I found the website Films For Action a couple days ago and thought it was pretty cool at first glance. They post documentary films and articles on their website that have been made around a social justice issue. So today I did some more exploring. Anyone can post to this website. You have an option to post a Video, an Article, or an Action. When you post a video it is customary on this site to post some sort of call to action along with the video. It is a wonderful and incredibly useful platform for students and activists to use for their work as well as finding others’ work. It is essentially a curation site that we are all allowed to curate. (They do have people who go through and check posts, though.) Additionally, it is a platform that already has many followers and people who view it on a regular basis.
I recommend this site to anyone who is starting a movement and plan on using it myself for Indigitize. I’d like to post the videos that students at Sherman Indian High School have made so that their voices can be projected to a large audience across the internet.
Through Films For Action I found a film called Schooling the World. I watched a trailer and read a little about the project. The film discusses education today and the issue of schools as education. One blog post called “A Thousand Rivers: What the modern world has forgotten about children and learning” describes the ways in which we have diverged from the educational practices that worked for thousands of years and created artificial learning environments that do not work for children. The following is an excerpt from the post:
“All social mammals have evolved species-specific social structures and behaviors for learning and transmitting the skills they will need to survive as adults. Our own species evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to live in small mixed-age communities where children are embedded in adult activities, surrounded by older and younger children and grandparents, immersed in the natural world, free to move and play and exercise their bodies, and where they are able to observe, imitate and then participate in adult work as they become developmentally ready.
Any wildlife biologist knows that an animal in a zoo will not develop normally if the environment is incompatible with the evolved social needs of its species. But we no longer know this about ourselves. We have radically altered our own evolved species behavior by segregating children artificially in same-age peer groups instead of mixed-age communities, by compelling them to be indoors and sedentary for most of the day, by asking them to learn from text-based artificial materials instead of contextualized real-world activities, by dictating arbitrary timetables for learning rather than following the unfolding of a child’s developmental readiness. Common sense should tell us that all of this will have complex and unpredictable results. In fact, it does. While some children seem able to function in this completely artificial environment, really significant numbers of them cannot. Around the world, every day, millions and millions and millions of normal bright healthy children are labelled as failures in ways that damage them for life. And increasingly, those who cannot adapt to the artificial environment of school are diagnosed as brain-disordered and drugged.”
After reading this post and watching the trailer I plan on watching the film myself and potentially screening it at Pitzer. The Schooling the World website has a screening toolkit and a link that tells you everything you need to do to screen the film in your community. It is a social change project in and of itself. The film is just one learning vehicle. We must incorporate many learning tools in order to reach the broadest audience possible. Media is a tool that is used often and effectively today.
Schooling the World has reached out in multiple ways to instigate change and Indigitize is doing the same. We have an after school media production program running at Sherman Indian High School as well as a Phone Drive campaign on Pitzer Campus and the 5Cs. The Indigitize movement is writing a manifesto on media, education, and access. Students have been producing media that has been and will be posted online in the future. We are all working to figure out how to do education and the environment right. This is what I think both Films For Action and Schooling the World are doing. I plan on using the tools my allies have created in order to stir the people in my surrounding community into action. And I will use their platforms and many more to make further change and conversation around education and equality.