FRONTLINE Teacher Center provides a wide array of teaching materials, including activities with streamed video clips, downloadable lesson plans, and related web-exclusive resources to accompany the large repository of FRONTLINE documentaries. These films examine complex and controversial social, economic, and political issues, and the site's ancillaries serve to significantly enhance their instructional value. They are well-organized and updated.
The site serves to transform compelling documentary films into valuable learning resources. It provides teachable insights about such films, extends critical thinking and classroom discussion, and encourages further student interest in controversial topics.
Target Student Population:
Diverse: advanced high school, undergraduate and graduate college courses; workshops for community-based organizations.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Users need basic computer skills to navigate site.
Type of Material:
The site is comprised of learning objectives and lesson plans, streamed video clips, guided activities, links to additional online resources, and some simulations.
Highly varied: lecture aids, lesson guides, discussion questions, homework assignments, etc. Relevant for face-to-face and online courses.
Basic web browser and video player are only requirements.
Evaluation and Observation
The site translates the many FRONTLINE documentaries that tackle the tough, controversial, and complex stories of our day into powerful instructional vehicles. Lesson plans, assignments, and other ancillaries illuminate and expand each documentary. The site provides a wide array of excellent teaching materials.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
A superb resource for courses in sociology and other social-science disciplines. Places films in broader contexts and focuses on critical questions. Effectively transforms them into powerful teaching tools by initiating and extending discussion, and encouraging further research.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is well-organized with resources clearly identified. Informative introductory page divides films into broad categories, accompanied by short descriptions of each documentary. Ancillary materials for each film clearly labeled and easily accessible.
Other Issues and Comments:
Most FRONTLINE documentaries are available at no cost online. Ancillaries have significant instructional value even apart from them.