Films You Saw in School

A Critical Review of 1,153 Classroom Educational Films (1958–1985) in 74 Subject Categories

$55.00

In stock

About the Book

Millions of dollars in public funds were allocated to school districts in the post–Sputnik era for the purchase of educational films, resulting in thousands of 16mm films being made by exciting young filmmakers. This book discusses more than 1,000 such films, including many available to view today on the Internet. People ranging from adult film stars to noted physicists appeared in them, some notable directors made them, people died filming them, religious entities attempted to ban them, and even the companies that made them tried to censor them. Here, this remarkable body of work is classified into seven subject categories, within which some of the most effective and successful films are juxtaposed against those that were didactic and plodding treatments of similar thematic material. This book, which discusses specific academic classroom films and genres, is a companion volume to the author’s Academic Films for the Classroom: A History (McFarland), which discusses the people and companies that made these films.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Alexander has authored two books on cinema and has written on musical subjects ranging from jazz history to flamenco. He is the founder and director of the Academic Film Archive of North America, in San Jose, California, the first archive solely dedicated to the history, preservation, and scholarship of the classroom educational film.

Bibliographic Details

Geoff Alexander
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: 86 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7263-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0571-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Foreword by Thomas G. Smith 1

Preface 5

List of Abbreviations 11

One Social Science and Geography Films 13

Two History Films 80

Three Science and Math Films 123

Four Arts and Crafts Films 169

Five Literature and Language Arts Films 195

Six Sociodrama Films 223

Seven Foreign Language Instructional Films 237

Appendix A: 209 Films Available for Free Viewing Online 249

Appendix B: Requiem 256

Chapter Notes 257

Bibliography 263

Index 265


Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Choice; “recommended”—ARBA; “a thorough, fascinating assessment of the cinematic prowess and educational substance of nearly every classroom film over a period of almost 30 years”—Examiner.com; “Putting together jigsaw puzzles affords a particular pleasure: that of finding a piece that fits the hole in the middle of an almost fully assembled section of the picture…Alexander’s new book performs just such a function for an emerging cluster of scholarly publications on nontheatrical media, interlocking but not overlapping with these other works and filling in a blank space in the critical examination of twentieth-century commercial film production”—The Moving Image.