Yesterday, we held a screening of Traces of the Trade in Providence for Rhode Island educators.

The screening, sponsored by the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and hosted by Rhode Island College, was intended to solicit feedback on the uses of the film in the classroom context.

The screening, which took place in the student union ballroom, was well received, and we received valuable responses from the social studies and history teachers and others in attendence. Katrina, Holly, and I took questions afterwards and listened to the suggestions and concerns of the audience, most of which can be incorporated into the classroom materials which will be produced for use with the film.

Interestingly, there was some concern that many students would already know the history presented in the film. About half of those present indicated that they knew this history before watching the film, and it seems that many of their students are now being exposed to this material in school curricula. I think the take-away message here is that many classrooms could still benefit from the history being presented, while many others will want to focus instead on the film’s message about our society today.

There was also an understandable response that the film itself doesn’t do much to show the black perspective, which could be a problem in a racially diverse classroom setting. This, again, is something which study materials could probably address.

Leave a Reply