Educational Documentary and School Bullying: Animation, Carnival and Politics

Authors: Pullen, C.

Conference: Screen Studies Conference

Dates: 29 June-1 July 2012


This paper considers the use of educational documentary within school environments, focusing on the issue of bullying. As a precursor to a larger research project, which will engage teacher practitioners within secondary school, who may design educational strategies addressing the bullying of minority social group pupils, this paper explores three essential contexts. The use of graphic animation as educational form, the significance of educational teen drama, and the notion of political engagement. Within this notions of public service within education, and the contexts of ‘othering’, stereotyping and ‘symbolic violence’, are explored. At the same time this paper examines the performative use of irony, parody and inversion, and the idea of the ‘carnivalesque’. Historical case studies are presented, including an examination of the work of the Terrytoons animation studio (1929-1968) originally distributed to youth cinema audiences, which featured texts such as ‘Sidney the Elephant: the littlest bully’ (1960). Also the Young America Films are considered (1950s), which were specifically designed for schools and church, and features texts such as ‘The Bully’. More contemporary political examples are presented in the work of Groundspark and the ‘Respect for all Project’ (1992-), which directly address school environments, foregrounding iconic examples of teachers’ ‘good practice’.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Christopher Pullen