College putting soaps on the curriculum
New soap operas course could lead students to university.
HOW do you fancy putting your feet up and watching soap
operas all day?
If that sounds like your cup of tea, get yourself along to Tameside College!
For the college is the first North West centre to run a specialist soap opera
course. Entitled 'Society Through Soaps', the 10-week course leads to a
qualification in the nation's favourite addiction.
The qualification is called the Greater Manchester open credit federation
credit one. Students who carry on to complete credits two and three can even
go onto university.
Telephone lines at the Beaufort Road centre, in Ashton have been red-hot,
with would-be students wishing to find out what makes a good and bad soap
|Course Organiser Eric Fagan
Course organiser Eric Fagan said: "We have had lots and lots
of interest by word of mouth from people in Tameside and Manchester."
The 'innovate and informal' classes will be about realism in soaps. "We will
be looking at the way characters are shown and whether events show life as
it is," he added.
No previous qualifications are needed just 'an interest in soaps and willingness
to join in'.
"We are hoping to attract like-minded adults who have not
been in education for a while who have interests in these shows Eric said
"The aim of this is to bring them into education and, after credit one they
can graduate to level two and after level three they could go to university."
He added that if there is enough interest, the television course
could continue onto level two and three.
"By the end, we hope our participants will have developed the confidence
and skills to tackle whatever subject they fancy in the future," he said.
"I'm sure members of the programme will enjoy talking as much
about the course as they do their favourite soaps!"
No start date has been decided yet but
Corrie-watchers can ring
Eric Fagan on 908 6731 or Lynn Jones on 908 6734 as places are still available.
Keep soaps out of the college
SIR - Re: 'College putting soaps on the curriculum' (The Advertiser
17/9/98). I was appalled to read Tameside College is to run a soap opera
course instigated by Eric Fagan.
I would like to ask Mr Fagan what service he thinks he is rendering society
by elevating TV soap characters to a level where they just don't belong?
Soap operas are followed with religious zeal, and as such they are the opiate
of the masses. Soap operas are not educational and are not even basically
literate, and the idea that someone could get a diploma in them and go on
to university is totally reprehensible.
Standards have already dropped in education and Mr Fagan is just adding to
the burden in a very insidious fashion.
How long is it before someone could get a diploma in the kinds of beefburgers
available from McDonalds? Soaps are not real, they are entertainment, and
even in this role they are given far too much attention, and providing the
images that set social norms.
Putting an educational seal of approval on these programmes is a slur on
those people who work hard with difficult 'real' subject matter to attain
DL Borrell, Ashton
SIR - Re: 'Keep soaps out of the college' (Readers' views, 1/10/98). I read
with interest a reader's letter concerning Tameside College's decision to
run a course on the study of soap operas.
I am a sixth form student and began my A Level courses in September. One
of the subjects I have taken is English literature. I am finding the subject
extremely enjoyable, as well as intellectually stimulating. I am certainly
aware that English Literature is well respected both as an A Level and a
degree course at university.
This, however, was not always the case. When English literature was first
introduced as a subject to study, many people were aghast at the idea. Literature
was seen to exist for entertainment purposes, as soap operas do today, and
for some time studying English literature was seen as a 'soft option'.
Eventually it was accepted by society and became the respectable course it
is today. The views expressed in the letter must have been shared by many
when English literature was introduced. I will be very interested to observe
whether in the future a qualification - possibly even a degree - in soap
opera study will be generally respected. I suspect that eventually it will.
Silencing dissent in Academia