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Monday, August 9, 2010

Got Credit? Got Debt? Got recession?

I came across the film Maxed Out  on Netflix and loved it!  The film does a great job of raising awareness of the credit industry and how they market and select people for credit cards, loans, etc.  It is not something I would use in my American History classroom, but it is something I may use in my Sociology class when I talk about rites of passage with adolescents.  Since (according to the film) high school graduates do not get as many offers as their counterparts who attend college do, it is important for students to be aware of what is "coming their way" in the very near future.  More to follow if and when I incorporate it into that class.

If I wanted to use this film in my history class, I might find a way to connect it to the Gilded Age, and then also use it to talk about the Great Depression and the recession of the last few years.  A goal of mine, whenever I select topics to study with my students, is to make sure that I can find a way to connect it to their lives and to current events.  If I can't do it, then I don't talk about the topic with my students.

A great way to bring the most recent events of the recession to life would be to use selections from Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story or for a less "controversial" producer/director, Frontline's Inside the Meltdown.  I have found success using both of them in class and both do a great job at simplifying (as much as possible) the "meltdown" that took place a few years ago.

1 comment:

  1. All great recommendations. I hope there is a lot of analysis of what got us here so we can learn from the past. I could see all kinds of interdisciplinary analysis of events and graphs/data that could have signaled to regulators that there was trouble on the horizon.

    Maxed Out is a great movie perhaps to start a unit on writing a bill and evaluating whether or not you agree with Obama's regulatory reforms and what might be the long term ramifications.

    Although it is tragic that we are experiencing the bottom of the economic cycle, it is exciting to be alive while exciting history is being made.

    Great work as always! Looking forward to the next post.