And Action!

Directing Documentaries in the Social Studies Classroom

By (author) Kathy Swan, Mark Hofer

Publication date:

26 November 2013

Length of book:

178 pages


R&L Education

ISBN-13: 9781475801477

And Action! Directing Documentaries in the Social Studies Classroom provides social studies educators with the background knowledge, conceptual understanding, and tools necessary to design and facilitate classroom documentary projects in the K-12 social studies classroom. The authors have spent more than ten years in classrooms working collaboratively with teachers to design and research classroom documentary projects. Recognizing the challenges of this kind of work, the authors partnered with filmmakers, historians, educational technologists, and classroom teachers with experience in leading documentary projects to refine a production process that more closely mirrors the work of filmmakers.

With this book, the authors draw on all of these experiences to assist social studies educators to efficiently and effectively structure and assess documentary projects. Educators will learn ways to transition student learning away from “digital encyclopedia entries” toward a more authentic documentary approach that focuses on disciplined inquiry and the use of evidenced-based arguments.
And Action! offers a road map to guide a teacher in the production of students' documentary projects. Swan and Hofer very competently outline the particular steps involved in designing a documentary in order to help teachers either avoid some of the most commonly encountered problems or at least mitigate some of the effects to create a more seamless process. Potential problems that teachers may encounter are addressed. One teacher comments, 'If I had only known then what I know now about the documentary film process, I would have . . .' It should be noted that the authors do not get too detailed in the technical aspects of video production because of the wide range of hardware and software products in schools. However, of particular value is the information regarding copyrighted material and the Fair Use Act along with the compendium of informative template appendixes. A rubric template is also provided to use as a tool to assess students' projects and how the design of the projects line up with common core standards. This book is a great resource for teachers who want to add documentary filmmaking to their practice. Summing Up: Recommended. Professional collections.