Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Becky Parry wins research award

7 July 2013 | Peter Edwards

Dr Becky Parry has won the UK Literary Association student research award for her research into the role of film in children's developing understandings of narrative.

Animated film by illustrator / animator Louis Cochrane - an interpretation of the findings of Becky's doctoral research study.

In her doctoral research Becky Parry examined children’s understandings of narrative as expressed in their multimodal text productions. She also explored the role of film in the children’s home and school identity and literacy practices. Becky demonstrated that the films children encounter provide them with imaginative spaces in which they create, play and perform familiar and unfamiliar, fantasy and everyday narratives. However, in the literacy classroom, some of the children encountered a discontinuity between their experiences of narrative at home and those that were valued in school.

Professor Andrew Lambirth presented Becky with the award, saying:

"The thesis explores an area which is in need of research and scholarly exploration and so this work is an important contribution to our knowledge in this area. The methodology used is sensitive to issues around working with children and Becky wisely makes efforts to avoid the common use of interview, questionnaire and other forms of data collection that rely upon language. She wants to make her research relevant to the children to allow them to participate in meaningful ways and try to break down the power relations between adult and child. She draws on film production as a primary means of collecting data. The findings are insightful and should influence and inform both further academic work in the area and help develop practice in schools."

Becky is now also looking forward to the publication of this work under the title 'Children, Film and Literacy' to be published by Palgrave Macmillan later this year.

'It will be brilliant to make connections, through dissemination, with other teachers and researchers to ensure that the role of film and media continue to be understood as integral to children's experiences of story and their emerging literacies.'

Becky convened a panel discussion on behalf of the Children's Media Foundation for the UKLA International conference this year which involved speakers from the children's media industry, explaining their creative process and exploring what it means to create digital texts for children.

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