________________ CM . . . . Volume III Number 2 . . . . September 20, 1996

Notable Canadian Videos.

Reviews by Lorrie Andersen.

Mind's Eye: Jean Little.

School Services of Canada, 1994, VHS, 22 minutes, $99.95.

School Services of Canada has been producing the 'Meet the Canadian Authors' series for a number of years now. This is the second video about the popular author, Jean Little, the first having been undertaken in1986. In Jean Little: Mind's Eye the viewer is treated to a glimpse of thelife of this award winning children's author. Partially blind since birth and now almost totally blind, we see Jean Little in her day to day activities from reading to feeding the dogs to working at the computer to eating dinner to spending time with family and reading to Jenny. Making snow angels in the snow we see Jean Little being the child she writes about. And on that most important activity, reading, we are told that: "It isn't looking or listening that makes you able to read a book; it's thinking that makes you able to read." A wonderful visit with a popular author.

Recommended, Grade 5 to 12

The Reluctant Deckhand.

National Film Board, 1995, VHS, 46 minutes, Video, novel and teacher's guide, $26.95.

The reluctant deckhand is a video package containing the animated story told in six episodes, a thirteen minute documentary on the making of the film, a 128 page novel and a 36 page teacher's guide. Ten year old Tess and her mother Sue along with Maa-mou, the cat, set out in their fishing boat, the Henry Bay, for a summer of fishing. Tess learns not only about fishing but about growing up and self reliance. Although the story explores the mother-daughter relationship and themes of growing up, the documentary video segment which follows the animated story expands on the creative process and storytelling and animation techniques, in particular. A useful addition for language arts, media studies, and guidance.

Winner of the Canadian Education Association Award, AMTEC, 1996. The Reluctant Deckhand was reviewed in CM Volume II Number 30.

The novel is available separately from:
Pacific Educational Press
Faculty of Education
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4
ISBN 1-895766-01-X

Recommended, Grade 3 to 5 for the story line; up to Grade 12 for the documentary segment.

The Mind of a Child; working with children affected by poverty, racism and war.

National Film Board of Canada, 1995, VHS, 60 minutes, $26.95.

Lorna Williams, a First Nations education specialist with the Vancouver School District has learned from Israeli psychologist, Reuven Feuerstein, the mediated learning theory which is explored in this video. It is Feuerstein's observation that children in diverse cultures develop the same fundamental abilities; that every culture in the world contains all the elements for the cognitive and intellectual development of children; however, it requires the process of transmission without the disruption of war, famine, poverty, social movements, low educational level, or social discrimination. Children who have been cut off from their culture, including inner city children, may lack fundamental skills such as logical and mathematical abilities, self-regulation, spatial orientation, feelings of competence, complex social skills, and a sense of the past and the future.

Through the use of Feuerstein's technique of assessing and teaching children, the children in the documentary are shown learning; and, with the acquisition of new skills, displaying an obvious pride and delight. A hopeful video showing successful teachers using a renewed approach to teaching and learning.

Recommended, Adult.

Who's counting?

National Film Board of Canada, 1995. VHS, 94 minutes, $34.95, or, as a series of three videos with teacher's guide, $69.95.

This program is also available on three tapes entitled: Marilyn Waring on politics: local and global; Marilyn Waring on women and economics; and, Marilyn Waring on the environment. Each program features the New Zealand economist Marilyn Waring talking about the international view of economics in which only monetary value and monetary exchange are considered in the equation forgetting the role of unpaid work which coincidentally is usually performed by women. An alternative economic model that Waring proposes is based on time. One of her most cogent arguments is in the video on the environment in which she demonstrates, that under the present economic system, the utter nonsense that an oil spill and its cleanup are economically 'productive'! Good discussion starter material here for environmental studies, women's issues, and more.

Recommended, Grade 10 to 12

Lorrie Andersen is Collection Development Consultant Manitoba Education and Training, Instructional Resources Unit.

Distributor Information:

National Film Board of Canada
Box 6100, Station Centre-Ville
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3C 3H5
(800) 267-7710

School Services of Canada
66 Portland Street
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5V 2M8
(416) 703-0901

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364