For some time I’ve considered proposing a new course or two to my department and then my administration.
My first thought is a Film Analysis course where students analyze movies (the way the film is shot and the thematic elements within each film). We could connect the films to literature, other films, and the students’ lives as well as meet the Common Core standards chosen for the senior English courses at my school. In addition, I could incorporate the following using contemporary and classic films:
- literary devices,
- the heroic cycle,
- Joseph Campbell’s ideas on mythology,
- classic motifs and patterns,
- Christ-like characters, and
My second thought would be a Modern History through Science Fiction course. This course could be a Social Studies or a Language Arts class and could begin with The Civil War and move through to the modern day. Authors such as H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Phillp K. Dick, and others would form the basis for a decade by decade historical study of political, economic, and military events as well as look at the ways science fiction reflects and influences American society.
Do you have a course like either one of these at your school? I’d love to know how well respected they are in addition to their popularity.