Academic Films for the Classroom. A History by Geoff Alexander

By Geoff Alexander

Exploring a realm of movie usually brushed aside as campy or contrived, this e-book strains the heritage of lecture room academic movies from the silent period throughout the Nineteen Eighties, while movie ultimately started to lose floor to video-based and electronic media. It profiles 35 person educational filmmakers who performed a task in bringing those approximately 110,000 16mm movies to school rooms throughout North the US, paying specific awareness to auteur John Barnes and his principally missed physique of labor. different themes contain: the construction businesses contributing to the expansion and improvement of the tutorial movie style; the advanced heritage of post-Sputnik, federally-funded academic tasks which inspired the expansion of the educational movie style; and the denouement of the style in school rooms and its resurgence on the net.

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CHAPTER TWO A Cold War Funds a Hot Medium: The Progressive Era, 1961–1985 From a cinematic perspective, an important outcome of the aftermath of World War II was the influx of military-trained filmmakers moving into the educational film world. Effective educational filmmaking, however, encompasses more than technique. As was discussed in the last chapter, the majority of academic films of the 1950s, from a content perspective, were merely didactic mirrors of what was found in textbooks. It took another major world event to provoke the educational film world to provide more engaging, creative content from a cognitive, affective, and socially conscious perspective.

48 After five years with the company, a worker was eligible to choose either a full set of the Encyclopædia Britannica, or a set of the 54 (later to be 60) volume Great Books of the Western World series, a Benton-Hutchins-Adler anthology of 443 writings by 74 authors. 49 EBF’s brain trust often took public advocacy positions, generating political support for mediated instruction. EBF’s leaders also commented on social policy. A good example of the latter is Maurice Mitchell’s article in the 1958 Britannica Book of the Year, which predicted the proliferation of technology in the home via film-on-demand, microwave ovens, and instant communication devices.

29 On Benton’s first day on the job, Hutchins asked him to review a report commissioned by brothers Nelson and Laurance 22 Academic Films for the Classroom Rockefeller on the feasibility of the purchase of ERPI by the Rockefeller Foundation, an idea soon vetoed by father John D. Rockefeller, Jr. S. so intrigued Benton that, on the heels of the Rockefeller disappointment, he attempted to convince his friend, Life magazine publisher Henry Luce, to add educational films to his publishing empire. Luce’s treasurer, however, generated a report stating that educational films were a “dead end,” abruptly terminating the discussion.

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