Secondary Ed 6993C: Education Through Feature Film
Randy L. Hoover, Instructor
Office Hours:
  • Tuesday 3:00-5:00
  • Wednesday 3:30-5:00
  • Thursday: 3:00-5:00

    Texts: Announced in Class

  • Course Description: The participants view and analyze nine major feature films that portray a variety of specific aspects of schooling and education. Students will engage in class activities that use the films as focal points for professional self-examination and will consider ways of reconceptualizing and improving reflective practice. Consideration will also be given to how such films shape public images of teachers, students, and schools both past and present.
    Course purpose: To give participants the opportunity and structure to examine critically how important facets of education and schooling are represented (or misrepresented) in feature film. Further, this course is intended to use film as a vehicle for understanding and applying key educational concepts for the professional development of reflective practitioners. It is also intended to provide a survey introduction to graduate degree program offerings in the College of Education for those who may be considering formal enrollment in the YSU School of Graduate Studies.
    Instructional Objectives:
    The student will--
    1. Identify problems and issues surrounding the general public's perception of education.
    2. Identify significant problems and issues in communicating with the general public.
    3. Define, analyze and interpret the function of stereotypes and archetypes.
    4. Examine the degree of congruence which exists between the concepts of practicing educators and the general public regarding the nature, roles, and practices of schooling.
    5. Delineate and explain impact of the hidden, null, and overt curricula as they affect the public's perception of schooling.
    6. Analyze and value the image of teachers, administrators, students, and knowledge presented in various popular films which offer portrayals (e.g.., Teachers, Educating Rita, Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High).
    7. Reflect upon and write about the significance of the various portrayals.
    8. Hypothesize about the accuracy of film portrayals and the significance of those portrayals.
    9. Determine and explicate the pedagogical, political, and cultural significance of the portrayals.
    10. Express greater personal understanding of the general public's images and attitudes toward education and schooling.
    11. Articulate their insights and plans for dealing with expectations and images generated by film as expressed by the general public.
    12. Understand the role of poststructural analysis in examining modern and postmodern social phenomena.

    Example Film listing (See Online Film Class Page for Current List of Films): Goodbye Mr. Chips
    Breakfast Club
    Educating Rita
    Heaven Help Us
    Chocolate Wars
    Pump Up the Volume
    Pink Floyd's The Wall

    Course content and activities: Students will be required to attend all classes and participate in the analysis of the specific films. They will also be required to do rather extensive outside readings which deal specifically with: 1) Race, class, gender, ethnicity, and disability, 2) Hegemony and ideology, 3) Work role expectations and stereotyping, 4) School/community relations, 5) Film analysis, and 6) Postmodern culture.
    Individualized or--
    30% Film/Readings Journal
    20% Class discussion/presentations
    50% Final Paper

    Probable Text: The Ideology of Images in Educational Media. (Ellsworth and Whatley)
    1. Wexler, P. & Whitson, T., "Hegemony and Education," in Psychology and Social Theory, #2, 1983.
    2. Wexler, P., "Movement, Class and Education," in, (Barton, L. & Walker, S., eds.) Race, Class and Education. Croom Helm, London, 1983.
    3. Armaline, W. & Hoover, R. "Field Experience as a Vehicle for Transformation: Ideology, Education, and Reflective Practice." in Journal of Teacher Education March 1989.
    4. Oliker, Michael, "On the Images of Education in Popular Film." in Educational Horizons Winter 1993.
    5. Hevey, David, The Creatures Time Forgot: Photography and Disability Imagery. Routledge: London, 1992.
    6. Dubeck, Moshier, & Ross, Science in Cinema. Columbia U.: NY, 1988.
    7. Norden, Martin F., The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical Disability in the Movies. Rutgers Univ. Press: New Brunswick, NH, 1994
    8. IMDb WWW site: http://www.IMDb.Com (Click on Icon found of the Film Class WWW page.)
    9. Film analysis readings: (To be announced in class.)