Reframing the Subject: Postwar Instructional Film and Class-Conscious Literacies

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

“Mental hygiene” films developed for classroom use touted vigilance, correct behavior, morality, and model citizenship. They also became powerful tools for teaching literacy skills and literacy-based behaviors to young people following the Second World War.

In this study, Kelly Ritter offers an extensive theoretical analysis of the alliance of the value systems inherent in mental hygiene films (class-based ideals, democracy, patriotism) with writing education—an alliance that continues today by way of the mass digital technologies used in teaching online. She further details the larger material and cultural forces at work in the production of these films behind the scenes and their effects on education trends.

Through her examination of literacy theory, instructional films, policy documents, and textbooks of the late 1940s to mid–1950s, Ritter demonstrates a reliance on pedagogies that emphasize institutional ideologies and correctness over epistemic complexity and de-emphasize the role of the student in his or her own learning process. To Ritter, these practices are sustained in today’s pedagogies and media that create a false promise of social uplift through formalized education, instead often resulting in negative material consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh Press
Number of pages368
ISBN (Electronic)9780822981176
ISBN (Print)9780822963882
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015

Publication series

NamePittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture

Fingerprint

mental hygiene
literacy
patriotism
value system
Teaching
morality
Ideologies
textbook
learning process
education
citizenship
democracy
classroom
examination
Literacies
Reframing
Conscious
trend
student
Mental Hygiene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Ritter, K. A. (2015). Reframing the Subject: Postwar Instructional Film and Class-Conscious Literacies. (Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture). University of Pittsburgh Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt19jcgvx

Reframing the Subject : Postwar Instructional Film and Class-Conscious Literacies. / Ritter, Kelly Allison.

University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015. 368 p. (Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture).

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Ritter, KA 2015, Reframing the Subject: Postwar Instructional Film and Class-Conscious Literacies. Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture, University of Pittsburgh Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt19jcgvx
Ritter KA. Reframing the Subject: Postwar Instructional Film and Class-Conscious Literacies. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015. 368 p. (Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture). https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt19jcgvx
Ritter, Kelly Allison. / Reframing the Subject : Postwar Instructional Film and Class-Conscious Literacies. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015. 368 p. (Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture).
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