Teaching History with Film
Strategies for Secondary Social Studies
Routledge – 2010 – 198 pages
Visit any school in the United States and chances are that you will find at least one of the social studies teachers showing a film about history. Along with the textbook, movies are one of the most prominent teaching aids in the history classroom. Yet, when middle and high school history teachers look for models of the effective use of motion pictures in history classrooms, the cupboard is surprisingly bare. Teaching History with Film provides a fresh, engaging, and clear overview of teaching with film to effectively enhance social studies instruction. Using cases of experienced teachers to illustrate accomplished history teaching through the use of movies, this text provides pre- and in-service teachers with ideas for implementing film-based lessons in their own classrooms and offers a deeper understanding of the thorny issues involved in using film to teach history.
Each section of the book focuses on how teachers can effectively support the development of students’ historical film literacy through topics such as using film to develop historical empathy, to develop interpretive skills, and to explore controversial issues. By developing the skills students need to think critically about the past or what they think they know about history, the lessons in this book illustrate how to harness the pedagogical power of film to provide the tools necessary for rigorous inquiry and democratic citizenship.
Special features include:
"…Teaching History with Film provides useful guidelines for a thoughtful, sophisticated use of film to serve a range of instructional purposes in the secondary classroom. In doing so, it offers teachers and education faculty a helpful resource in effectively using a medium that has long been a staple of the history classroom."--The History Teacher
"The book is a valuable resource of ideas and possibilities when contemplating how to teach history in the secondary classroom. The authors do a fine job of including real teachers’ thinking around approaching their curriculum. In advocating for the thoughtful use of film to help students learn about broad themes, big issues, and pertinent topics spanning the passage of time, Marcus et al. show how history has the power to connect us all, past and present."--Teachers College Record
"This book offers a provocative and emerging effort to incorporate film into social studies curricula."--Theory & Research in Social Education
"Having read Teaching History with Film, we can no longer think of film as the too-familiar Friday standby…Carefully drawn classroom contexts, attention to the research base (much of it the authors') and a solid grounding in theory make it clear that teaching history with film has benefits commensurate with its challenges, especially in regard to highly controversial topics. This book is an outstanding contribution to the literature on teaching and learning history."--Linda S. Levstik, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Kentucky
Part I: Using Film to Teach History
2. Issues in Using Film to Teach History
Part II: Using Film to Develop Empathy
3. Empathy for Caring
4. Using Film to Develop Empathy as Perspective Recognition
Part III: Using Film to Develop Analytical or Interpretive Skills
5. Movies as Primary Documents
6. Using Film as a Secondary Source
Part IV: Using Film to Teach About Controversial Issues
7. Using Film to Teach about Contemporary Controversial Issues
8. Using Film to Teach Controversial Issues in History
Part V: Using Film to Visualize the Past and Film as Historical Narrative
9. Using Film to Visualize the Past
10. Using Film as Historical Narrative
Alan S. Marcus is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.
Scott Alan Metzger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the Pennsylvania State University at University Park.
Richard J. Paxton is the Thomas S. Thompson Distinguished Professor of Education at Pacific University, Oregon.
Jeremy D. Stoddard is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the College of William & Mary.