Teaching History through Film: Project Description

The Teaching Film through History program started under a pilot grant from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. As part of our pilot program, we collected surveys from teachers across the country, in order to better understand how you are using movies and what kinds of resources would be most useful to you. We organized a Teacher Advisory Board, then paired teachers with graduate student volunteers, and produced the four working drafts of teacher guides.

The teachers and graduate researchers also work in conjunction with a Panel of Experts, who review each guide for historical accuracy.

We are currently applying for funding to expand and improve this project. Based on evaluations from our advisory board and from you, we plan to re-vamp these guides and produce an additional 15 to 20 guides for movies that touch on historical subjects.

We eventually plan to have teacher guides for 20-25 films, which cover a wide range of historical periods and a diversity of topics.

This project is part of the Center for the Study of Public History and Public Culture at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. The teacher film guides on this page have been developed by a team of graduate students in American Studies, university professors, and K-12 English and history teachers from around the country.

Teacher Advisory Board

  • Scott Culclasure teaches 11th- and 12th-grade Theory of Knowledge and Philosophy at High Point Central High School in High Point, NC
  • Cynthia Mostoller teaches 8th-grade history at Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC
  • James Percoco teaches AP US History, US History and Applied History at West Springfield High School, Springfield, VA
  • Helen Stephen teaches 9-12th grade history at McLean High School, McLean, VA
  • Amy Trenkle teaches 8th-grade History at Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Washington, DC
  • Rob Williams teaches 11th-grade AP History and 10th and 11th grade Media Analysis at Alburquerque Academy in Alburquerque, NM

Panel of Experts

  • Ruth Feldstein, Assistant Professor of History, Harvard University
    Specializations in US women's history, cultural history, and African American history.
    Recently published: Motherhood in Black and White: Race and Sex in American Liberalism, 1930-1965 (2000).
  • William Hart, Associate Professor of History, Middlebury University
    Specializations in colonial and pre-colonial history, Native American and African American History, ethnohistory, race and religion in early America.
  • Michael Kazin, Professor of History, Georgetown University
    Specializations in US political history, American social movements, and labor history.
    Recently published: with Maurice Isserman, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (2000)
  • Lucy Maddox, Professor of English, Georgetown University
    Specializations in 19th and 20th century literature and culture; Native American history and culture.
    Recently published: Removals: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Politics of Indian Affairs (1991).
  • Roy Rosensweig, Professor of History, George Mason University
    Specializations in the presentation of history in public culture; uses of new media in teaching history, history of popular culture, and early 20th century US.
    Recently published: with David Thelen, The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life (2000).
  • Barbara Savage, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, University of Pennsylvania
    Specializations in African American history, social movements, religion, and US media history.
    Recently published: Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 1938-1948 (1999).