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Philosophy and Film : Investing Cultural Capital to Add Value

Abstract: The third-level module : Philosophy and Film at Luton aims to question  and develop contemporary film theory through philosophical method, equip students with some intellectual frameworks  from philosophy through which they can structure their work in film interpretation and  to give the students a sense of their own potential  as autonomous learners. It takes a familiar  theme  in cinema : the notion of what it means to be human, and uses philosophical questioning to show how different films propose different answers to this question Philosophy provides the cultural capital they might otherwise lack to be able to interpret a film.

Author Information: Adrian Page is currently a PL in Media Arts and Deputy Head of the department, responsible for the maintenance and quality of the curriculum. Having graduated in English and Philosophy with a BA and PhD,  he acquired a Cert Ed ( post compulsory ) with Distinction before teaching at what is now De Montfort University, Bedford in English and Drama, including Screen drama. At Luton, he migrated to the Media department where he teaches Film Television and New Media courses. Adrian plans the teaching of the 120 modules which are now in the department and attempts to safeguard the interests of the c. 800 students who study all aspects of the media. Adrian has been instrumental in developing an approach to theory and practice in the department and has been involved in creating many specific practices in Teaching and Learning in the light of the  particular constitution of the student body at Luton. This includes a high proportion of less well-off , female and ethnic minority students, many of whom as mature entrants have very little recent educational experience.  Adrian as a subject Specialist Assessor for Media and Communication Studies and led the preparation for teaching observations during the QAA assessment of Luton's provision in Media Arts.  75% of the department 's teaching sessions were rated excellent . Innovations include, assessment handbooks on-line with a student guide to understanding marks. Generic feedback sheets on all assignments to complement individual feedback and assessment criteria which   show how to distinguish between a threshold and an excellent mark for students. The following module was developed specifically for the Luton  student body in line with Adrian's own research in the same area.

Date: September 2002

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