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The State of Things

Learning with the Lights Off

Collection of essays by Devin and Marsha Orgeron

The art of filmmaking has long been used to entertain visitors to the big screen, but its influence on the classroom is often overlooked. The 20th century was rife with educational films designed to teach students about such topics as lunchroom behavior, sex education, race relations and various types of disease. Many of these films have been relegated to the dustbins of education history, but some fans are trying to preserve their legacy. Devin and Marsha Orgeron are associate professors in the Film Studies Program at North Carolina State University. They’ve just published a collection of essays, along with Dan Streible, called, “Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States” (Oxford University Press/2012).

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