Media Education in Northern Ireland
There has been a significant growth in the development of Media Education in schools in Northern Ireland in recent years. Bodies such as the Education Committee of the Northern Ireland Film Council (NIFC) and the Northern Ireland Media Education Association (NIMEA) have been established to promote the use of media in classrooms and to provide networking and training for teachers. However, this growth in interest has occurred alongside major changes within the Northern Ireland curriculum, which in many cases have been underresourced. As a result, teachers have struggled to keep abreast of many changes forced on them. In some cases, this has led to a sense of overload. So, although a number of teachers have been willing to embrace Media Education, others have avoided the area because they have not had an opportunity to explore its nature fully. Some of those who have become involved in it have not had the kind of time or training to develop the area in ways they would wish. This study tried to incorporate an awareness of these pressures under which many teachers are operating (see Collins & o'Kane, 1994, for a full report of the study).