Stepping Stones: the Evolution of Education
June 1, 2015
The documentary, "Stepping Stones: the Evolution of Education" premiered on May 29th at Rendezvous Pointe senior center. The 32-minute documentary was researched, written and directed by a select group of eighth graders at Pinedale Middle School. Professional Jackson Hole documentary-maker, Leigh Reagan, served as the production supervisor. She worked with students for the school year on researching, writing, shooting, and editing the actual documentary. The public is welcome to the premier.
Sherrill Hudson, the Language Arts teacher who worked with the students, commented that the project taught students how to make a documentary, but also opened their eyes to the complex history of education in this country. One student said of the project, "I was surprised at how opposite peoplesí opinions were about curriculum." Another said, "I did not realize how many acts of government it took to create the education experience we have today."
Students selected areas of interest and created seven segments on the history of education, ranging from curriculum to discipline to school buildings and architecture. Additionally, students conducted over 15 interviews with current education professionals as well as retired experts. State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jilian Ballow, spent nearly 30 minutes with the students via a Skype interview.
The project was conceived and developed by Hudson, and funded by University of Wyoming Learning Resource Networks (LeaRN) and School University Partnership (http://www.uwyo.edu/wsup/), Sublette BOCES, and Rendezvous Pointe.
As part of the grant funding requirements, students involved senior citizens in the interview portion of the documentary. Additionally, high school students served as mentors during the research phase along with Dr. John Anderson, a retired University of Nebraska professor.
Students appreciated the project because it allowed for creativity and collaboration. Students commented: "My favorite part about making the documentary was collaborating with the team to make our section. The interviews were also fun. I liked hearing peoplesí opinions about how discipline is handled now," and "I liked getting the producerís opinions and using them to improve my documentary section."