Welcome back to the start of a new year in the wonderful world of Politics & Society…!!! Some big news to start off with… My first foray into the world of textbooks has arrived. It’s a modest 60-page student guide to Learning Outcome 2.6 – Media, called “A little bit of Media Analysis” for Politics and Society students.
I was delighted to be asked by McAndrew Book to draw on the resources that I’ve developed over the last few years and put them all together for a student booklet which can be purchased on the link here. I hope it’ll help make that part of the course a little easier for students and teachers alike!
Having spent a few years struggling to get to grips with the expansive ‘Media’ component of the Subject Specification, I spent a good chunk of this summer drawing together materials that are ‘classroom-ready’ and will make the fast-changing content in this topic more accessible to students. While 2.6 is a self-contained Learning Outcome, it’s also the area that has the most cross-curricular links, and I do my best to incorporate that into the structure of the booklet.
The idea is that I’ll update the book on a rolling 2-year basis, so that any major changes in the media landscape will be reflected in the booklet and so students will have access to good “contemporary” information. (On the problems with the word ‘contemporary’ in our Spec, see my previous blog on the topic)
All of the material in the booklet is indicative rather than prescriptive, so people shouldn’t see this as an attempt to present the definitive work on the topic, but rather ONE way that students could approach the material. In the ‘Exam Focus’ section of the book, I also provide sample ‘infographic’ and ‘Data-Based Questions’ to help students integrate what they’ve learned into the Leaving Cert exam structures – one little step that students often seem to find particularly challenging.
I’ll be using it with my own 6th year group in the coming weeks but will also be using it as the backbone for my Transition Year Pol-Soc taster course (8-weeks in duration). It’ll be nice to have a resource to hand that is relatively self-contained, but which also might give prospective students an insight into what it would be like to study the subject in 5th and 6th year. Studying the work of Key Thinker Noam Chomsky is obviously key to that experience, and students are walked through that process throughout the booklet. I can even see this as being of interest to Leaving Cert English TY students, but maybe I should ‘stay in my lane’!
As always, I’m keen to hear feedback on how you think the booklet could be improved and am hoping that the low cost will make it relatively assessable to students, even those studying the course on their own.
I’m also currently working on a student workbook the help with the Data-Based Question. It’ll contain all the key concepts and terminology as well as 4 Ordinary and 12 Higher Level sample DBQs. It will also include a series of worked examples to help students make the link between the material presented in the documents and the types of questions that are asked on the SEC paper. Keep an eye out for it after Christmas. I’m going to try and finish it in time to have it available as a revision and study tool for the current 6th years as they enter the twilight zone between the ‘Mocks’ and the Exam in June.
Anyway, I hope people will find it useful. But most importantly, best of luck with the year ahead… As always, if you have any particular questions feel free to shoot me an email through the contact page.