Redesigning Pedagogy Conference: Singapore 2013
Using Film in Historical Inquiry and for Engaging in Controversial Issues
Presenter: Jeremy Stoddard, The College of William & Mary, Virginia (USA)

Film as Interpretation of History and AestheticsThree Kings (1999)
Jarhead (2005)

Film for Concept FormationThe case of The Wave, Perspective Recognition, and the concept of Totalitarianism

For more using this film, see:
Stoddard, J. (2007). Attempting to understand the lives of others: Film as a tool for developing historical empathy. In A. Marcus (Ed.) Celluloid blackboard: Teaching history with film (pp. 187-214). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Film as Historical Narrative and for Empathy as Perspective Recognition

The case of Dien Bien Phu from different perspectives.

Indochine: A People's War in Colour (2009)
Indochine: A People's War in Colour (2009) - IMDb

Dien Bien Phu (French - 1992)
Diên Biên Phú (1992) - IMDb

Film as Historical Evidence of Time of Production
The Spirit of '43

Film for Engaging in Controversial Historical and Contemporary Issues

The Cases of the Japanese invasion of Singapore (1942) and current Singapore Immigration Policies

The Fall of Singapore – The Great Betrayal - BBC (2012)

BBC Two - The Fall of Singapore: The Great Betrayal

101 East - Calling Singapore Home - Al Jazeera (2012)
Singapore seethes over population plan - Features - Al Jazeera ...

Films focused on the Irish War for Independence and the Irish Civil War:
    • Ireland War for Independence & Civil War in the1920s
        • The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) - Irish War for Independence
        • Michael Collins (1996) - Leader during Irish Civil War
    • Conflict in Northern Ireland
        • Bloody Sunday (2002) - 1972 Massacre by soldiers
        • In the Name of the Father (1992) - Case of the Conlon’s
        • Hidden Agenda (1990) - Belfast - political corruption
        • Omagh (TV -2004) - 1998 bombing in Omagh by Real

Example Storyboard Template

Film Viewing Sheet for Issues-based Film Activity

Film Viewing Sheet for Film as Narrative and Perspective Recognition

Motion Picture Analysis Worksheet from US National Archives

Readings and Resources:
Hess, D. (2007, May/June). From “Banished” to “Brother Outsider,” “Miss Navajo” to “An Inconvenient Truth”: Documentary films as perspective-laden narratives. Social Education, 71(4), 194–199.

Marcus, A., & Stoddard, J. (November/December 2009). The inconvenient truth about teaching history with documentary film: Strategies for presenting multiple perspectives and teaching controversial issues. The Social Studies, 100(6), 279-284.

Marcus, A., Metzger, S., Paxton, R., and Stoddard, J.* (January 2010). Teaching history with film: Strategies for secondary social studies. New York: Routledge.
Marcus, A. & Stoddard, J. (May/June, 2007). Tinsel town as teacher: Hollywood film in the high school history classroom. The History Teacher, 40(3), 303-330.

Marcus, A. (2007). Students making sense of the past: “It’s almost like living the event.” In A. Marcus (Ed.), Celluloid blackboard: Teaching history with film (pp. 121–166). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Marcus, A., Paxton, R., & Meyerson, P. (2006). “The reality of it all”: History students read the movies. Theory and

Research in Social Education, 34(3), 516–552.

Metzger, S. A. (2010). Maximizing the educational power of history movies in the classroom. The Social Studies, 101(3), 127–136.

Nichols, B. (1991). Representing reality: Issues and concepts in documentary. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Nisbet, M., & Aufderheide, P. (2009). Documentary film: Towards a research agenda on forms, functions, and impacts. Mass Communication and Society, 12(4), 450–456

Rosenstone, R. A. (1995). Visions of the past: The challenge of film to our idea of history. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Rosenstone, R. (2006). History on film/film on history. Harlow, England: Pearson.

Seixas, P. (1994). Confronting the moral frames of popular film: Young people respond to historical revisionism. American Journal of Education, 102(3), 261–285.

Stoddard, J. & Marcus, A. (Spring, 2006). The burden of historical representation: Race, freedom and “educational” Hollywood film. Film & History, 36(1), 26-35.

Stoddard, J. (2007). Attempting to understand the lives of others: Film as a tool for developing historical empathy. In A. Marcus (Ed.) Celluloid blackboard: Teaching history with film (pp. 187-214). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Stoddard, J. (in press - 2013). Hillary: The Movie, The History Channel, and the challenge of the documentary for democratic education. Teachers College Record, 115(3). Available online:

Stoddard, J. & Marcus, A. (2010). More than “showing what happened”: Exploring the potential for teaching history with film. The High School Journal 93(2), 83-90.

Stoddard, J. (2012). Film as a “thoughtful” medium for teaching history. Learning, Media, and Technology, 37(3), 271-288.

Walker, T. (2006). Historical literacy: Reading history through film. The Social Studies, 97(1), 30–34.

Woelders, A. (2007). “It makes you think more when you watch things”: Scaffolding for historical inquiry using film in the middle school classroom. The Social Studies, 98(4), 145–152.