The Changing American Family Through Film
Instructor Marilyn Berman
Course Number PRDV 78622
Capturing our student’s attention and motivating them toward excellence is the greatest obstacle teachers face. Although there are many distractions that draw our students away from focusing on their education; as teachers we know the most powerful influence in their lives can be their families. Students search for answers to life’s problems with friends, online, and on social networking websites, sometimes with teachers and staff members but, often not within their own families. Many in society lament the end of the family as we have known it and the deterioration of family units due to divorce, mobility, poverty, crime and substance abuse. Few celebrate the new and innovative forms of the family, which are evolving to accommodate the many changes in society.
This course will introduce teachers to a variety of films which may be used as powerful tools in the classroom to stimulate discussion on a variety of societal issues regarding the family including: evolving definitions and formulations of the family; legal issues surrounding families, cultural conflict resulting from immigration, assimilation and generational differences, the economy, the impact of mental illness and disability and addiction on the family. Additionally we will consider current public policy issues, especially civil rights, which relate to the family. The films we will view come from a variety of genres: comedy, drama, and satire among others.
Framingham State University - 3 Graduate Credits
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