Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Applied Research in Education
The ‘Eurovision Study Unit’ And Its Pedagogic Value. A Critical Evaluation Of Public And Media Reaction
Dr. George Cremona
In 2016 the University of Malta launched a study unit called ‘Interpreting Music Culture: Multimodality and the Eurovision’. The course intended to serve as a first step through which students would move away from looking at the Eurovision Song Contest annually attracting 200 million viewers around the globe (Eurovision.tv, 2016) and 93% of the whole population in Malta (PBS, 2017) as purely entertaining. Instead, adopting a socio-semiotic approach, rather than stopping at superficial initial levels of analysis, the course aimed to help students critically analyse these music-related texts at deeper levels. After a couple of minutes from the launch of the study unit, a widespread public reaction developed. People commented, asked about, ridiculed and criticised the fact that a formal well-famed tertiary higher education institution could come up with such an idea. Many asked what can one learn from the Eurovision Song Contest and how serious the contents of the course could be. Adopting a thematic approach (Creswell, 2013) this paper intends to evaluate qualitative data based on these comments and reactions collected from social media and local and international press. This evaluation will lead to results indicating and suggesting how people define the term education and what they feel tertiary education should include. As an outcome, the main conclusion of this paper suggests that people in Malta still frequently adopt limited definitions of education which forget the pedagogic importance of mundane popular and authentic texts such as the Eurovision and the elements (i.e., videos, interviews, songs etc) it presents.
keywords: Creative Teaching Methods; Eurovision Song Contest; Higher Education, Multimodality; Teaching Resources.