ERIC Number: EJ775970
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 13
Using "The Simpsons" to Teach Humanities with Gen X and Gen Y Adult Students
Fink, Maxwell A.; Foote, Deborah C.
New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, n115 p45-54 Fall 2007
Many educators lament the UNESCO study showing that by the time the average teen graduates from high school he or she has spent more than fifteen thousand hours watching television and only eleven thousand in the classroom (Gorebel, 1998). Rather than regretting this "condition," colleges, universities, and educators of adults and children should recognize it as an opportunity. More than ever, educators can successfully incorporate media studies into existing courses and curricula and utilize this general experience of their student populations. Perhaps no show lends itself more to such an academic endeavor than the Fox network's mega-hit "The Simpsons." Year after year, "The Simpsons" extends its reign as the longest running U.S. sitcom and the longest running U.S. animated television program of all time (McAllister, n.d.). It also is a cultural, economic, and global reference. "The Simpsons" can go beyond its extremely entertaining two-dimensional depictions to address critical and sophisticated issues often introduced and presented in the college classroom. This chapter discusses how the authors successfully used "The Simpsons" to present and critique various concepts normally found in traditional undergraduate Humanities courses.
Descriptors: Humanities Instruction, Adult Students, Popular Culture, Mass Media Effects, Mass Media Role, Literature Appreciation, Critical Viewing, Culturally Relevant Education, Literary Criticism, Case Method (Teaching Technique), Audiovisual Instruction, Media Adaptation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A