FYS*101*35 Description

First-Year Seminar

Can a show like Glee really change the way students and schools think about singing (or sex education)? Did you suffer under a principal like Matilda's Miss Trunchbull, or laugh at a beleaguered leader like The Simpson's Principal Skinner? What does it mean when so many movies about teachers in inner cities depict white women as educators who save the day? This class provides an opportunity to think critically about the ways that classrooms, teachers, and students have been represented, misrepresented, or completely ignored in popular movies and television over time. By looking closely at these presentations, we can think about the way that popular culture shapes popular understanding about what does, can, and should happen in schools. By watching films and television, reading film critiques and social criticism and exploring visual culture studies we will begin to unpack how issues of sex, race, ability, class, and gender are transmitted through and reinforced in these visual mediums. Students can expect to watch, reflect, read and write on shared experiences, as well as to undertake and present on an independent research projects.