This dissertation focuses on the development of a philosophy of film education. Why film? Films are a rich source of enjoyment for many of us; however, they can also give us insight into the world beyond our immediate experience and can, and often do inspire us, shock us, or make us rethink our assumptions about the world. I argue that film can be an agent of change. Everyday consumers can draw knowledge and self-identity from the mythic content of motion pictures and television programs. Far from being merely entertainment, mass media vehicles such as film convey ideas and ideals regarding the nature of the world and the universe and the moral structure of society. Through its integration of cinematic form and sound, film aspires to become a language, much like the other arts, such as literature, painting, and photography, are languages, and thus is amenable to education. In this study I attempt to identify, explain, and justify some of the key aims, content, and pedagogical approaches of an education in film. I argue that filmmaking is a cognitive, collaborative and constructivist activity. This dissertation examines the place of film in the broad context of a general education. In order to further place the study in context, I explore and outline a brief history of film education in Canada and illustrate why film is significant to our understanding of the arts in general. I explore the reasons why film music may be seen as being fundamental to the film experience. I argue that the notion of literacy should be broadened to include the visual. Finally, I develop perspectives on teaching film theory and practice, including assessment, as part of a conception of curriculum and benefit in process from interviews with two local film educators.
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