A Note from James Frieden and Deborah W. Elliott,
the Founders of TeachWithMovies.org
During 40 years of marriage and raising children, we came to realize that carefully selected feature films could supplement curriculum and foster social-emotional learning. In 1998 we started TeachWithMovies.org as a way of sharing this concept.
By 2002 tens of thousands of teachers and parents were logging on to TeachWithMovies.org each month. Websites maintained by hundreds of schools, libraries, state departments of education, and national educational associations provided links to the site and recommended it. TeachWithMovies.org was selected as a contributor to the Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM), a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide a central clearinghouse for the best lesson plans and teacher resources on the Internet.
Beginning with just a handful of Learning Guides in 1998, TeachWithMovies.org has grown to encompass more than 390 Learning Guides and lesson plans, as well as articles on using movies to further education. Through word of mouth, the search engines, and a little press coverage (including the LA Times and USA Today), usage on the site has ballooned.
Educators comprise 80% of the site’s audience. The next largest contingent is made up of homeschooling parents. The most common request from users has been for more Learning Guides. People also ask for Guides to more recent films.
With TeachWithMovies.org’s explosive growth, the time required to maintain and improve the site increased. We realized that we could pay professional contributors and devote more time ourselves if we charged a minimal subscription fee. This would enable us to take the site to a new level of quality and to write more Learning Guides. Our mission is to provide TWM Users with the gold standard in using film in education.
In 2007 TWM was joined by Mary RedClay, a teacher of many years’ experience, who has made wonderful and creative contributions to the site.
THE TWM "FAMILY"
A TWM founder has a single subject teaching credential from the state of California in English, Health and Social Studies. Mr. Frieden has given lectures on the use of movies in education for the following conferences and teacher education forums: 2007 convention of the National Council of Teachers of English, 2008 convention of the California Council of Teachers of English, 2007 Northeast Media Literacy Conference, University of Connecticut, April 2007; California Teachers Association, Good Teaching Conference South, February 2007; and Palisades Charter High School, Teacher Professional Development, April, 2007. Mr. Frieden received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University and a JD from Boston College Law School where he was a contributing editor to the Boston College Industrial and Commercial Law Review. In addition to his teaching activities, Mr. Frieden is also a trial lawyer with a litigation practice in Santa Monica, California. He practiced law for many years in Massachusetts and has coauthored a legal text, Standardized Massachusetts Civil Practice Forms, Garrity & Frieden, Little, Brown and Company, 1986. Like many contemporary fathers, Mr. Frieden was actively involved in raising the couple’s children. Mr. Frieden may be contacted at jfrieden@TeachWithMovies.com.
An English teacher with 40 years’ experience. She currently teaches at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles. James Frieden, tells the story of Mary RedClay’s involvement in TWM: “As I got more interested in teaching, I asked my two sons who had been students at Palisades High School to tell me the name of their best teacher. They both said, ‘Mary RedClay’. So, I went to Mrs. RedClay and asked if I could observe some of her classes. They were right. She is an amazing teacher.” Over the years, Mary RedClay’s contributions to the site have grown and have been tremendous.
Deborah W. Elliott
A TWM founder has a single subject teaching credential from the state of California in English, Health, and Dance. She serves as a long-term substitute for the English Department at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles. Ms. Elliott graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She has a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Management from Radcliffe College. In 2003/2004 Ms. Elliott taught a year-long elective class called “It’s More Than Just A Movie” at the New West Charter Middle School, Los Angeles. In 2006/2007 she assisted in English, Health and other classes at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles. Ms. Elliott has given lectures on the use of movies in education for the following conferences and teacher education forums: 2007 convention of the National Council of Teachers of English, 2007 Northeast Media Literacy Conference, University of Connecticut, April 2007; California Teachers Association, Good Teaching Conference South, February 2007; and Palisades Charter High School, Teacher Professional Development, April, 2007. Ms. Elliott also served as a dance critic for “Boston After Dark” magazine in the 1970s.
Has a Doctorate in Education from the Harvard School of Education. She is the author of materials for parents as well as educational software, textbooks, and other curriculum materials. For a complete description of Dr. Bardige’s publications, see A Wealth of Words.
Aris Erik Stengler
Holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge, England. He pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Cologne, Germany. Mr. Stengler is presently lecturer of Science Communication at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He was formerly the Head for Education and Public Outreach Activities and Deputy Director at the Museo de la Ciencia Y el Cosmos — The Science Centre of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). Dr. Stengler is a freelance collaborator in many science communication initiatives.
Served as an employee of TeachWithMovies.com for several years. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) cum laude. Ms. Humphrey has been a major contributing author to the Talking and Playing Guides published by TeachWithMovies.com.
Helps take care of the website and the codings for the Learning Guides and lesson plans. He helps with business development. Like all TWM’s family, his work has been invaluable.
Past Contributors Whose Work is Still on TeachWithMovies.org
Holds degrees from Wilson College, the University of Wisconsin and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is the author of two collections of poetry. Guests, published in 1991 by the Ohio State University Press, won the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and The Journal Award in Poetry. Her second book, The Paper Wasp, was published in 1999 by Triquarterly Books/ Northwestern University Press. A long poem from that book won the George Bogin Memorial Award.
Teresa Cader’s work has been published in “The Atlantic Monthly,” “Slate,” “Poetry,” “Ploughshares,” “Agni,” and other magazines. She has won two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as fellowships from the Bunting Institute, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She has taught at M.I.T and Emerson College. She has been poet-in-residence in many Massachusetts schools. Teresa Cader has two daughters.
Taught English at Grant High School in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of the National Council of Teachers of English publications Reading in the Dark: Using Film As a Tool in the English Classroom (2001) and Reading in the Reel World: Teaching Documentaries And Other Nonfiction Texts (2006). (TWM strongly recommends these books.) Mr. Golden has delivered presentations and led workshops around the country in order to help teachers use film actively in the classroom as a way for students to improve their reading, analytical and critical thinking skills. Mr. Golden is a leading expert in using movies in the classroom.
Graduated from Emory University in Atlanta and has a Ph.D. in history from Georgia State University. She is the author of “Laughter in the Amen Corner: the Life of Evangelist Sam Jones” and is currently working on a biography of Hannah Whitall Smith, the Quaker evangelist and women’s rights activist. After teaching at several Georgia colleges, she and her husband moved to Alexandria, Virginia. She currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University. She and her husband Larry have been married 35 years and they have two children. The whole family loves both history and movies, and especially the two in combination!
Was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College and a JD from Harvard Law School. Mr. Mizell has been active in the music and entertainment industry for two decades. A few of Mr. Mizell’s accomplishments include: development of the successful marketing strategy for creation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday; — author of Stevie Wonder’s speech launching the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday; — the first NAACP Image Award for Broadcasting (1981); — served as Interim Head of Business Development/Consumer Products Division of the Walt Disney Company, responsible for marketing the Little Mermaid music products line; — wrote and narrated a documentary film entitled “Ghana, Land of the Gold Coast,” a MonuMint Films Production; — produced and directed a documentary, “Black Across the Tracks: Old Black Fort Lauderdale,” Broward County Florida Library, African American Research Library, Oral History Preservation Project, 2002. Mr. Mizell has lectured at various colleges, including the University of California at Berkeley, University of Rhode Island, Wellesley College, and Rutgers University. He is the father of two daughters. In 2005 an album that Mr. Mizell participated in producing, “Genius Loves Company”, won the Grammy for Best Album of the Year (2004).
John A. Tures
Received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, a Masters in International Affairs from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University. Dr. Tures is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science, at La Grange College, La Grange, Georgia.