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Using film in teaching and learning about changing societies

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Abstract:

This paper discusses how using feature films in a graduate university subject for adult educators can pose questions about pressing social issues and develop critical thinking and consciousness. While a variety of film sources were used, the focus of this paper is on four feature films that were chosen to highlight a particular approach to learning. Firstly, films were chosen where the filmmaker's intention was to pose questions raised in stories of everyday life and which wove together personal dilemmas and choice. These films were set in different countries and against a backdrop of particular histories. Secondly, films that sought to re-present collective identities, and most importantly the diversity within working class identity, were selected. Thirdly, films that enabled viewers to examine common 'truths' against actual social conditions, and probed beneath that accepted or prevailing wisdom, were chosen to develop critical understanding or ideology critique. Drawing on theories of learning, storytelling and narrative the paper considers how films of everyday life can be used to facilitate a dialogic approach to understand changes taking place in different parts of the world and the impact they have on different groups of people, notably those exploited or marginalised by the new global market.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2010.547615

Affiliations: University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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