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The Hollywood Curriculum

Teachers and Teaching in the Movies


Mary M. Dalton

Fifty-eight motion pictures distributed widely in the United States over the past sixty years are analyzed to construct a theory of curriculum in the movies grounded in cultural studies and critical pedagogy. The social curriculum of Hollywood implicit in popular films is based on individual rather than collective action and relies on that carefully plotted action rather than meaningful struggle to ensure the ultimate outcome leaving educational institutions, which represent the larger status quo, intact and in power. Interrogating the «Hollywood Curriculum» is to ask what it means as a culture to be responsive at both social and personal levels and to engage these films as both entertaining and potentially transformative.