A 2-day professional development program for educators in Grades 5 – 12 in Philadelphia, August 14 – 15, 2018

One of the best curriculum writers I have ever had the privilege to work with, Catherine Gourley, has developed an amazing film and visual literacy curriculum called The Story of Movies to help educators include the study of classic works of American cinema in the classroom. Now she’s got a new project, and it looks to be amazing!

Screenshot 2018-07-10 18.23.07

It’s called DEMOCRACY ON FILM. Gourley is offering this 2-day program on August 14 – 15, 2018 in Philadelphia at the Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut Street, with support from the Film Foundation. I hear that the amazing media literacy educator Frank Baker will also be participating in the program.

Even more thrilling, this world-class training is FREE! This is simply must-attend event! 

This two-day seminar introduces educators to an interdisciplinary curriculum that challenges students to think contextually about the role of film as an expression of American democracy. Screening and discussion activities focus on strategies to:

  • increase civic engagement by developing students’ critical viewing and thinking skills
  • give students the tools to understand the persuasive and universal language of moving images, a significant component of visual literacy
  • explore the social issues and diverse points of view represented in films produced in different historical periods.

Morning and afternoon workshops focus on learning how to read a film, principles of cinema literacy, and interpreting film in historical/cultural contexts. Handout materials include screening activities and primary source documents to support and enhance students’ critical thinking skills.

Evening screenings showcase award-winning films, deemed historically and culturally significant by the Library of Congress National Film Registry. Lunch is provided for registered participants.

There’s simply no reason not to escape the heat by joining this amazing professional development experience. You’ll develop knowledge and strategies for making use of classic films with students in Grades 5 – 12.  I especially love the fascinating and diverse list of films to be screened and discussed:

  • Silent Films: Children Who Labor and Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant (1917) as well as the 1916 film, Where are My Children?
  • Excerpts from Black FuryMatewan, Intruder in the Dust and Smoke Signals
  • The classic documentaries, The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936, Pare Lorentz and At the River I Stand (1993, directors David Appleby, Allison Graham and Steven Ross)
  • Salt of the Earth (1954, directed by Herbert J. Biberman)
  • The Times of Harvey Milk (1984, directed by Robert Epstein

This is the kind of once-in-a=lifetime opportunity that should bring every media literacy educator from across the tri-state region. For more information about the program, see a copy of the Democracy on Film PD flyer.

The cultural heritage of American film belongs to all of us, and media literacy educators, librarians, and school leaders are well-poised to lead the charge. 

Screenshot 2018-07-10 18.18.11.pngRegistration deadline is August 1, 2018. Register by emailing Julia Wayne at jwayne@film-foundation.org or call (323) 436-5095. Please include the following information: Your name, school, city and state, the subject and grade level(s) you teach, and a contact phone number or email address.

On behalf of the media education community,thanks to AFSCME, the Film Foundation and the International House for sponsoring this important professional development program.



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