Heads up, history teachers: Paramount has announced plans to send a copy of the movie “Selma” to every high school (public and private) in the country.
The plan is a continuation of the company’s “Selma for Students” initiative, which allowed more than 300,000 students to see the movie in theaters for free. Teachers can also download free “Selma"-related resources on BazanED, including (supposedly) common core-aligned lesson plans for several subjects. The release didn’t mention whether practicing teachers were involved in the making of these lesson plans.
(Education Week Teacher tried to examine the materials to see what they looked like, but the registration process requires valid school credentials.)
“By providing DVDs to all of the high schools in the country, we hope to reach all 18 million high school students with the film’s powerful and inspiring story,” Paramount president Megan Colligan said in a press release. “With many of these students preparing to vote for the first time in next year’s elections, it is especially fitting that they witness the bravery and fortitude of those who fought to establish the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
We also hope that these students will encourage their parents to buy the movie so that we make more money was implied but not explicitly stated.
Regardless of Paramount’s intentions, Education Week‘s Catherine Gewertz says that the movie, which tells the story of the 1965 Selma march, does have potential to open up discussions about the topic—though it may not necessarily be completely historically accurate.
This isn’t Paramount’s first foray into education—the company also released lesson plans based on the movie “Interstellar” following that movie’s release last year.
Image: David Oyelowo in the trailer for “Selma.” Image via YouTube.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.