Video analysis

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The goal of this assignment is to analyze one portion of an education reform video documentary with the same depth as you are expected to analyze a textual source. In other words, don’t passively watch a video. Instead, actively study the video and analyze how and why the director and their crew put it together.

When viewing a video documentary, take notes on overall themes, and mark key scenes with hour-minute timestamps (e.g., 0:38). Watching and discussing films with others is strongly encouraged, but each essay must be written individually.

Write an essay of at least 300 words that elaborates on any TWO of these themes:

  • Identify and describe an key scene in the film, tell us why it matters, and explain how the filmmakers shot or edited the scene to convey their story to viewers.
  • Where are the holes? Whose stories do not appear in this documentary?
  • What is filmmakers’ implicit or explicit theory of change? Specifically, how do they define the problem, the policy chain, and desired goals?
  • How have real audiences responded to this film? Quote from people outside of our class who watched it and/or movie reviews.
  • How might Kahlenberg and Potter respond to the video? Support your reasoning with at least one direct quote from this reading.
  • How might Welner respond to the video? Support your reasoning with at least one direct quote from this reading.
  • Compare and contrast two education reform videos that address the same topic from different angles.

Your essay must include the following:

1) A catchy title (since you’ll be publicly posting it on WordPress)

2) Thoughtful analysis on any two themes listed above.

3) Visual evidence: Show us an influential scene from the film by including a static screenshot in your WordPress essay.

4) Source credit: For each screenshot, briefly credit the original source in a caption (example: Guggenheim, Waiting for Superman, 0:38), and use the hour:minute timestamp in place of a page number. Include a full source citation at the end of your essay. Remember that if you include a visual image in your work and do not credit the original source, that is plagiarism.

5) Source citations: Provide a full citation the film and other sources you refer to using any scholarly citation format (such as Chicago-style notes, or APA/MLA in-line citations with a bibliography).

6) Remember to select the correct category for your post, as described in our syllabus.