Completed Projects

Children’s playground games and songs in the new media age

This project ran from from March 2009 to April 2011. It was one of six large projects under the AHRC’s Beyond Text programme. It was a collaboration with the British Library, the University of Sheffield, and the University of East London. It conducted a study of two playgrounds in London and Sheffield, digitised the important Opie collection of children’s games in the National Sound Archive, and made a film and a Kinect-based game application. Many of the project’ s outcomes are represented on the Playtimes website at the British Library, which includes videos and archive sound recordings and film of play over the last century, introduced by Michael Rosen.  The site has been recently re-designed (November 2016) with new essays by members of the research team.  Read more …

Developing Media Literacy in Schools: Towards a Model of Progression

This project was directed by David Buckingham and Andrew Burn, in the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media; the researchers were Becky Parry and Mandy Powell. Funded by the ESRC, it was the first large-scale systematic research study of the practice of media education in schools in the UK. In particular, it was the first to research progression in media literacy between the ages of 5 and 16. The research team  worked with teachers in two secondary schools and their partner primary schools over a three-year period,  to develop teaching strategies and materials, to implement these and to study the outcomes. A followup project, also funded by the ESRC, is developing course materials for use in primary schools, based on the project’s research.

Rhetorics of Creativity

This project was directed by Andrew Burn; the researcher was Shaku Banaji. The project was advised by David Buckingham, who also contributed to the publication. The project was commissioned by what was then Creative Partnerships, later to become Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE). It was the first of an extensive series of literature reviews into aspects of creativity in education. We took as our premise the idea that creativity was a contested idea, represented by widely differing rhetorics in different domains: teaching, policy, the arts, and a variety of academic disciplines. The CCE site describes the review as “an important and original report that surveys the core concept of creativity. It aims to help all those involved in creative programmes develop a more finely nuanced and informed understanding of how we use the term and help us to plan and evaluate creative education activities in a more coherent fashion.”  Read more …

Making Games

This project was directed by David Buckingham and Andrew Burn, in the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media. The researcher was Caroline Pelletier. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, 2003-2006, it set out to develop a model of game literacy, and develop a game-authoring tool for use in schools, now in commercial production as Missionmaker, by Immersive Education. The project is the subject of an impact study by the Institute of Education.

The game-authoring tool has featured in many ways in the subsequent research of DARE. It was adapted in an AHRC-funded project with The Globe in 2012, for young people to make games of Macbeth; and is currently being reworked in a similar way as a game-authoring tool for Beowulf, in partnership with the British Library, again with funding from the AHRC. The software was acquired by the IOE in 2013, and is now developed and marketed by them as the enterprise MAGiCAL, supported by the IOE and by UCL Enterprise.

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