ED 407 Week One (Spring 2020)

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to our ED 407 Portfolio class. We will be designing a reflective portfolio of work that will show coverage of a breadth of educationally significant ideas as well as a depth of analysis and consideration of the significance of those ideas.

Although I won’t be asking you to formally compile all of your reflections into one single portfolio, the culmination of your responses will act as your portfolio of thought.

 

The definition of a portfolio is: “a selection of a student’s work (such as papers and tests) compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress.” You will be producing a portfolio that reflects on a broad range of educational topics. Your reflections will an artifact of your consideration of the content at hand.

 

I think you will like the wide variety of topics that I have selected. I hope so. I have tried to find at lease something that will appeal to everyone.

 

We watch documentaries and respond to those.

There are advantages and disadvantages to viewing documentaries. Documentaries can be entertaining. They generally provide us with facts and evidence for the arguments being made. We are able to enter into a variety of contexts and experience those contexts in ways the subjects lived out the events. We are often able to feel empathy with those in the story. We are able to gain knowledge we might not otherwise have gained. And, complex issues are often made clear to us in interesting ways.

However, we should also be aware of the shortcomings of documentaries. Documentaries are made by writers, directors, and producers who are often biased or trying to present a particular point of view. One side of a story might be told, while another side might be neglected. The facts that are presented might be fabricated or distorted in an attempt to sway the viewer into believing a particular aspect of the argument. Not only might there be bias in the treatment of the information, we might not be told the sources, or alternative view points. We might not hear of conflicting viewpoints. And we might not know the assumptions of those creating the documentaries or the assumptions of those being portrayed.

So obviously, we are wise to view documentaries with caution, and continue our questioning or research on our own.

I have, however, tried to choose documentaries that are reasonably well done, reasonably credible, fairly recent (as far as educational videos go), and documentaries that do speak to the common discourse of the modern, school system.

 

How much time should I be devoting each week.

The designated viewing time each week represents the typical amount of class time spent in a university course. That amounts to 180 minutes a week.

I provide you with choices that not only account for the required class time, but that will also allow you some leeway to choose blocks of documentaries that interest you. Some viewing blocks or weeks might require a bit more time, some a bit less. Overall, the time should average out to meet our requirements.

 

 

So let us begin.

 

First you will need your Response Form. You can access it here.

Find your Response Form Here

This Response Form is the outline to answer questions from your viewing of each documentary. I think you will find this very straight forward.

 

Next you will need to choose either the Part 1 documentaries or the Part 2 documentaries. (Not all weeks have two parts, but many do).

What if I like the both parts in one week more that the documentaries suggested in another week?

Feel free to substitute documentary sets if one set appeals to you more than another.

While watching the documentaries from either Part 1 or Part 2, fill out your response form.

 

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********** A quick note: Most of the documentaries will require that you use your student ID and login to access the documentary. The documentaries requiring your WOU login are from the Library Films On Demand Database. If you would like to access these documentaries through WOU Library Films on Demand, simply go to the library home page (wou.edu/library) and follow the Database link until you get to Films On Demand. You will have to log in there as well, but you can, if you are interested, also access the transcript. This might be helpful when you are writing your responses to the documentaries. You will also notice that most of these videos can be played at different speeds. This can also be useful.

Some students in the past have mentioned that they have to turn on the cookies in their browser. Others have had to try a different browser to gain access. Some students have had difficulty accessing the videos with Safari. Try Firefox or Chrome if Safari doesn’t work for you. Or, try a different computer.

Here is a step by step Films On Demand Access Method.

 

1. Go to the wou.edu/library and click on the box that says Articles & Research Databases.

 

 

 

2. Click on the link that says Films On Demand

 

 

3. Log in with your password when asked.

 

 

4. Click on the Continue to Resource button.

 

 

 

5. Search for the name of the documentary in the search text field.

 

 

The nice thing about using the library’s films on demand is that you can access the transcript while watching the documentary.

Please also note that this search will show segments as well as the full documentary. You will probably want to access the full documentary.

 

Do let me know if you can’t access the videos from my site, or from the library Films On Demand website.

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Now, on with the show:

 

Choose Part 1 OR Part 2

 

**** Click on the Part 1 link below ****

****to access the videos in Part 1 ****

Part 1

 

In part 1 you will view the documentary TEACH, and a three part documentary called the Chinese Takeover.

In TEACH

We all have had a teacher who’s shaped us, inspired us, even scared us, and whom we can credit with having empowered us to become who we are today. To look at education in America, Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim brings us his third documentary TEACH, which asks the question, What does it take to be a teacher? Offering a rare glimpse inside four public school classrooms, Guggenheim invites us to follow the struggles and triumphs of America’s education system through the eyes, minds, and hearts of its most essential resource: teachers. Intense and emotional, this year-in-the-life of four public school teachers illustrates how tenacity, innovation, and a passion drives these educators as they navigate the ups and downs of the 2013 school year.

The Chinese Takeover

In a unique experiment, five teachers from China take over the education of 50 teenagers in a Hampshire school to see whether the high-ranking Chinese education system can teach Britain a lesson. Will the harsh regime of long days and strict discipline produce superior students? Or will the clash of two cultures create chaos in the classroom? After four weeks, the Chinese and British systems will go head to head with the whole year group taking exams to see which teaching style gets the best results. Day one of the experiment proves a shock for everyone, and there are tears when the teenagers discover just how competitive the Chinese teachers expect them to be. A BBC Production.

 

**** Click on the Part 2 link below ****

****to access the videos in Part 2 ****

 

Part 2

In part 2 you will view the documentary TEACH, Democracy Left Behind, and Communities as Classrooms.

Teach

We all have had a teacher who’s shaped us, inspired us, even scared us, and whom we can credit with having empowered us to become who we are today. To look at education in America, Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim brings us his third documentary TEACH, which asks the question, What does it take to be a teacher? Offering a rare glimpse inside four public school classrooms, Guggenheim invites us to follow the struggles and triumphs of America’s education system through the eyes, minds, and hearts of its most essential resource: teachers. Intense and emotional, this year-in-the-life of four public school teachers illustrates how tenacity, innovation, and a passion drives these educators as they navigate the ups and downs of the 2013 school year.

Democracy Left Behind: NCLB and Civic Education

Wonder why voters are not more informed about issues which underlie election campaigns? While schools should play a vital role, their ability to serve a civic mission has been severely constrained by a narrowed curriculum and increasing focus on test scores. This program demonstrates how difficult it is for many students to understand what their education means in the larger context of the society and world they live in, while also showcasing alternative models that can lead to an informed and engaged citizenry.

 

Lessons from the Real World: Social Issues and Student Involvement

A follow-up to Democracy Left Behind: NCLB and Civic Education (item #39484), this program looks at community-based learning in K–12 education. The film explores a wide variety of educational settings in which action-oriented lessons enable students to work outside the classroom, in their own communities. While taking nothing away from the importance of traditional academic subjects, the film promotes the idea that math, reading, and other areas are more effectively explored if students care about what they are learning—rather than being drilled with subject matter divorced from their real lives and the environments that often impact them. (55 minutes)

 

Communities as Classrooms

This program follows producer Bob Gliner as he introduces an educational experiment in participatory democracy at four schools in El Salvador that can serve as a model here in the U.S. — where viewers see students become actively engaged in solving problems in their own communities, not as an extra-curricular activity, but as part of learning math, language, writing and other basic educational skills – skills they see as necessary to solving the issues their communities face.