CINEMATIC POPULAR CULTURE AND EDUCATORS’ RATIONAL RECONSTRUCTIONS

R. Castagno

Touro College / FERA (Film and Education Research Academy) Teachers College, Columbia University (UNITED STATES)
The purpose of the study was to describe to what extent educators’ cinematic reflections could be interpreted in terms of Habermas’s domains of reflection and discursive acts. The sample was comprised of fifteen educators from various educational settings, private or public and different grade levels, enrolled in a Master’s program in education.
Data were analyzed using frequency counts of entries under each sub-domain of reflection and discursive act. The unit of analysis was the simple sentence expressing or conveying a single complete thought in the educators’ conceptual discourse about the connection of popular cinema to pedagogy. The coding of sub-domains regarding instrumental rationality produced Technical/Practical and Technical/Emancipatory, regarding pragmatic notions Practical/Technical and Practical/Emancipatory, and regarding critical self-awareness Emancipatory/Technical and Emancipatory/Practical reflective claims. The coding of discursive acts: regarding the Speaker as the writer, the Other(s) in the forms of “students” and/or “teachers,” and/or a combination of the Speaker and the Other presenting something Intersubjective.
The results of this investigation indicated that as a whole, participants’ reflectivity was directed mainly toward instrumental and pragmatic notions of the connection between cinema and pedagogy. There was a noticeable incidence of Intersubjective and Emancipatory reflective claims. In addition, the analysis revealed that participation in the expressive modalities provided for the educators an opportunity to reflect under the various sub-domains and the discursive acts. Although, the essay and the learning experience provided the most reflective thinking, the journal contributed in highlighting Intersubjective and Emancipatory entries.
Certain limitations of the study are outlined, particularly in regard to sample specificity, sample size, and gender distribution. The study concluded that cinematic reflection should be infused in teacher education courses and professional development practices at various educational institutions, and it provides initial indications of how such preparation might best be implemented.