The University of Massachusetts Amherst

"Education and Film": Education 167 (GenEd SB) Fall 2019

Students will live together in Thoreau Hall in the Southwest residential area.

Read what Fall 2019 instructor Cat Tebaldi has to say about the course 

What do movies like Mean Girls, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Freedom Writers teach us about education? Do the way films represent school, students, and teaching reflect or reproduce our views about particular students and schools? What and how do movies teach us and why does it matter?

In this course we will:

  • Examine Hollywood representations of teaching and schooling- in other words, watch movies
  • Analyze film as both a product and producer of American society and culture
  • Learn to identify and understand dominant educational ideologies and the real world impact these ideologies have
  • Conduct media analysis based on race, class, gender, and sexuality
  • Reflect on our own identities and educational experiences
  • Have Fun!

Problems in Social Thought - Philosophy 170 (Gen Ed SB) Fall 2019

Students will live together in Van Meter Hall in Central residential area. 

Read What Fall 2019 instructor Molly O'Rourke-Friel has to say about the course: 

How do we live cooperatively? What are we owed by society and one another? What problems stand in the way of our living well together? What moral obligations do we have to solve these problems and confront social injustice?

PHIL 170 will survey philosophical texts relating to these questions. Topics will include (but are not limited to) distributive justice, the oppression of women, the oppression of people of color, and the accessibility of education. In exploring these topics, we will view episodes from season one of HBO’s The Wire and discuss how they relate to the selected philosophical texts.

Not to worry if you have never taken a philosophy class! In this class, we will:

  • Learn how to read and discuss philosophical texts.
  • Develop the ability to organize and clearly communicate our thoughts on complex issues.
  • Cultivate a classroom community in which we can discuss these topics productively and respectfully.

Exploring Society