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Reel Diversity

A Teacher’s Sourcebook – Revised Edition


Brian C. Johnson and Sykra C. Blanchard

The first edition of Reel Diversity: A Teacher’s Sourcebook won the 2009 Phillip C. Chinn Book Award of the National Association for Multicultural Education. This revised edition is an updated resource guide for educators in secondary and university classrooms who desire to integrate mainstream and independent films into their instructional content about diversity and social justice. The book has transformed difficult dialogues in classrooms around the country by helping educators identify full-length films and shorter film clips to enhance, energize, and motivate student learning.
Accessible and practical for both novice and advanced educators, the book provides a lexicon of twenty-five definitions that teachers and learners should understand about difference, awareness, and power. Assignments, classroom activities, and lecture notes highlight these definitions in ways that deeply impact students’ multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. Reel Diversity invites cross-cultural dialogue about films’ mixed messages and how they enforce and reinforce cultural values. Students will emerge with a greater understanding of the educational value of this entertainment medium. The book is perfect for courses in mass media, film studies, American studies, mass communication, and media literacy.
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Preface to the Revised Edition


← VIii | ix →

This book will be an indispensable resource for teachers who want to introduce and infuse the concepts of diversity and social justice into their courses. As a manual or user-friendly guide, Reel Diversity provides easily accessible lessons for use in secondary, undergraduate, and graduate classroom instruction. The strength of the volume lies in its practical application in courses and workshop presentations.

The text includes a discussion on the power of the film medium for teaching today’s students. It is couched in the language of media literacy so that students will understand movies as harbingers of cultural expectations, mores, and beliefs, not just a source of entertainment. Within this text are proven guidelines for teaching diversity using a framework that deconstructs national opinion and culture from both majority and minority perspectives. Critical to diversity education is the development of a shared language among teachers and learners; therefore, this text provides a glossary of important definitions in the areas of difference and power dynamics. Pursuant to the goals of multicultural education and critical pedagogy, this resource guide supports the role of the teacher as a crucial factor in minimizing cultural dominance, prejudice, and discrimination in a society that favors majority groups and demonizes minorities.

This book is written by an educator for educators who desire to expand concepts of diversity beyond simple celebration, acceptance, or tolerance—the buzzwords of diversity—to an increasingly more significant understanding of and critical engagement with the issues of...

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