Social Reconstruction through Video Art: A Case Study

By Barakett, Joyce; J, Elizabeth et al. | Transformations, March 31, 2001 | Go to article overview

Social Reconstruction through Video Art: A Case Study


Barakett, Joyce, J, Elizabeth, Freedman, Judy, Transformations


Social Reconstruction through Video Art: A Case Study

This case study of teacher, Judy Freedman, suggests means of incorporating student concerns, social content, and video art into teaching in many subject areas. Freedman's work departs from abstract and theoretical discussions of social reconstruction by using action research, along with theory, to influence teaching.

As Freedman learned about social reconstruction, she found theory that affirmed some of her intuitions as a secondary school art teacher considering art education's potential as an agent of social change. Her teaching of video art had entailed the critical analysis of commercial advertising which culminated in students' production of alternative advertisements of their choice. She revised her teaching of video art in two ways: 1) to include socially critical content which students chose as meaningful to them and 2) to change the classroom atmosphere to foster student independence and social agency.

In her teaching of secondary school art, Judy Freedman used a unit on television advertisements as a way to focus on student social concerns. Always concerned with students' active participation in the classroom and their construction of their own ideas in art, Freedman worked for many years to develop the students' sense of belonging as well as ownership of their work, learning, and the classroom. In developing this video art unit, she made what she sees as a break-through in the development of social responsibility in her classes.

In this article, we describe Freedman's past approach to teaching video, the development of participation in her classes, what prompted her to introduce socially critical content, and the changes she introduced into her teaching to draw on students' social concerns and sense of justice. This essay draws parallels to and builds upon theoretical discussions by Paulo Freire and Henry Giroux. This paper also suggests strategies to teachers interested in increasing the vitality of their classrooms, highlighting the relevance of their teaching to students' concerns, and defining students as agents of change.

In the recent past, Freedman had taught video units in which students created advertisements based on their knowledge of commercials from television. She focused their attention on the techniques and approaches generally used by the media in the marketplace. Both Freedman and her students viewed videotaped commercial advertisements, analyzing the camera angles, tempo, rhythm, and technical aspects with and without sound. She also focused their attention on techniques used to manipulate viewer perceptions and emotions.

A problem she noted with this approach was that regardless of student interest in producing a video advertisement of their own design, many students never completed their videos. Freedman conducted action research, studying one's own practice in order to improve that practice, to examine the obstacles to teaching and to develop means to improve her teaching of video. This action research revealed that the students had difficulty completing the work because of the time the project required for completion and their difficulty working effectively together.

The Actual Change - What Made It Happen

Subsequently, Freedman (1999, October) saw video art about AIDS and read an article on video activism in a graduate seminar.(1) She recognized the affinity between social reconstruction and her views on teaching. She realized she could refine her teaching to 1) address the problems her earlier action research uncovered and 2) align her teaching more closely with her social values and her ideas of community. Freedman observed, "the classroom is a community or `culture' in its own right" (1999, October, n.p.). She wanted each person in the class to "feel that they are an important member of that community, and that they can freely voice their ideas and opinions, in a safe environment" (1999, October, n. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social Reconstruction through Video Art: A Case Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.