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Teaching with Disney


Edited By Julie C. Garlen and Jennifer A. Sandlin

Teaching with Disney, the first comprehensive volume on Disney as cultural pedagogy and classroom praxis, explores what it means to teach, learn, and live in a world where many familiar discourses are dominated by The Walt Disney Company. The book analyzes the ways in which the powerful messages of Disney shape the way we teach and learn. Featuring scholars from a wide range of educational contexts, including educational foundations, art education, higher education, K-12 contexts, adult education, media literacy, critical pedagogy, and curriculum studies, this book is accessible and interesting to a global audience of educational researchers and practitioners as well as undergraduate and graduate students in educational foundations, curriculum and instruction, curriculum theory, critical media education, art education, sociology of education, and related fields. Discussion questions are provided for each chapter to help facilitate class discussions and assignments. This is an excellent assignment text for education classrooms.


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Part One: Teaching Gender


Teaching Gender p a r t o n e c h a p t e r t w o March 26, 2015. It is the first class of the semester. I enter the classroom and I am already excited: I have a new cohort of senior students majoring in graphic design and adver- tising, with whom to share evenings of intense discussions about media content. I am especially cheerful today: Disney has just released a trailer for the film, Inside Out. I cherish new Disney pieces because every movie is a land of discovery to me. In this trailer, a “typical” family interacts during a traditional dinner, in an average house. Inside their heads, tiny characters representing emotions guide their actions. For example, the mother is guided by little people in her mind to support her daughter after a bad day at school. These tiny characters guide the woman to involve the father in the conversation but, inside his head, little male characters are watching a sporting event, completely discon- nected from the family. Tiny gender-biased people make contradictory decisions, and it all goes wrong: the daughter (and her own tiny characters, both female and male) is grounded and sent to her room. As the clip finishes, my students still cannot guess what I am trying to do. I love working that way. “Well?” I ask. Nobody knows what they are supposed to say. Silence, nervous laughs. “It’s fun,” says a girl in the front row. She is the first...

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