Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Musicwood

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Musicwood

Article excerpt

Directed by Maxine Trump. $350. Cinema Guild. New York. 2012.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The DVD Musicwood documents the complex issues related to clear-cut logging in the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska. The film includes the viewpoints of environmentalists and guitar builders who depend on the wood, while also exploring the economic needs and values of the Native Americans who own the land and do the clear-cutting.

I would use the film to introduce an interdisciplinary case study in which high school students would explore the current status of clear-cutting by the Sealaska Corporation, divide the class into groups that would take the viewpoint of each stakeholder, and prepare for a class debate in which they would propose solutions that address needs of all involved. The film has beautiful footage of 500-year-old spruce trees in the Tongass forest and also introduces viewers to the culture of the Native Americans of the region. There is a juxtaposition of the Native American values of preserving the land with the corporate views of profit. The irony of these differing viewpoints is that the corporation is owned and operated by the tribe, yet the bulk of the profit goes to the salaries and bonuses of the corporate board. …

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