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Title:Entre Les Murs (The Class) as a curricular tool: What preservice teachers think about and learn from engaging with The Class
Author(s):Ruzgar, M. Emir
Director of Research:Dressman, Mark
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bresler, Liora
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Herrera, Linda; Witt, Allison
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Entre Les Murs (The Class), Film as Curriculum, Teacher Education, Teaching.
Abstract:Educators have been employing cinema films in their teaching for quite a while. With their power of engaging spectators, films are deemed functional to enrich the quality of teaching in various contexts. The primary purpose of the present study was to explore the usage of a French school film by the name of Entre Les Murs (The Class, 2008) with preservice teachers in the curriculum of a teacher preparation course in University of Illinois to study these preservice teachers’ reaction to this film in terms of everyday curricular issues, problems and matters they might encounter as well as their learnings from the film. The teacher preparation class of interest included 26 preservice teachers, 19 of who participated to the study. To achieve the aims of the study, I carried out a qualitative inquiry in which I conducted two sets of interviews with participants—one set prior to the screening of this film in the class and another set after the screening. In addition, I observed this teaching class as a participant observer for the entire Spring 2018 semester. Moreover, I moderated open discussions about the film with the participants during the screening of the film. After having this dataset at hand, I analyzed the data with respect to the research questions I have aimed to answer. I utilized ATLAS.ti analysis software to aid me during the analysis, which included coding that resulted with the organization of the themes from the data. To ensure credibility of the study, I employed the method of peer debriefing. The primary findings of the study revealed that these preservice teachers mainly consider film as entertainment material that can also be employed for teaching students since they can supplement literature. What is more, teachers should not use films just to fill time. Films provide many advantages to teaching such as motivating students, diversifying teaching materials, etc. as well as some disadvantages such as being time consuming and making focusing harder. In terms of the method of film screening, participants stated teachers should be eclectic in choosing parts of films rather than showing an entire film to a class. Besides, participants argued that school films that depict teachers and students usually present a couple of myths about the profession of teaching. These myths influence the public to have negative connotations about teachers. Participants furthermore maintained that The Class as a school film does not follow these myths in that it presents a realistic and natural perspective on teaching. Participants’ evaluation of the teacher character in the film indicated that they are of the opinion that his teaching is not engaging, lively and diversified. Their suggestions to the teaching that takes place in the film related paying attention to students’ backgrounds and creating a welcoming teaching environment via communication and healthy relationships with students and parents. Finally, participants discussed that as a school film The Class was instrumental in their teaching since it presented a model teaching world to them that they evaluated. I interpreted the findings of the study that the film is a call for deliberative curriculum approach in educational circles since the film depicts the hardships of a top-down curriculum approach. I concluded the study by arguing that we need to increase the teacher quality to ensure that we avoid the types of problems and issues that teacher in the film encounters over an academic year, and that school films, especially The Class in the context of this study, can help us to do that.
Issue Date:2019-04-09
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 M. Emir Ruzgar
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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