New Home for Innovative Project Creates a New Mission for the Center:
Using Entertainment to Teach American Students about the World
LOS ANGELES – Journeys in Film, which since 2003 has provided foreign film-based curricula and training to U.S. teachers of 500,000 American middle and high school students, is the newest project of the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
Journeys in Film selects age-appropriate movies that feature young people; tell compelling stories; offer entry points for lessons on science, mathematics, social studies, language, and art; teach the history and culture of the films’ countries of origin; and prepare students to live and work in the global economy. Movies selected and taught to date include “The Way Home” (South Korea), “Like Stars on Earth” (India), “The Cup” (Tibet), and “Children of Heaven” (Iran), “Beat the Drum” (South Africa), and “Whale Rider” (New Zealand).
“Journeys in Film is a perfect fit for the Norman Lear Center,” said USC Annenberg professor and Lear Center founding director Martin Kaplan. “It uses the power of entertainment to captivate students’ attention and to increase their understanding of the world. Our plan is to dramatically strengthen Journeys in Film — to expand its catalog of films and countries, boost the number of schools and students that its curricular guides reach, increase its teacher training programs, and sponsor solid research to evaluate its impact.”
Joanne Strahl Ashe, founder and executive director of Journeys in Film, said that “Becoming part of the Lear Center is an exciting step for us. We’re adding the resources of a great university, a top-ranked school, and a nationally known center of innovation in the world’s film capital. We look forward to designing more programs to help create globally-literate citizens, and to helping the film industry expand into education through teacher workshops on using film in the classroom.”
“I can’t help but consider how wonderful it would be, if through our efforts at Journeys, we help change attitudes about people who are different from us,” added actor and Journeys in Film national spokesperson Liam Neeson. “I want to help make teaching through film a regular part of our kids’ education.”
For more information about Journeys in Film go to www.journeysinfilm.org.
The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center studying and shaping the impact of entertainment and media on society. From its base in the USC Annenberg School, the Lear Center builds bridges between faculty who study aspects of entertainment, media and culture. Beyond campus, it bridges the gap between entertainment industry and academia, and between them and the public. For more information, visit www.learcenter.org.
Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism (annenberg.usc.edu) is a national leader in education and scholarship in the fields of communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. With an enrollment of more than 2,200 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, graduate and undergraduate degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals across a broad scope of academic inquiry. The school’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core skills of leadership, innovation, service and entrepreneurship and draws upon the resources of a networked university located in the media capital of the world.