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We've Scene it All Before

Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training

Series:

Brian C. Johnson

A revolutionary tool for corporate and academic trainers, We’ve Scene It All Before harnesses the power of mainstream Hollywood film to enhance educational sessions about diversity and social justice. This resource manual offers practical guidance on how to effectively use the concept of difference as a starting point towards true inclusion.
Seasoned and novice trainers will appreciate the suggested strategies and best practices on facilitating diversity dialogues, which are coupled with a set of twenty-five definitions that introduce and raise awareness of the personal and systemic nature of difference, discrimination, and power. Workshops on human relations and workplace diversity must move beyond the superficial “celebration” of diversity to the dismantling of systems of privilege and oppression that create environments where members of the organization are disenfranchised and disempowered.
Using clips from a variety of genres of mainstream film allows the trainer to make intercultural concepts visible and offers a way for us to challenge our own values and assumptions. Participants will enjoy the presentations more as they view some of their favorite films in a whole new way; using this familiar medium creates a common basis for entering the discussions all the while giving us the permission to talk about serious and often controversial subjects.
We’ve Scene It All Before: Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training is a learning tool which will be tremendously useful in reducing resistance and increasing thoughtful cross-cultural dialogue.

Reel Big Bullies

Teaching to the Problem

Series:

Brian C. Johnson and James E. Vines

Talk with students about bullying in their schools/communities and three themes are likely to emerge: a) there’s nothing anyone can do about it, b) bullying is necessary as it builds character, and c) there needs to be more educational programming in the schools designed to curb bullying behavior.

Contrast those sentiments with the helplessness teachers and administrators feel. Many will tell you that current state and federal guidelines tie their hands until after an incident occurs. In other words, a student must get hurt before the school is able to do anything. Reel Big Bullies is designed for regular anti-bullying campaigns and will not cost struggling districts thousands of dollars to implement as it provides teachers with educational resources to complement regular instruction in classrooms.

Using clips from Hollywood blockbusters like Knocked Up, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Benchwarmers and others, Reel Big Bullies is designed to help students, administrators, teachers and counselors create a safer school environment for all students. It is also intended to help all students understand the terrible toll bullying can take on its targets, and to encourage students to stand up for their classmates who are being bullied.

The book’s framework follows the three themes above and discusses the pertinent legal and policy decisions affecting educational intervention. With the already busy (overwhelmed) teacher in mind, we describe nearly 200 film clips teachers can show in class to promote and spark discussions with students in middle and high schools.

Series:

Edited by Brian C. Johnson and Daniel K. Faill

In the fall of 2009, the Fox network took a bold step in their primetime television lineup. Borrowing from the success of reality music performance shows like its own American Idol, the network introduced us to the students at McKinley High School, a fictional high school in Lima, OH, and home to the glee club known as the New Directions. The group is made up of freaks and geeks who feel the wrath of being “different.” The cool kids are hell bent on making life difficult for the students in glee club. Yet, because of the determination of Mr. Will Schuester, the club’s advisor, along with a few great songs, Glee has brought a new tone of inclusion to modern television and direct parallels can be seen between the experiences of the show choir members and what is happening in contemporary society. Glee has shown the importance of examining the intersections of pop culture and social issues; this text will encourage thinking on how effective the show has been beyond the screen. Essays provide critical analyses of the show, its characters, and its overall usefulness as a commentary on social issues. The show’s content often deals with subject matter that would lend easily to critique around such social issues as sexuality, bullying, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and family relationships. This text invites readers to examine the intersections between media, society, and the individual.