied to this was a partnership with the Eastern Leadership Centre in Cambridge, developing a training resource for teachers/teacher trainees. The resource looks at a wide range of pastoral issues concerning young teens, presenting them as short drama sequences. These were performed by avatars in the virtual world of Second Life, facing real-life problems such as cyberbullying, homophobic behaviour, and classroom violence.
I also gained enormously from teaching in different cultural contexts: a 2008–2009 film-making residency in Queenstown, Tasmania plus work in Germany, Botswana and Nepal have added immeasurably to my repertoire of teaching styles and my knowledge of arts and media production in contrasting parts of the world. In 2003 I was invited by the College of Art and Design in Havana to research Cuban contemporary studies and political influences found in young Cuban art. A 2010 consultancy for the Brunei government’s ‘Our World’ conservation project involved producing digital media teaching and learning resources for use across schools in the state (http://vimeo.com/14580370). In 2011, I worked as an animator and educator with refugee children from Burma at the 42km school in Mae Sot, Thailand, as part of a collaboration between Media Projects East and The Best Friend charity. (http://mediaprojectseast.co.uk/projects/index_links_friend.html)
This work highlighted again the value of these new media tools as a means to empower young people, and allow them give voice to cultural issues of immediate concern in their everyday lives. It also showed how the immediacy and creative potential of these tools is equally relevant to students anywhere in the world.
My pedagogical journey continued at Ravensbourne in London where I co-managed the postgraduate framework that brings together a suite of many different specialist courses, for example MA/MSc Broadcasting, MA Visual Effects, MSc Applied Technologies, Rapid Prototyping, MSc Interactive Digital/Interactive Product Futures, MA/MSc 3D Stereoscopic Media, MA Visual Effects, MA Moving Image, MA Animation Futures, Masters of Design, MA Communication Design, MA Fashion and MSc Professional Media Practice (http://www.rave.ac.uk/prospectus/postgraduate). At Ravensbourne I maintained and continued the development of animation literacies through vocational industry projects. For example, Save The Artic (2013) was a collaborative project between Greenpeace, Immersive and Ravensbourne. The animations were done with the help of students and Immersive, a projection mapping company in London. In the video on You Tube (00:08) we see an animated polar bear projected across an inner city London building (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b36Wa7-GaXI) to highlight the challenges facing humanity through the impacts of climate change.
Projects of this kind indicate the need to further develop animation literacies in order to embrace the ever extending affordances of these new technologies as creative communication tools. In this project the audience no longer viewed animations in a traditional format such as the TV, computer or cinema screen. Instead the screen became a building in the city of London. Projection mapping technology allowed a new viewing experience and therefore embodies a further extension of these literacies.
In 2015, I moved from Norwich in the United Kingdom to Auckland in New Zealand. In my present role as Senior Lecturer in Digital Design at Auckland University of Technology, School of Art and Design I see similar expanded fields of literacies emerging that might inform critical pedagogical practices in game design. For example, I have recently established a Games Research Lab to promote Gaming as a Literacy: learning from computer games. The Gaming Research Lab provides access to a variety of traditional board games and digital computer games. Such an environment encourages the study of game literacy: a new form of game studies, in which we seek to analyse and critique videogames in their own terms. The lab allows students to examine the literacy of games as artefacts. When we play video games, we are engaging with and learning a new literacy. Whilst a detailed study into the forms a new game literacy might take is beyond the scope of this study, my current work clearly indicates the need for further research in this field.
Animation as a medium of expression and communication offers the possibility to model and imagine new worlds, new ideas and new identities, or explore and debate issues arising out of everyday life. Also, given the ease and flexibility of its use, animation allows pupils to take risks with the technology, to create their own meaning and to say what they want to say.
Integrating an evolving model of animation literacy into classroom pedagogy should subsequently help young people to develop a more critical understanding of the language of animation. This understanding can then inform the creative work they subsequently undertake. This evolving model of literacy should draw upon the traditions of both art and media education, whilst leaving room to embrace developments in new technologies and their impact on this model.
The title of this research is Animation in the Classroom. It offers a description of a model of how young people, between the ages of twelve and seventeen, learn about traditional9 animation and popular machinima10 by taking part in traditional animation production activities in the classroom. It also describes what ‘virtual-learning’ teenagers engage in when they produce 3D real time popular animations, such as machinima.
This research covers two elements. Firstly, it discusses some of the ways animation has been taught in secondary schools in the UK, looking specifically at how these pedagogies engage with media literacies and encourage creative practice. Secondly, it asks what machinima production can offer student learning as a related creative practice.
There are three related ideas that I will discuss in this book. These are:
- creativity, which is the process of developing original ideas that have value,
- ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture which influences creative behaviour
- media literacy which is the knowledge, skills and critical competencies that are required to use and interpret media.
The book asks how one might cultivate and encourage creativity through animation production in the classroom whilst exploring the interdependence of such creative practice and the literacies which underpin it.
It acknowledges that animation has links to art, media (both traditional and digital), film and cinema. Therefore, it puts the case for drawing upon each of these disciplinary models in a search for an overarching literacy applicable to the teaching of animation in the classroom. The book looks at the increased interest in creativity by art and media educators and researchers and teases out some of the different claims made regarding creativity, culture and literacy. It does this firstly, by exploring pedagogies and modes of learning that have originated from both art and media education. Secondly, it compares and analyses these modes of learning by describing what actually happens when teenagers view and produce animation.
Suggesting that the development of an animation model in the classroom can be used for analysing creativity in an educational context, the paper investigates possible frameworks through examples of best practice in ‘camera-less’ animation, drawn animation, model animation and machinima work. The case studies carried out in Norfolk Secondary Schools and Schome Park11 provide an exploration of the key factors that foster positive learning progression, and establish standards by which the quality of young peoples’ creative work can be evaluated.
Running throughout this book are three fundamental research questions:
- What kinds of creativity can be developed through animation and machinima production?
- What part do teenage cultures play in the production of animation and machinima?
- What does animation and machinima production teach young people about media literacy?
While each of these questions is discussed in detail in subsequent chapters it is useful at this point to briefly unpack their concerns:
What kinds of creativity can be developed through animation and machinima production?
Creativity is often linked with artistic drive, internationality, inspiration, imagination, free expression, creative genius, novelty and uniqueness. The free-expression theories linked to art education are found in the work of Read (1956) and Slade (1954). The work of both theorists led to the idea of leaving children entirely to their own devices and resulted in debates relating to whether learning is about ‘making’ or ‘understanding’. Their research also drew attention to the crucial difference between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’.
Collingwood (1938), Witkin (1974), Hospers (1955) and Ryle (1954) contribute a more balanced view and explain the need not only to focus on the emotion of art making, but also the theories that concentrate-attention on the art objects. In the arts, creativity they suggest, is concerned with understanding and expressing the qualities of human experience. More recently, in 1999, the Robinson Report (DfEE, 1999) described creativity as imaging by thinking, behaving or ‘doing’ to generate something original, using imagination to make something original the individual has not done before.
In media education, for example, creativity is linked with the more modest process of ‘production’ (Burn, 2009). Production is seen as a creative activity that offers the opporunity to make films and moving images and to develop some understanding of the technical and creative process that allows the effective expression of a story, a mood or an idea (the three Cs). It is skill based and designed to give young people the opportunity to develop their understanding of and to participate in, the media culture that surrounds them (Buckingham & Bazalgette, 1989). Thus in media education and production we encounter creativity as a critical process in which the media cultures are shaped and expressed, whilst in the arts, creativity is more concerned with understanding and expressing the characters of human experience. However, I would argue that here is still a gap between ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing that’. For this reason a model of creativity is required that creates a condition for young people to engage critically but also aesthetically with the ways in which sense is made of their animation production.
In order to encourage both aspects of creativity through animation production for this book, I use Lev Vygotsky’s model of creativity and draw on his principals to develop a theory of creativity for animation in education. This model of creativity in associated with:
- play, imagination and fantasy
- mental function that is learned through social and cultural interaction
- and a convergence between imagination and thinking (Vygotsky, 1931:5-16).
What part do teenage cultures play in the production of animation and machinima?
Culture is linked to a way of life, knowledge, industry, society, values and also, to aesthetic ways of being and meaning making. Culture is the general expression of humanity; the expression of its creativity. It is often the role of the arts to express, formulate and define social cultures and it is through the work of artists’ expressive insight that the values of social cultures are shaped.
A study for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Willis, 1990) argues that young people are constantly engaged in aesthetic and creative processes through their engagement with popular culture: a culture to which they contribute actively rather than passively. Burn (1999) suggests creativity connects to cultural production and cultural creativity connects to cultural consumption. If creativity is situated culturally and creativity is closely linked to cultural experiences, then we might ask ourselves, how do we know when teenagers are having original ideas that have value?
Young people engage with ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural activities, through education in school. However, they are also continously engaged with aesthetics through cultural activities they experience in commercial, popular cultures outside of formal education. This being the case, we might ask ourselves about the respective value of high and low cultural influences, relationships between these experiences, and how these are realised in animation production.
What is the relationship between these experiences, what are the cultural resources of young people and how do they realise this in animation production? In exploring these ideas the paper assumes that young people are not consumers alone, and should also be valued as creative content producers.
What does animation and machinima production teach young people about media literacy?
Duncum (1993:8) argues that ‘the single most important set of cultural skills today is the critical examination of the interconnection between words, pictures, performances and music to produce meaning in television.’ The interpretation of animation, graphic images, colour, sound and movement, demands a wider range of literacies than those required by art or media education alone. Fichter (1991) makes a strong case for broadly based literacy strategies when she proposes that:
‘As we seek multicultural literacy, let us also seek multi-literate culture and realise that art[s] literacy and computer literacy are both powerful and desirable languages, operating sometimes in different psychic neighbourhoods but both capable of opening the ‘doors of perception’ (Fichter, 1991:4).
David Buckingham (2003, 2007) defines media literacy as the knowledge, skills and competencies that are needed in order to use and interpret media and he summarises that literacy today is inevitably ‘multimedia’ based. He draws attention to media literacy by stating that the new literacies required by the modern media are just as important as the old ones. Media education, he believes, is about developing young people’s critical and creative abilities and that their knowledge about the roles of advertising, the press, radio and the music industry is essential to their understanding of the world in which they live. Buckingham & Sefton-Green, (1994) argue that being literate provides creative opportunities to explore, negotiate and transform identity.
As a result, in media education creativity is dependent on literacies and it emphasises the development of young peoples’ critical and creative abilities. Buckingham & Bazalgette (1989) argue that students should be entitled to a form of digital media literacy to develop their understanding of, and participate in, its surrounding culture. However, this paper proposes that we need to know more about how young people process animation when it is presented within art and media education, for example how they make meaning from different forms of expression and so how they express themselves through animation.
Creativity, Culture and Literacy
In this book I suggest that creative practice can operate as an imaginative transformation of cultural resources and that young people’s creative work can be productively informed by their popular and immediate cultural experience. Accordingly, I have undertaken this book in an attempt to develop a possible model of creativity and literacy, through which I might show how animation activities can help students to learn and teachers to teach, creatively and critically, and therefore more effectively. I argue that this model can be meaningfully adopted in many different cultural, environmental and teaching contexts, and therefore does not run the risk of being made redundant by the constant evolution of culture and/or technology.
The book teases out some of the claims made regarding creativity and literacy. It does this firstly, by exploring pedagogies and modes of learning that have originated from both art and media education. Secondly, it compares and analyses these modes of learning by describing what actually happens when teenagers view and produce animation.
In developing a model for teaching animation in the classroom, the book explores examples of best practice in ‘camera-less’ animation, drawn animation, model animation and machinima work. The case studies carried out in Norfolk Secondary Schools and Schome Park12 investigate the key factors that foster positive learning progression, and establish standards by which the quality of young peoples’ creative work can be evaluated.
1.3 Methodological framework
This book uses a series of case studies as a means of discussing and contextualising these issues. A case study methodology is useful because it illuminates and explicates a subject and its related contextual conditions (Thomas, 2011). Flyvbjerg (2001) and argues that such an approach can be used to explore a complex phenomenon anchored in real life. Accordingly, it does not focus on the discovery of generalizable, transferable truths, nor does it seek cause–effect relationships; instead, it is concerned with consideration and description (Feagin 1991). In this book the case study methodology draws on experience from lived contexts where the pedagogical approaches were initiated, developed and refined. In so doing it provides a narrated context for a consideration of pedagogical approaches, creative practice and students’ understandings of what they produce. As such, it can be seen as an ethnographic approach to studying students’ experiences in animation studies.
1.4 Original contribution to the field
Most familiar animations are produced by Disney, PIXAR, Dreamworks and Ghibli.13 We are also exposed to animation in popular television sit-coms like The Simpsons and South Park. Audiences are also familiar with the products of the UK animation industry, including animated content on television, in feature films, commercials, websites and computer or video games.
Paul Wells, the Professor of Animation at Loughborough University, notes:
‘Animation is the most dynamic form of expression available to creative people … Computer-generated animation finds close affiliation with the computer games industry … on the world wide web, mobile phones, independent animated films and [as] special effects in blockbusters. Animation is used in science, architecture, healthcare and broadcast journalism … it is simply everywhere!’ (Wells, 1997:2-3).
Only since the recent digital revolution began has animation become a fashionable medium for extra-curriculum work in UK schools, especially in primary education.14 Animation has found a ‘popular’ place in secondary education too, where it is seen as an extra-curricula activity, appearing, for example in after-school clubs, during activities week, or as external projects funded by other government agencies, such as Creative Partnerships15, First Light Movies16 or Media Box17. Animation is now integrated with Art, ICT, Design and Technology and Media Education but its teaching in secondary schools can depend on a teacher’s personal initiative, enthusiasm and interest. Therefore, chance can dictate whether or not young people are given opportunities to experience or learn about animation in the classroom. For example, the Park Side Community School in Cambridge, in the UK has been actively involved in media research work. Driven by Burn, Durren and Parker, education and media research focuses on computer games and animation production in the classroom. (See Burn and Durran’s Media Literacy in Schools 2007).
Where it is actively encouraged, animation can be used to motivate students to learn about art and literature, modern languages, maths, geography and science, or to explore social issues, such as bullying, racism and sexual health. However, activities that are externally funded tend to fall outside of the curriculum; and involve specialist practitioners from within the industry. Consequently, they tend to be one-off projects that lack either continuity or sustainability. It is still the case that animation is often introduced as a software training experience, as a craft or skills development programme, but less or not at all as a critical experience.
Although animation is popular throughout primary, secondary and tertiary education, it faces problems especially in the secondary school curriculum. Teachers’ lack of knowledge, a narrow range of examples for reading or viewing, teachers’ lack of confidence in making judgments about the quality of animation work, lack of understanding of the aesthetics of animation, lack of equipment, lack of a fixed curriculum and a lack of a basic understanding of animation literacy and technologies, all prove problematic. (See Schooltoons findings, Chapter 5, section 5.1.). Advances are being made for example by Mind Lab at Unitec (http://themindlab.com). Mind Lab provides teacher training for the digital age as a postgraduate certificate. The Mind Lab Animation Lab also runs a series of animation workshop for young people, focusing on the making of 3D stop motion animation. However the brief nature of these taster sessions leaves little room for a discussion of animation literacies.
Hence, whilst there is a widely held understanding of the value of teaching animation production, it is much harder to establish a consensus regarding how best to provide a grounding in literacy and critical skills. In the UK teachers of media studies often come from an English literature background, and are unlikely to have received professional media industry training. Teachers of ICT tend to have a high level of hardware, and software knowledge, but may have less experience as an arts or media practitioner. Teachers of Art and Design will often have a high level of practical skills with an emphasis on self-expression and aesthetics, but may lack the critical skills needed to teach animation. The case studies examined in Chapter 5 indicate that the effective teaching of animation in secondary and tertiary education requires a broad understanding of literacies drawn from each of these disciplines.
Accordingly the book offers models of ‘classroom creativity’, ‘cultural practice’ and ‘animation literacies’, which can help young people develop a critical understanding of animation by drawing on a range of related disciplines, embracing creative writing, art and media education. It argues that the most effective creative practice is born of a broad understanding of these literacies. Robinson (2001:5) suggests, ‘Creating the right synergy and achieving the right balance in education is an urgent and complex task, from national policy-making to classroom teaching’.
1.5 The structure of the book
The book has eight chapters. In this chapter I have positioned myself as a researcher, then discussed significant elements, ideas and questions that have governed the form and content of the inquiry. This was followed by an outline of the methodology and a discussion of the original contribution to knowledge that the book makes.
Chapter 2, Background and Related Work explores pedagogic models in primary, secondary and tertiary school education and teases out some of their claims made regarding the value of learning about and making animation. It reflects on an engagement with aesthetic principles, creative tools and the emotional, intellectual and personal development that can grow out of the self expression which ensues.
Chapter 3, Theory, provides a discussion of the theories which currently underpin the teaching of animation, and how they may be linked. It focuses primarily on materials that help define a framework for a discussion of the relationships between creativity and media literacy, as they specifically relate to the teaching of animation.
I begin by exploring definitions of creativity as defined by a range of academics such as the developmental psychologists Lev Vygotsky and Carl Rogers, media theorists Banaji, Burn and Buckingham and animation expert Paul Wells.
I go on to explore how a theory of animation literacy might embrace such definitions of creativity, whilst drawing upon established tenets of related multimodal media literacies and film theory.
In Chapter 4, Methodology, I have established a consolidated framework for the analysis of the case study materials discussed in Chapter 5.
As both a researcher and classroom practitioner, I have adopted a ‘personal’ or naturalistic approach, where the viewer (observer) shares views, behaviour and opinions and looks to find a solution to a given problem. This action research approach provides a way to identify and solve practical problems and to discover knowledge, with specific regard to pupil learning.
The research comprises a presentation of my key themes, supported by quotes from participants’ interviews, questionnaires, classroom observations and animation production (art work, storyboards, 3D models, 2D cut-outs).
Chapter 5, Animation in the Classroom, explores the collection of case studies. The research contains observations of a wide variety of learners at work, from GCSE Art, Photography and BTEC Media pupils, to year nine English and Art students. It analyses the various ways in which animation literacy underpins the students’ work, and the extent to which such a grounding impacts on the quality of the work produced.
Chapter 6, Streetsmart connects ideas about creativity to those about culture. It investigates how creativity is situated culturally, while the case study action research demonstrates how creativity relates to cultural production, and how it can explain in more depth how cultural creativity is connected to cultural consumption. The case study demonstrates the various relationships between culture and creativity and also shows how the cultural values of young teenage boys (aged 12 – 15) influence their meaning making. I also ask whether animation production can open up their imagination and encourage them to be original and expressive. Thus, the chapter addresses the question, ‘How do teenage boys handle their ‘youth-cultures’ in the context of animation production?’
Chapter 7, Machinima, covers the making of movies in a ‘virtual’ classroom, and shows that although virtual classroom practice is different to traditional animation classroom practice, it shares many of the same challenges involved in establishing an effective pedagogy. Here, I describe the respective roles of the students and myself, as teacher, during the making of machinima films in the secure 3D world of Schome Park. I also explore the way new technological influences are being absorbed into the language and culture of young people. I also consider how teaching practice can differ between classroom activities and virtual activities, and the various challenges this foregrounds. The findings presented in this chapter are based on a two-year study of Second Life and Teen Second Life. This study considers if, by using a game platform and by producing machinima, virtual learning offers meaningful and creative learning experiences that are similar to classroom animation production.
I also consider as the teacher, the sense I-make of a complex, shifting world of media literacies in the ‘virtual’ classroom. The chapter, therefore, considers how an inclusive animation literacy needs to embrace the new challenges posed by such creative practice, and the novel relationships established between student and teacher working together in virtual realities.
Chapter 8, concludes the book with a meeting of art education and media education and their respective practices and pedagogies. It identifies three core findings:
- Animation and machinima offer a multidisciplinary model of creativity that allows for play, imagination and fantasy. However such an approach also needs a literacy framework to help develop students’ creativity and, critical perspectives.
- Worthwhile learning about animation depends on multimodal choices and being animation literate.
- Everyday and/or a lived experience influences creativity and changes the way young people engage with animation.
The core concern of this book is the need for a balance between creativity and criticality. It proposes a merging of art and media education that opens up potentials for creative engagement that connect young peoples’ creative, cultural and literacy practices. Robinson (2001:5) suggests, ‘Creating the right synergy and achieving the right balance in education is an urgent and complex task, from national policy-making to classroom teaching’.
Accordingly the book offers models of ‘classroom creativity’, ‘cultural practice’ and ‘animation literacies’, in order to encourage creativity in the classroom and help young people to be critical regarding their understanding of animation. This approach is grounded in practical accounts of pedagogy to suggest a middle-ground and unity between art and media education.
This observation explicitly addresses a place for animated aesthetic properties, the way young people create an animated narrative (using humour and parody), and the ways in which animated discourses links creativity closely to cultural experience. The observation therefore posed a question. What kind of culture, a high, artistic culture or a low and mass culture?
Animation has links to art, media, film and cinema therefore different models of how to teach and to learn about it are required. Animation reveals different traditions, taste and cultural values; for example, animation as high culture and animation as popular culture. There is still some tension between high/heritage and popular culture and the argument is whether both need or deserve critical understanding and aesthetic appreciation in equal measures. A model of animation literacy (grammar or semiotic) should subsequently help young people to be more critical regardless of high culture and popular animation. Criticality should work for both. However, if I wish for young people to be more critical in order to be more creative then, along with a critical model, I need to develop a model of creativity. The book is primarily concerned with animation and the relationship between teenagers’ creativity and to their culture. It identifies cultures that can exist within a large culture when teenagers produce animations. Accordinlgy, it also considers cultural values and the contrasting experiences of high culture and low culture. High culture is generally associated with fine arts, theater, poetry or classical music whereas low art is influenced by mass media, a popular culture that produces kitsch or according to Roger Scruton (2012) creates fakes. Which is the best for engaging students critically and creatively?
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 2: Animation activities in the classroom, Reepham High School, 2006.
In terms of teaching animation in the a classroom or similar contemporary new media arts practices such as visual effects, computational design or games design the predicament is always the same. Should a teacher approach lessons with references to high culture so students encounter and appreciate fine art or should teachers make learning relevant to student’s context and reference to mass media culture? Also, what workes for the students?
This challenge in education clearly lies in the differing opinions regarding whether young people in schools need to be aware of the historical/heritage or popular contexts of art and design production when they are making their own work. The main benefits of current art education is summarized as value in self-expression plus the inculcation of cultural values and improving literacy and critical faculties, in order to improve their own work in terms of (aesthetics) content, style and technique. It is recognized that young people do need to engage with critical and aesthetical principles too.
Therefore, I explore whether students should engage in animation as a high art in order to encounter a healthier or valuable education or if young people’s engagement with animation as a popular media offers possibilities for liberation and progressive change. The latter will suggest that creativity can operate as an imaginative transformation of cultural resources and that young people’s creative work can be productively informed by their popular cultural experience, not damaged by it.
I have undertaken this book in attempt to develop a possible model of creativity and literacy, through which I might show how animation activities can help students to learn and teachers to teach, creatively and critically, and therefore more effectively. This model can function in isolation of the data, regardless of the constant evolution of culture or technology. My pedagocial model can be defined in such a way that it is not reliant on the data or techniques in the classroom at that time – as such it can be re-applied in many differeint culture, teaching context or environment. For example, the animation cineliteracy applied in this study propagated from media education and its model of media literacy, which concerns itself with developing young people’s abilities from cultural, critical and creative perspectives – i.e. the ‘three C’s’ – in that literacy is cultural; literacy is critical, since it involves taste and pleasure and the kinds of judgment these involve; literacy is creative, or transformative, in that it does not simply involve understanding a text; it involves, to different degrees, remaking that text.
It is important that the critical literacy is linked with creativity, and therefore creates the argument of whether or not creativity depends on literacy. It seems clear, therefore, to ask if animation can produce a key language, but what is also interesting, if it is a language that needs to be learned? Hence, the next challenge is to identify whether there is a conceptual framework or not, whether we can call it a grammar or not?
I hope, therefore, that this study might highlight how we can think freshly about the creativity of young people, how in addition we should understand and accept teenage culture (whether high or low culture or real-life or virtual life) through the process of meaning-making and how we might also allow them access to more creative, cultural and critical learning.
Chapter 2 Background and Related Work: a Review of the Literature
‘animation (n): the art of making inanimate objects appear to move’ 1 (Encyclopedia Britannica).
‘It’s the beauty of plasticine characters that you can make them very human by manipulating them frame-by-frame’ (Nick Park, Aardman).
2.1 Animation in Education
This review is in three parts, as follows: (i) art education, (ii) media education and (iii) animation in education. It explores pedagogies and modes of learning that have originated from both media and art education and it teases out some of the different claims made regarding the value in learning about art and media. Because there isn’t enough written about animation, or machinima, as a classroom practice, this review will look at relevant literature in order to identify, describe and justify the value – or positive educational experience – of learning about it.
The first part explores approaches in art education, to examine how the value of art is described and determined. The Curriculum, published in 1980, identified ‘the aesthetic and the creative’ as key areas, which led to the integration of ‘knowledge and understanding’ in order to make art ‘an intellectual experience’. What is underway is nothing less than a ‘paradigmatic shift, a redefinition of content and practice in art education’ – to borrow the words of Pat Villeneuve in a editorial in Art Education (May 2002). Addison and Burgess (2003), state that Art and Design education encourages an appreciation of the value of images and artefacts across time and cultures in terms of the contexts in which they were made. Art and Design education is now a spectrum of Cultural Education and Henley (2012) recommends that greater priority should be given to the importance of Design as a curriculum subject within schools and to build links with industry to ensure knowledge stays up to date.
Alternatively, in the second part of this review, in Media Education, David Buckingham (2003) highlights the importance of being critical and therefore being media literate. He asks ‘why should we be teaching young people about the media?’ Buckingham suggests that every medium has its own ‘language’ – or combination of languages – which it uses to communicate meaning. The term ‘multiliteracies’ is important for the understanding of literacy in its expanded form, as either one of its subsets, or as part of a more general literacy that underpins knowledge, skills and competencies, all of which are required in order to interpret media (Cope and Kalantzis, 2000).
Buckingham uses the term ‘multiliteracies’ to represent the knowledge, skills and competencies required to use and interpret media in this increasingly multicultural society, and he suggest that, to study literacy, it is necessary to look at social practices.
This part contains debates about semiotics and the ‘grammar’ in different media, and considers specific literacies to highlight the idea of animation literacies which can draw upon new and old, for example, moving image literacy.
The third part of this review will engage with examples of animation projects in the classroom. During the BECTA (British Educational Communication and Technology Agency) Digital Video (DV) Pilot18, general evidence was gathered and the Evaluation Report (2002) acknowledged animation in particular. Its findings helped to formulate questions in relation to literacy, creativity and culture. The BFI educational research report Edit Play (2000) and the paper Making Your Mark (2003), explored the particular characteristics of digital animation programmes used by children. Edit-Play by Julian Sefton-Green and David Parker, and Making Your Mark by Andrew Burn and David Parker, opened up the debate regarding how useful popular commercial software might be in education. My main interest lies in the questions raised about working with animation software in the classroom, in order to further investigate, analyse and compare classroom activities involving animation technologies.
In 2010, a project called Persistence of Vision, funded by the Film: 21st Century Literacy19 education strategy, explored the ways in which primary school children can learn about animation, by providing training and resources for their teachers, ensuring that the children involved had repeated experiences of critical viewing and creative activity, and by encouraging the schools involved to make links between animation and poetry.
The review brings to the attention the ways animation can be associated with creativity, culture and literacy and asks the question: Do young people need to be critical or to have an intellectual experience in order to be creative?
2.2 Art and Design Education: Why learn about art and design?
In ‘Art in Education and Creativity: a Review of the Literature’, a Creative Partnerships Series, Mike Fleming (2008) looks into the development of arts education, and describes an amazing journey through historical arguments, defining art as a luxury rather than a basic human right, or art as a liberal hobby. In time art became justifiable as ‘a path of self-realisation’, ‘a development of creativity, growth and imagination’ and as ‘a preparation for ‘life’.
Before 1980, therefore, arts teaching was more closely associated with non-intellectual activities, because the emphasis had been on creativity, self-expression and personal development. Fleming lists writers such as Robin Collingwood (1938), Ryle (1954) Hospers (1955), Bouwsma (1968), and Robert Witkin (1974), all of whom he sees as pioneers in advocating the importance of self-expression; Victor Lowenfeld (1947) and Maurice Barrett (1979), made the case for an art education in which students could find their identity through self-expression and personal responses to the social world in order to develop self-reliance and independence. Herbert Read (1893-1986),20 who had been concerned with social, economic, cultural and psychological factors, focused on the idea that aesthetic experience is about expression and the refinement of the senses that are made meaningful through communication.
Fleming records an important shift of values, in which art was no longer seen in terms of skills, but in terms of personal development. Effectively, this meant that thereafter, priorities were given to child-centred approaches, by prioritising self-expression, creativity and active learning. He picks up on how to combine the old art with the new, or, as he puts it, ‘the challenge for education of how to respond to [the] popular conception of art is not informed by a simple plea for restoration of tradition and (a) rejection of modernism’. He emphasises that in an arts curriculum, it is important for pupils to be encouraged to respond to the work of others, in addition to making their own, by incorporating within it the teaching of form and technique.
Further changes happened, with the inclusion of literature and fine arts, and aesthetic and creative experiences, leading to the Curriculum, published in 1980. This addressed the integration of knowledge and understanding, by which art appeared as an intellectual experience; for the first time, therefore, the arts became aligned to the social and political. However, as a consequence, important differences suddenly appeared between fulfilling young people’s personal needs and the requirements of the labour market, which had been acknowledged in the Curriculum via the underlying message that while creativity should be fostered it would be wrong to neglect the basics, defined as ‘the tools required by the industry’. This problem had been recognised in 1976 by Callaghan in his statement that ‘young people are not prepared for life outside school when (they) leave’ (Fleming cited in Callaghan).
Until the end of the 1980s, art had been taught to stimulate emotions, rather than to induce a particular critical discipline.
In ‘Art and Design in the UK – the Theory Gap’, (2003) John Steers raises the debate about cultural values or cultural relativism (Chalmers, 1995), and he asks if art and design teachers make a systematic attempt to transmit cultural heritage or to celebrate its diversity, and whether this leads to less ‘making and creating’. He asks, ‘Whose cultural values should be conveyed and who determines the priorities?’
Furthermore, Steers wants art education to be not only concerned with cultural transmission, but with the development of the creative potential of students, and he does not believe that attainment targets and programmes of study closely linked to assessment procedures offer a solution to schools already involved in more creative projects. He argues that art education should develop individual creativity and imagination and further knowledge and understanding of cultural heritage, but also represent social and cultural diversity; multi-ethnic and multi-cultural material, and not just cultural heritage alone. This stance is exemplified in this extract from John Swift and John Steers, ‘A Manifesto for Art in Schools’, (1999).
‘Through their application in art and design practice and theory, knowledge and knowing will become understood as a negotiation of ideas which arise from asking pertinent questions, and testing provisional answers rather than seeking predetermined ones. The emphasis is on the learner and learning, negotiating what they learn, learning how they learn and understanding knowledge as a multiplicity of changing hypotheses or theories which are subject to evidence, proof, argument and embodiment. As such difference becomes a locus for action and discussion at a personal and social level, plurality points to a variety of methods, means, solutions and awareness for any issue, and independent thought develops individuality, the capacity to challenge, and creativity, through introspection into the nature of learning and teaching in art. These abilities are as vital for teachers as they are for learners’ (Swift and Steers, 1999).
In their 1999 ‘A Manifesto for Art in Schools’, Swift and Steers suggest three fundamental principles: difference, plurality and independent thought, which they believe calls for power and authority to be exercised by teachers and learners in decision-making within a climate of inquiry, risk-taking and creative opportunity. They say that they would like to see cultural studies and creative practice become complementary in art education, led by dynamic and creative teachers prepared to take risks, who are, themselves, creative and reflective practitioners. Finally, they wonder if, by simultaneously attempting to transmit cultural heritage and celebrate cultural diversity, art and design teachers are placing less emphasis on individual making and creating. After all, they ask, whose cultural values should be transmitted, and who determines their priorities?
An important development has been the introduction of new programmes of study with common curriculum aims for all subjects for pupils at Key Stage 3 (QCA, 2007). In art and design, pupils make purposful images and artifacts and explore and experiment, take risk and learn from mistakes.
‘In art, craft and design, pupils explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to communicate ideas and meanings. They work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity. They learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made. In art, craft and design, pupils reflect critically on their own and other people’s work, judging quality, value and meaning. They learn to think and act as artists, craftspeople and designers, working creatively and intelligently.’ (Addison, N., Burgess, L. 2003).
Addison, Burgess, Duncum and Reid, support the notion that learning in art is not only an expressive journey, but an accumulation of general knowledge, which, together with common sense, leads to a higher level of maturity. They are also agreed that, by prioritising the different forms of communication that arts education offers, children are enabled to express themselves and have their emotions engaged so that their creativity might be stimulated and their critical faculties developed.
Since 1998 education has focused more on literacy and numeracy targets and Harland et al (2000) and Henley (2012) summarised that art education education has become increasingly extra-curricular. Henley’s Review21 recommends a new framework for art education and suggest a concept of Cultural Education which includes a variety of subjects such as history, English literature, art and design, design technology, drama, dance, film studies and music. The shift that finds art education under the umbrella of cultural education regognises high culture and low culture. But Henley and Eisner still suggest that good art education should include the development of artistic thinking processes, optimising students’ cognitive development and therefore benefitting mental function in general. There is currently a focus on Design education, with a utilitarian and industrial focus. Can creativity still be encouraged whilst keeping industrial interests in mind? How?
2.3 Media Education: Why learn about the media?
‘Every medium has its own language – or combination of languages – that it uses to communicate meaning’ (David Buckingham, 2007).
David Buckingham’s book, ‘Media Education, Literacy, Learning and Contemporary Culture’, (2003, 2007) offers a full insight into the arguments for media education and its fundamental aims. In it, he gives a full historical overview of the changing nature of the modern media and argues that schools need to place a central emphasis on developing critical and creative abilities, that students should be entitled to a form of ‘digital media literacy’ and that, rather than seeking to protect children from the media, they should be given the opportunity to develop their understanding of, and participate in, its surrounding culture (Buckingham, Bazalgette, 1989).
Media literacy involves a clear conceptual framework supporting critical analysis. David Buckingham (2003, 2007) draws attention to media literacy by stating that the new literacies required by the modern media are just as important as the old ones; thus writing is still considered to be the primary literacy and all others are described as ‘forms of’ literacy, (Kress, 1997, Buckingham, 2003). Buckingham defines media literacy as the knowledge, skills and competencies that are required in order to use and interpret media and he summarises literacy today as being inevitably ‘multimedia’ based.
Media literacy provides an important connection between print literacy and the way people engage with media; a connection that is defined in three parts:
i.Institutions: this refers to the study of how media texts are produced, the political and economic contexts from which they emerge and the messages their producers intend to convey.
ii.Texts: this suggests the different languages of the media – how they represent the world, how they use particular structures or grammars to form these representations and how they are composed.
iii.Audiences: are the consumers of media texts, and can be studied in terms of the way they use the media socially, their tastes and pleasures, and their interpretive strategies (Burn, 2004, Buckingham, 2003).
When media educators suggest ways in which a fully active and participating citizen might engage with media, they use the ‘three Cs’ – cultural access, critical understanding and creative activity – which they quote from the UK Film Council’s Charter for Media Literacy (2005) in collaboration with the Media Literacy Task Force, the BBC, Channel 4 and Skillset. Although film education has a different emphasis to this all-inclusive approach to media literacy, the ‘three Cs’ underpin both.
In more detail, they are:
i.Cultural Access: to be given the opportunity to choose from a broad range of films in order to get a better understanding of local and other people’s, cultures.
ii.Critical Understanding: to give students the confidence to look behind the surface of the screen in order to understand a film’s intentions, techniques and qualities.
iii.Creative Activity: to offer the opportunity to make films and moving images and to develop some understanding of the technical and creative processes that allows the effective expression of a story, a mood or an idea.
Tessa Jowell, the then Education Minister, stated that ‘media literacy will become as important a skill as maths and science (and that) decoding our media will be as important to our lives as citizens as understanding great literature is to our cultural lives.’ (Tessa Jowell: UK Film Council press release, January 2004). Buckingham warns that being critical is more than simply engaging in critical analysis and that focusing on critique may imply a negative and narrow term. There is a bigger body of knowledge involving – how the media works, the media industries, the history of media, and the uses and effects of media within society. Buckingham suggests that participation and creativity is not enough. We also need to be critical participants, and to develop a broader understanding of the economic, social and cultural dimensions of media. Such critical understanding does not follow automatically from the experience of creative production. As Carmen Luke (2000) argues in relation to literacy, learners do not develop critical literacy just through the experience of reading and writing: they have to step back from immediate experience, in order to reflect and to analyse. There is an opportunity here, but it should not involve abandoning the traditional critical imperatives of media education – which are about much more than practical skills, or the sentimental appeal to ‘creativity’. This leads to the complex question of how we unite criticality and creativity.
Other researchers in media education have attempted to map media literacies and prescribe how they might be taught to children throughout the ages (Bazalgette, 1999; Brown, 1991; Tyner, 1998; Worsnip, 1996). There is a well-established notion of moving image literacy (Burn and Leach, 2004) and its variant, proposed by the British Film Institute, cine-literacy, which is concerned with the cultural value of film (Film Education Working Group, 1999). Similarly, in 1993, Buckingham proposed a notion of television literacy, which encompasses the critical assessment young people apply when they watch television; also a game-literacy model exploring the critical assessment of computer games (Burn, 2007).
In ‘Making Movies Matter’22 it is announced ‘that we should recognise that critical and creative moving image skills will be the key elements of literacy in the 21st century.’ The report advocates teaching about the cultural and historical value of the moving image as well as about its importance in conveying information and ideologies. It suggests that the study of the moving image should be part of the national language curricula as well as media studies. It proposes that film is a form of language, a language that can be learnt. ‘Making Movies Matter’ suggests a model of learning progression, it is admitted that it is only a very basic framework through which learning might develop. The model is based on three conceptual approaches: Film Language, which focuses on the way moving image texts are internally constructed; Producers and Audiences, which deals with the ways in which Film Video Television texts circulate; and Messages and Values, which is concerned with the interpretations of the world offered by FVT texts. The model is divided into two broad sections at each level: Experiences and Activities, which provides a very basic indication of the range of inputs learners would need; and Outcomes, which describes what learners should be able to do by the end of the stage, and is itself divided into two parts: Knowledge and Understanding, and Skills. At each stage a list of Key Words is provided, which should help to ‘calibrate’ the areas and types of knowledge that each stage would involve.
The BFI includes animation as part of its teaching guides to the use of film and television in the classroom. The guide ‘Moving Image in the Classroom’ (2000), based on research in 1999, offers advice to secondary teachers on the management of teaching and learning in order to help integrate moving image work into the curriculum, describing eight basic techniques and practical activities for the close study of film and television in the classroom. It also devoted a chapter on making moving images by using digital media. These activities were intended to be tagged onto English and eight other curriculum subjects, including Art and Design.
Buckingham explains that models of literacy, like the BFI suggests, can cause concerns because they are ‘hypothetical’, since no actual research has been undertaken to test them. 10 He therefore cites Paul Messaris (1994), who suggests that the basic conventions of film language have to be learned and that they are learned comparatively easily and quickly. Nevertheless Buckingham opposes this, saying that developing a theory of film language is difficult because it is hard to find analogies between the small elements, for example shots or camera movements with the equivalent elements in verbal language, such as the word, or the phoneme, or tenses and negatives.
He goes on to say that film does not posses a syntax23, which would make it possible for ‘grammatical’ and ‘ungrammatical’ statements to be distinguishable. Therefore, he breaks down the components the viewer needs in order to understand a piece of ‘media’, such as television. However he claims these might not correspond to the ways in which meanings are actually produced, therefore he makes a distinction between the ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ levels of textual meaning; for instance, he thinks that a basic camera zoom might mean different things at different times, even though, on certain occasions, it may mean the same thing. Buckingham further suggests that much depends on how the text as a whole is organised and structured, for example via narrative, or genre. Therefore, he understands these different elements to be a form of literacy, since they involve the production of meaning and pleasure from a range of textual signs. This form of media literacy, he says, is more than simply a functional literacy – it is the ability to make sense, or to deliver understanding and making. He suggests that literacy should not be seen only as a cognitive toolkit, but as a critical subject that involves analysis, evaluation and reflection.
In simple terms, Buckingham implies that there is no need for a grammar of the moving image, therefore no need for a ‘grammar of animation’. However, the BECTA findings, (see below section 2.3.2) argue that we do need a grammar.
Unlike Messaris, Buckingham understands film language to be semiotics,24 i.e. talking about different things that can take on meaning, such as images, sounds, gestures, movements, graphs, diagrams, objects, and even people and not just words. These signs carry different meanings in different situations, contexts, practices and historical periods – for instance, modernist paintings, rap music, first-person-shooter video games, and virtual worlds such as Second Life are examples of semiotic domains because they require more than one or two modalities to communicate distinctive types of meaning. (Chapter 7 will consider if making machinima film can be seen in terms of the semiotic processes in established models of media literacy as derived from the semiotic strata proposed by Kress and van Leeuwen (2001) and Burn, (2006).
The term syntax refers to grammatical structure, whereas the term semantics refers to the meaning of the vocabulary symbols arranged within that structure. How does this work in relation to animation production and can there be a critical and conceptual framework or not? Is there a grammar of animation production or is animation literacy semiotic?
Buckingham, together with Cope and Kalantzis (2000), sees himself as an advocate of ‘multiliteracies’, and he describes the plurality of literacies as not being simply a multifaceted model of media communication, because it also involves the inherently social nature of literacy across various different cultures, i.e. from within an increasingly multicultural society. He suggests that the study of literacy requires the questioning of the economic and institutional contexts of communication – for example, how different social groups have different kinds of access to literacy. In the case of media literacy, he says, different social groups have different orientations towards media and will use them in different ways, as such, he believes that children possess different media literacies.
Buckingham states that the new literacies required by modern media are just as important as the old literacies and he thinks that communication happens through a combination of different modes, visual as well as verbal; however he argues that the new communication media have undermined the dominance of the printed word and reshaped how we use language. He also thinks that the literacy required for today is inevitably, and necessarily, ‘multimedia literacy’ and he says that, to this extent, traditional forms of literacy teaching are no longer adequate. Buckingham points out that, for example, playing certain computer games can involve an extensive series of cognitive activities: remembering, hypothesis testing, predicting and strategic planning, also the dialogue and exchange between others and online chat is seen to be crucial here, and he describes this as ‘multi-literate’ activity.
Paul Ward calls for Animation studies that are actively in dialogue with a wide range of other disciplines and suggests a ‘multi-disciplinary’ approach. He believes that animation can exist in a number of places, whilst still retaining a focus and identity. (How this works will be further discussed in Chapter 3, 5 and 7)
2.4 Digital Video, BECTA Pilot, 1999
In 1997, as a response to debates about the need for creative and cultural educational change in order to meet the economic, technological and social challenges of the 21st century, the government announced its intention to encourage the widespread use of ICT in schools (National Grid for Learning). The following bodies took on the responsibility for advising how this might be achieved: the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the ICT supply Industry, Local Education Authorities’s, the Teacher Training Agency (TTA), the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency (Becta) and the National College for School Leadership (NCSL).
In 1999, Becta, which supported schools and colleges in the use and development of ICT in education in order to develop a world-class education system, ran a Digital Video (DV) pilot project that involved fifty schools.25 The aim was to gather evidence of the impact of DV technology on pupils’ engagement and behaviours and to identify models of effective practice. Becta commissioned the British Film Institute (BFI) to evaluate it under the guidance of Andrew Burn, Institute of Education, Mark Reid, BFI Education and David Parker, BFI Education, and then Creative Partnerships. Their report considered patterns of use and good practice of digital video, and assessed how it had increased pupils’ motivation, broadened their access to the curriculum and fostered both their creativity and their ’moving image’ literacy. In summary, it suggested that offering regular opportunities for DV work would tend towards a higher quality of work produced in comparison to one-off opportunities. It suggested that the standard of work could be improved given three factors: i) attention to moving image literacy, ii) teachers’ expertise in the field, and, iii) pupils’ experiences of learning over a period of time.
The report stated that integrating DV into teaching and learning helps pupils to engage with schooling through an observed improvement in positive attitudes. It found that DV has the potential to enhance learning by increasing pupil involvement in the curriculum, by developing a range of learning styles and by motivating a wider range of pupils than the traditional curriculum did. The project, showed that DV based workallowed pupils’ personality and humour to shine through. The evaluation particularly recognised that animation has a huge potential to enhance the self-esteem and behaviour of difficult pupils.
The work they considered to be successfully creative demonstrated explicit teaching and the learning of ‘moving image’ literacy as part of all the production processes, provided self-representation and transformation, produced new meaning and was well developed qualitatively and looked technically good.
The report stated that practical work improved pupils’ moving image literacy and that, as a result, they demonstrated a more sophisticated understanding of it in their work. It also acknowledged that an appropriate language of animation was brought into the classroom and used effectively during rostrum work, calculating the ratio of frames per second and explaining moving image design. All the above factors, the report recognised, led to a better quality of work.
The report confirmed that the moving image and its language, has the potential to be a powerful learning medium, and it was recognised that pupils’ meaning-making involved cultural experiences in textual forms, messaging and conventions.
The report suggested that paying attention to the language of the medium leads, consequently, to a better quality of work, since the pilot demonstrably showed that the language can be learned; this was considered to have been of great significance. Also, because it linked moving image literacy with creativity, it argued that creativity depended on literacy. It seems clear, therefore, that animation too has a key language. However, what is equally clear, is that this language needs to be learned.
The resulting animation case study was described by Andrew Burn as successful, because of the language of the moving image in use, the creative nature of animation and the specific cultural and semiotic resources it offered for creative work with students. In ‘Making New Media, Creative Production and Digital Literacies’, Andrew Burn (2009) stated that:
This animation project (refering to my animation project with a Year 8 group during the BECTA project in 2000) can be seen as a hybrid of media and art education. In respect of media education, the children were learning through production about the language and grammar of animation and of the moving image more generally…the most successful in the BECTA evaluation, including Britta’s, were those which made the ‘grammar’ of the moving image composition explicit’ (Burn, 2009).
My book further develops this statement by arguing that the grammar of animation can be seen as a subset of moving image and a subset of media literacy, embracing both syntax and semiotics (being multi-literate and multi-disciplinary).
The report somehow introduces animation as a form of literacy, ‘a language and grammar of animation and of the moving image’, but it does not offer a clear mapping of an animation literacy, as this book suggests. Neither does it discuss the various creative practices that animation can bring to the classroom. The BECTA project’s findings did, however, bring to our attention the fact that many teachers had a limited understanding of the creative possibilities inherent in new technologies such as DV. Therefore, I will develop a possible model of creativity in the classroom, including an understanding of creativity in relation to animation.
As with technology, if animation is used, it is mainly as a stimulus to help increase motivation and/or improve behaviour, not as a valuable cultural experience in its own right that can contribute to young peoples’ overall imaginative, expressive (visual and literate/creative and critical) development.
Andrew Burn raised questions about the affordances of digital media (see below) and he suggested these cannot be guaranteed by the technology alone, but that they depend on pedagogic intervention and the quality of reflection the teacher can encourage during the production process (Burn, Making New Media, 2010).
Therefore, if we can teach the grammar of the moving image, then, the result should expand young peoples’ creativity and creative choices. Moreover, the teaching of animation should also develop young people’s critical and creative abilities, and their knowledge about heritage as well as popular culture.
2.5 What are the affordances of animation software?
The term affordance, originally proposed by James Gibson in 1977, refers to the relationship between an object’s physical properties and the characteristics of a user that enables particular interactions between user and object. From Gibson’ definition, ‘the affordance of anything is a specific combination of the properties of its substance and its surfaces with reference to an animal’ (Gibson, 1977). Educational affordances are those characteristics of an artifact that determine if and how a particular learning behaviour could possibly take place within a given context (Kirschner, 2002). Educational affordances can be defined as the relationships between the properties of an educational intervention and the characteristics of the learner that enable particular kinds of learning by him or her (Kirschner, 2002).
The following independent research projects observed primary school children using animation software packages: Edit-Play, by Julian Sefton-Green and David Parker, and Making Your Mark, by Andrew Burn and David Parker. My main interest lies in the question of whether animation software packages are limited in their creative potential or whether technology is able to develop creative ability.
In Edit-Play, Sefton-Green and Parker (1999) set out to investigate editing as a creative activity in the production of a moving image text, but found that software available for Key Stages 1 and 2 supports animation rather than editing. A range of animation software was selected for their work with Year 5 (9-10 year-olds) and Year 1 (5-6 year-olds). The software they selected was KidPix Studio (Broderbund), Magic Artist (Disney), The Adventure of Batman and Robin Cartoon Maker (Knowledge Adventure Inc. and Instinct Corporation), The Simpsons Cartoon Studio (Fox Interactive) and The Complete Animator (lota Software).
The children were given the opportunity to ‘make stories with computers’ 14 and most sessions were recorded on video and audio. Also, the final product was videoed, class discussions were recorded and field notes taken. The research was divided into three sections: (i) the software, (ii) the teaching, and (iii) the interpretation of the data.
Sefton-Green and Parker suggested that there was ‘no software currently on the market that was adequate to gain a real understanding of the editing process. Secondly, the software used in their research was not considered good enough to explore and understand the more sophisticated filmic editing conventions. Also they stated that the more the pupils explored a variety of software, the greater their understanding of the concept of editing became, which led them to the conclusion that there was no need for an ideal software solution to ‘solve the problem of how to teach editing’ (Sefton-Green, Parker, 2000).
Edit-Play discussed the importance of access to digital editing programmes so that schools could offer editing activities within the English, ICT and media curricula. Already it acknowledged that schools would only take up this challenge with appropriate curriculum support. However, Sefton-Green and Parker suggested that such programmes are limiting in their creative potential and they wanted programmes that allow children a voice in shaping the content of the narrative they are making in order to give them fuller insight into the compositional processes of constructing moving image narratives. It was clearly recognised in ‘Edit-Play’ that there was a problem making software available to all schools and motivating and teaching teachers how to use the packages.
The statements made by Sefton-Green and Parker in 1999 are still important, but, as I suggested earlier in this section, the subject needs to be researched differently. Edit-Play discussed the accessibility of digital editing programmes and how schools might offer editing activities within the English, ICT and media curricula. However, it also recognised that schools will only take up this challenge with appropriate curriculum support. Therefore, with technology developing as fast as it is, solutions are needed regarding how teachers can be supported. It is necessary, though, to understand what teachers want from new technologies and how they can best be helped to manage them. Therefore, I believe that a closer study over a longer time would be of benefit. Put simply – we need to ask the teachers.
The second research project I shall refer to is an article by Andrew Burn and David Parker – Making Your Mark (2001). Here, they described how primary school children (Year 6, 11 year-olds) created their animation based on the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. The pupils viewed animated films (it is not mentioned which) planned animations, divided up the story, made storyboards, backgrounds, drew the characters in a vector-drawing program (the Acorn Draw program), and created the animation by using the Complete Animator. They also edited the soundtrack using Media 100.
Burn’s and Parker’s concern was to distinguish what particular characteristics applied when young children use digital tools to make a moving image text. To study this they applied two methodologies: firstly, they analysed the work produced by the children, and, secondly, they set out to understand the processes from within the cultural/social contexts that produced the text and the grammar, the objective being to explain that the moving image, as a multi-model form, had allowed them to establish a clear idea of the children’s ‘film grammar’.
Burn and Parker argued that their study was about tools and materials and the social actions of the children who use them.
They suggested, when making animated films, there are three categories of production:
1.Inscriptions of the synchronic – creating individual images that combine to make the moving image sequence.
2.Inscriptions of the diachronic – creating the temporal aspects of the moving image by combining individual images; making duration, speed, movement.
3.Inscriptions of display – realising the finished text on different surfaces, such as on monitors, television or cinema screens.
To explain the context of these stages Burn and Parker introduced secondary processes, such as transformation, (re)combination, (un)fixing and interactivity. Firstly, they looked at how the drawings for the animations were made, debating that in animation, unlike in live action, the moving image is built up from still images. Here they raised an interesting question as to whether pupils compose differently when they create animations than they would if they were producing still images. In the text Burn and Parker used the term ‘synchronic syntagm’ to refer to the elements of the moving image and to how each frame of the film has its own visual grammar. The drawings in their case study were described as interrelated signs, which, when combined, produced a sequence of meaning by the flow of images.
The drawing process used by the children involved squares and circles that were tugged into shapes by the vector points26 rather than freehand drawing with the line tools27. The choices the pupils made were described by Burn and Parker as semiotic choices, using soft shapes for kind characters and harsh shapes for tougher ones. In a wider study, Burn and Durran (1999) explained that children draw upon their own cultural experiences in making these choices and here imagination becomes part of the ability to recreate the past from cultural experiences, and new futures can be imagined by transforming memories of past perception.
As part of technology for animation, in Making your Mark, Burn and Parker suggested ‘recombination’, where parts already made are recycled, thus allowing for the combination of different elements, similar to traditional style cut-outs. This novel approach has certainly changed the definition of animation as a model of filmmaking made frame by frame.
In both these research examples, animation software offered one specific vocabulary, with each specialised function and interface having a specific name; these can be considered to be tools that allow children to design, assemble, animate, edit and show their films. It is these tools, and the material forms and surfaces with which they operate, that are the ‘inscriptional resources’ from which narratives are made.
Both Edit-Play and Making your Mark offered examples of how to conduct research – for example, by the examination of the new literacy created by using computer software and how young people use it – and of the difference between creative and cultural learning. They also showed the importance of understanding about the choices young people make, about whether they can tell the differences between characters made out of plasticine, cut-outs, or virtual avatars and about how well they understand the materials and tools.
Additionally, the software helped the researchers to analyse the particular characteristics of learning by the children using it, supporting the development of old and new media literacy skills (Sefton-Green, Parker), to which animation contributes by the construction of a general grammar (Burn, Parker). Overall, this raises the question of how useful popular commercial software might be in an educational context. Again, it is queried here whether creativity can be directed by new technology and whether programmes, or any other form of technology, are limited in their creative potential. Importantly Sefton-Green and Parker identified that the software inspired limited creativity because the children could not create their own narrative content.
This means that if we wish to encourage creativity we need to move beyond limitations, for example a) draw on other disciplines such as writing (storytelling), music and photography and b) allow children to use of their cultural experiences to acquire practical experience of creating and editing narratives that are not delineated by software interfaces.
Both projects offered examples of how to research – for example the ‘new’ language that is created using computer software and how young people use this new literacy – and showed the difference between creative and cultural learning. How?
Although both examples argued for the need of a new grammar of the moving image, neither proposed what this might consist of, nor offered a framework that can be followed, e.g. as we follow the framework of film theory.
The theories to which Burn and Parker have referred are, admittingly, based on attempts to conceive the act of viewing, rather than making.
However, there are other problems here. Firstly, the two examples described above do not address the inequalities of access of young people or schools to new media technologies. Secondly, there is an assumption that young people reflect on their media experiences and that they can articulate their experiences simply through being involved in the process. Thirdly, it is assumed that young people are able to cope on their own in diverse social environments whilst working with complex technology (Jenkins’ White Paper, 2005).
2.5.1 Animation and Machinima
Andrew Burn, in his Machinima, Second Life and the Pedagogy of Animation, describes animation as not only a part of media history, but also as a part of art education, and talks about a possible shift for media education away from its traditional character and curriculum location. In his book Andrew Burn explains the move of media practices towards the arts by referring to the expanded field of visual culture (Freedman, 2003), which means the reshaping of students’ practice within contemporary realities. Burn points out the need to rethink animation, defining it as both an artistic practice and a form of media production. Primarily, as a consequence of the introduction of machinima, Burn says that game design has changed and he asks how it is different from, or similar to, earlier kinds of animation in terms of: (a) its cultural context, (b) its technical resources, (c) the skills it requires, (d) the pedagogies it implies, and (e) the creative possibilities it affords. He also focuses on the teacher, as artist, animator and machinimator – which happens to be my personal role.
Burn, looks at two very different classroom practices: firstly, he explores the interface between media and art education and, secondly, the various technologies and how teachers and students adapt to them. Burn sees animation as a part of media education, because children learn about the language and grammar of animation and of the moving image more generally and that includes technical understanding – for example, frame capture, light settings, camera composition, the function of sound, dialogue and music. However, attention is still given to the art involved, especially drawing, painting and model-making, therefore he emphasised the role of ‘teacher-as-artist’, which he sees as being complementary to his/her pedagogic role, and one which brings in other practices.
In this book (Making New Media, Creative Production and Digital Literacies, 2009) Burn gives an account of my work as both a contemporary artist and a classroom teacher, and he refers to my work in ‘Second Life’28. He describes me as a ‘teacher-as-artist’ because of the ‘multimodal pedagogic’ that I bring to my teaching practices. However, I see my role in more simple terms as ‘multitasking across a variety of disciplines’, (Paul Ward calls this multi-diciplinarity) which include Art, Media Education, and ICT, whilst integrating the standards of the creative industry. Burn defines my specific skills as being a knowledge of the language of the moving image, and an understanding the nature of creativity and the affordances, i.e. the qualities of technology. Burn leads from this discussion to what happens when works of art are produced by mechanical means, and he introduces my work as an artist in Second Life by referring to Walter Benjamin’s essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1938).
Burn asserts that the making of art in virtual worlds can also mean that the technological generation of art has no ‘original’ and therefore no ‘aura’. It is important to understand that Benjamin’s essay, which presents an assessment of the significant role played by photographic technologies in the twentieth century, indicates that what was lost when reproducing a work of art, for example, a painting, was its aura, hence the loss of the uniqueness that gave it its mysterious power. He argues, therefore, that, where the artist does not create an ‘original’, there is no possibility of an aura remaining when it is reproduced.
Consequently, Benjamin’s theory of an original artwork’s aura invites us to understand the personal and creative decisions established by new technological concepts and how they influence the making of art.
Burn talks about social semiotics and semiotic resources within Second Life, by refering to the customising of avatars ‘chat dialogue’, flying or driving cars. However, because these resources are dependent on the Second Life platform, he further emphasises the restraints that this creates, for example on the limitation of expression. Since he wrote this, new developments have allowed for the development of many new forms of expression. For example, the residents of Second Life can apply lipsync, facial expressions and voices to their avatars. This can be acheived through the use of an ‘Expression HUD (a heads-up-display)’ and can combine twenty or more types of facial animation, movements, gestures or postures.
Burn points out that machinima production is a more instant process than frame-by-frame animation, since it captures what the avatar is performing on the screen. Consequently, he sees machinima more as live film, with avatars acting parts, filmed in real time and using virtual camerawork. Nevertheless, Chapter 7 will illustrate that machinima shares some of the old literacies of traditional film language with animation literacies, and also has new literacies. I will describe in more detail the tools and devices that allow for the creation of original work through the process of machinima.
The challenge in art education clearly lies in the differing opinions regarding whether young people in schools need to be aware of the historical and contemporary contexts of art and design production when they are making their own work. The main benefit of current art education is summarised as value in self-expression plus the inculcation of cultural values and improved literacy and critical faculties, in order to inform the aesthetics of content, style and technique. It is recognised that young people do need to engage with critical and aesthetical principles too. Henley’s cultural education can provide young people with a deeper understanding of the world around them, allowing them to engage in, create and critique products. Art and Design education becomes Design education within Cultural Education.
Media Education promotes a model of media literacy, which concerns itself with developing young people’s abilities from cultural, critical and creative perspectives – i.e. the ‘three C’s’ – in that literacy is cultural; literacy is critical, since it involves taste and pleasure and the kinds of judgement these involve; literacy is creative, or transformative, in that it does not simply involve understanding a text; it involves, to different degrees, remaking that text.
As creativity within the medium of animation or machinima is linked to critical literacy, it should be possible to define and learn its language. Hence, the challenge is to identify a conceptual framework for this language and decide if it has its own grammar.
The case studies in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 reflect that we need to understand a great deal more about what makes good practice in animation and machinima production and I ask what ‘animation literacy’ means in practice and how it can be defined in such ways that it can be taught and therefore encourage creativity.
Animation has links to art, media, film and cinema, therefore different models of how to teach and to learn about it are required. Animation reveals different traditions, tastes and cultural values; for example, animation as high culture and animation as popular culture. There is still some tension between heritage and popular culture and the argument is whether both need or deserve critical understanding and aesthetic appreciation in equal measures. A model of animation literacy (grammar or semiotic) should subsequently help young people to be more critical regardless of high culture and popular animation. Criticality should work for both. However, if I wish for young people to be more critical in order to be more creative then, along with a critical model, I need to develop a model of creativity.
In Chapter 3 I highlight material that helps with an understanding of values in terms of creativity, culture and literacy. Furthermore, it aims to define and compare these values and to relate them to the teaching of animation and machinima production. It explores answers to these three questions:
1.What kind of creativity can be developed through animation and machinima production?
2.What part do teenage cultures play in the production of animation and machinima?
3.What does animation and machinima production teach young people about media literacy?
The next chapter will provide a discussion of how different theories are linked to the above questions.
Chapter 3 Theory
‘Creativity is an imaginative process with outcomes that are original and of value’ (Robinson, 2001:3).
Chapter 3 offers a brief overview of the nature of the research theories which underline this book. The aims of this chapter are to adopt theoretical models that explore the relationship between creativity, culture and literacies and to outline the implications of these theories for my research.
Firstly, for instance, I will identify the models of creativity in order to (i) understand and encourage creativity in the classroom and (ii) help young people to be more critical regarding their understanding of animation and machinima. I argue if critical awareness can be taught then that suggests an unreserved dedication being a creative activity.
The developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) saw creativity as a process of the human awareness, a connection between emotion and thought and the part of the imagination. Vygotsky’s work (cited in Moran and John-Steiner, 2003) on the development and use of creativity asserted that ‘creative imagination is a goal-directed, cultural system that emerges from the internalization of children’s play and the functional interweaving of fantasy and thinking in concepts.’ Moran and John-Steiner too believe that Vygotsky’s work is contemporary and so my book uses Vygotsky to show that creativity depends predominantly on the state of society and culture. As Vygotsky I accept as true that mental development and knowledge is social and a cooperative, cross-disciplinary effort, whereas Piaget oposes this and sees such development as an independent process. This opens up the debate about creativity and its relationship to education and its meaning in art education, in comparison to the way it is applied in media education. Creativity also involves personal experiences and transformations at present – therefore I argue that popular culture is of significance and appropriate and that it is possible to for popular culture to demonstrate creative and critical value. Animation reflects the very nature of young peoples’ culture – their Zeitgeist.
1 Machinima is film making in virtual realities using game platforms, such as Second Life or the SIMS.
2 Schome Park is an Open University initiative designed to collect evidence about approaches to support teenage learners.
3 Teen Second Life is a version of Second Life for Teens 13-17, created by Linden Lab, http://www.secondlife.com/.
4 The funding was given by Stepney Green High School, East London in the United Kingdom.
5 GCSE is the General Certificate of Secondary Education qualification in the United Kingdom.
6 Schooltoons is a Media Projects East Ltd partnership with Norwich University of the Arts supported by Creative Partnerships, ESCalate (Education Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy) and NESTA, (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).
7 Continuum is an independent academic publisher, unconstrained by the interests of any global media group or academic institution. It is based in London and New York.
8 Bloomsbury Publishing is an independent publisher of fiction, nonfiction, and chidren’s books in print, ebook and audio book format.
9 Traditional animation is an animation technique that represents classical animation, cel-animation (celluloid, transparent clear leader film), hand-drawn animation or stop-motion where each frame is manipulated sequentially to create the illusion of movement.
10 Machinima is film making in virtual realities using game platforms, such as Second Life or the SIMS.
11 Schome Park is an Open University initiative designed to collect evidence about approaches to support teenage learners.
12 Schome Park is an Open University initiative designed to collect evidence about approaches to support teenage learners.
13 Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio.
14 Animation for Education: Oscar Stringer has been working in education for over twelve years, inspiring students of all ages and abilities to discover the creative potential of ICT. http://www.animationforeducation.co.uk/
15 The Creative Partnerships programme brings creative workers such as artists, architects and scientists into schools to work with teachers to inspire young people and help them learn. http://www.creative-partnerships.com/
16 First Light helps young people from all backgrounds to develop their skills, talent, creativity, confidence and entrepreneurial capabilities. http://www.firstlightonline.co.uk/
17 Mediabox enables young people to create media projects and get their voices heard. http://www.media-box.co.uk/about/what-is-mediabox
18 Between October 2001 and March 2002 Becta ran a Digital video pilot project involving 50 schools from across the UK. http://partners.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=rh&rid=13646
19 Case study: Persistence of Vision: http://www.21stcenturyliteracy.org.uk/docs/Case%20study-%20Persistence%20of%20Vision%20%28POV%29.pdf
20 Herbert Read was an English anarchist poet, and critic of literature and art.
21 Cultural Education in England, Darren Henley, 2010. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/77941/Cultural_Education_report.pdf
22 Making Movies Matter – Seven years on: http://carybazalgette.net/MMM%207%20yrs%20on.pdf
23 The Study of rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.
24 Semiotics, also called semiotic studies, is a study of cultural signs, metaphor and communication.
25 I participated in the Becta DV Pilot Scheme and included animation into the art and design curriculum engaging all year groups.
26 Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based upon mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphic.
27 Line tool is a drawing tool for lines in drawing software
28 Second Life is a free online virtual world imagined and created by its residents