Imagine having to make a music video that is not violent, sexist or racist. Doesn’t that challenge prevailing ideology? Imagine having to analyse how much advertising for alcohol, gambling and fast food there is in televised sport. Doesn’t that open students’ eyes that sport is not the national obsession? It’s what we do while watching the national obsession.
The Drama, Entertainment and Film Curricula at Trinity has always been to promote creative engagement and critical awareness. It is designed to show how innovative experiences, the development of understanding, and acquisition of skills have a far more substantial impact than just learning about how to use equipment or manipulate software.
As part of Trinity’s Television Production, students are taught the requisite skills in vision and audio broadcast by rotating through sound, camera and editing roles in short exercises.
In the Reality TV unit, Kick That Goal, students are asked to set an achievable target in ten weeks. For some it’s the obligatory fitness/lose weight regime; for others it’s to learn a musical instrument, even get a short story published. A video diary, using the familiar techniques of reality television, is kept of the process and students decide on the winner of Kick That Goal.
A wide ranging study on student participation in the Arts conducted by Professor Michael Anderson at The University of Sydney’s Department of Education and Social Work examined the academic and personal wellbeing outcomes for student participants over two years. The research found that students who engaged with the Arts in schools as active participants – as makers and doers – were more likely to do better in academic and social spheres than those who passively consumed the Arts.
Professor Anderson argues the Arts provide new ways of thinking and communicating that provoke creativity, imagination and possibility. It does this by allowing young people access to the tools of creation, vital in a rapidly changing world that not only requires citizens to be consumers of ’their’ world but also to be able to actively change the world.
At Trinity, we do not strive to turn our students into actors, directors, or producers. Yes, it happens, but the purpose of this subject has far deeper and broader implications for the development of the whole student.
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