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Boxing clever

Available through local authority libraries, Moving Image Education is making its mark - and impressing teachers

SOMETIMES IN leaps, sometimes bounds, more often on tiptoe, Moving Image Education has gained acceptance among Scottish educators. Projects such as the MIE initiative in Angus have allowed advocates of "cine literacy" to plead their case for bringing the moving image to the heart of the curriculum.

Moving Image Education sets out to show how a crackly gem from the Scottish Screen Archive can have as much educational value as one of those free copies of Kidnapped circulating on Edin-burgh streets just a few weeks ago - as complement, not competition, to more established subjects and teaching tools.

Joe?? Hall of Dundee Contem-porary Arts has announced the first trial of its MIE Resource Loan Boxes after the Easter break.

Three boxes will be administered and distributed through local authority library networks, each dealing with one of the core precepts of Moving Image Education.

Materials include special CD-Roms related to popular films such as Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Kirikou and the Wild Beasts, study guides and "how to's" in DIY film-making.

Ms Hall hopes that the support of the BFI, Scottish Screen and Film Education, who run National Schools Film Week, will win acceptance from teachers, each of whom looks for very different things from MIE.

"Some want to get technical - into the cameras, the IT side," she explains, "others want to get into the subject matter of film, while others want to use it to bring on important skills and literacy."

The plans for the boxes place heavy importance on peer-to-peer dissemination and teaching.

"Teachers trust other teachers," says Ms Hall.

"It was very important for us in developing these resources to take teachers' points of view on board and use peer-to-peer teaching to spread the word."

And there seems to be plenty of interest from local authorities, several of whom are now in-volved in the East of Scotland MIE network. A Curriculum for Excellence has left edu-cators looking for ways to implant its precepts into ordinary lessons, and MIE offers a framework for bringing the notion of a "creative entitlement" into the classroom in a rigorous, consistent manner.

"It's taken three years to get to this stage, to find ways to work with teachers effectively," says Ms Hall. "Before long I think we'll see films made through MIE projects getting their first showing at Discovery. It's been a long journey, but worth it."

For information on MIE Resource Loan Boxes E joe.hall@dca.org.uk

THREE OF A KIND

Box 1 - getting started in reading and teaching with film

Places Moving Image Education firmly within A Curriculum for Excellence and shows teachers how they can use film to teach and develop core skills, literacy and other transferable skills.

Box 2 - film texts

Looks at specific films and how the themes and ideas they explore can be exploited in the classroom.

Box 3 - making films and getting them seen

Takes a technical slant, aimed to help teachers bring elementary film-making into the classroom as part of lessons - from modern studies to modern languages.

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