TEACHING TO TRANSGRESS!
My journey as a Feminist Educator continues, and I am pleased to share my classroom adventures. At the end of each nine weeks I give my sixth graders an opportunity to reflect on what they learned over the course of it. The unit we covered this nine weeks was film, which is one of the five categories of the media. Each nine weeks I break down a different category of the media with my students.
Here are some of my Media Studies student’s reflections:
“I really like this 9 weeks, we have done movies. Which I really enjoy, some of my favorite movies were Good Burger, Jumanji, Beverly Hillbillies, and the Lion King. We saw some stereotypes and some cliches in the movies, but we wrote them down and we discussed them in class. Mr. M has really did a good job trying to make us less stereotypical. Ever since he told us about stereotypes I have been doing my best to not use them when judging something. I have even made a Facebook page about fighting and challenging stereotypes. I hope people will learn that stereotypes make other people not feel accepted and hurt people too. So that’s why I am trying my best to keep people from using stereotypes. So I am really enjoying my nine weeks, so I hope our next 9 weeks is good.” – Ashley Jones, Age 11
“I liked learning about films this nine weeks. We watched a lot of films and were identifying stereotypes in gender also race, class and wrote down the genres we noticed. I also learned about film. I learned the genres in film too. We also learned about ageism and cliches. I learned that cliches were things that happen in film that are overused. I’ve always seen cliches in film, but never knew what they were called. I have really enjoyed watching the films. I have noticed films have many stereotypes and rely on stereotypes.” – John Michaels, Age 11
“This has been quite an interesting, and quite a long nine weeks. I was always an internet guy, never really interested in film. However, this nine weeks has taught me to look at films in a whole new way. We learned about how films are made. What processes they go through. The history of it. I learned a lot of new things this nine weeks. I also learned that films do profit from both promoting stereotypes and making fun of them. An example of this is Monsters vs. Aliens. At one point the president screamed a high, “girlish,” shriek when scared. This is supposed to be comical, saying that a boy being scared is funny. I never realized how many great films rely on stereotypes.” – Gavin Williams, Age 11
“These nine weeks have been memorable and fun. Mr. M is fun because he finds fun, and entertaining ways to work. I love the idea of watching films and writing down stereotypes: race, class, gender all while watching a movie. From this you benefit learning to challenge stereotypes and you enjoy watching a movie with your classmates. It’s also good to look for these issues in movies because then we can apply it to real life. I love media studies. I have absolutely not a single bad thing to say about it. I learned more than I could have learned in all my classes combined. I learned how to critique a film. I learned how to automatically notice a stereotype. There is something about learning stereotypes that just stays in your brain.” – Keema Alesdo, Age 11
“I have learned a lot this 9 weeks. I look at movies differently. I have learned to evaluate, identify, and analyze aspects of film. I learned about the film rules and how they constantly change. I feel as if people are, or were, planing ideas of sexism, racism, classism, and ageism. I seehow certain jokes in movies that seem hilarious could harm and/or hurt another’s feelings. I analyze how a film depends on stereotypes and I try to go against that. I have enjoyed this quarter. I think that film is more than you think. A film is an idea that can grow into a problem or something awesome. I can’t wait for next quarter.” – Jose Vargas, Age 12
“I really enjoyed learning these nine weeks. One thing I noticed is that there is no film I have seen that incorporates zero stereotypes. All the films have stereotypes that may be rendered harmful. I strike to make a movie with no stereotypes. The most stereotypes used were gender. They depicted women as weak and men as strong. Though this was not always the case. In How To Eat Fried Worms the girl was amazing at archery. All in all it was a great 9 weeks.” - Kameed Jaloui, Age 11
“In this nine weeks I have learned a lot. I realized how sexist movies are. Women are usually in the background. Are all women supposed to worry about fashion? Not all girls scream. At least, I saw some girls standing up against stereotypes. Second, I learned about ageism. Why are the younger ones always stubborn? Why are older people having strict personalities? I don’t understand why young people can’t be wise! Also, I learned about cliches. I never realized how many movies copy the little things.” – Eric Campbell, Age 11