Opening the learning process: the potential role of feature film in teaching employment relations

Author: George Lafferty, Western Sydney University

Edition: Volume 56, Number 1, April 2016

Summary: This paper explores the potential of feature film to encourage more inclusive, participatory and open learning in the area of employment relations. Evaluations of student responses in a single postgraduate course over a five-year period revealed how feature film could encourage participatory learning processes in which students reexamined their initial perspectives on a series of employment relations topics and debates. Over time, the course became increasingly characterised by a pluralism in which all participants became more open to a range of different views, including those of students from diverse political, cultural and religious backgrounds. Of particular note was how the fictional situations depicted in feature films could expand the opportunities for participation and more complex, multidimensional approaches to learning. Following on from a discussion of how more open learning processes require a reconfigured conceptual framework, the paper concludes with some open-ended questions on the use of film in learning processes.

Keywords: feature film, employment relations, openness, learning process

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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 56_1. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

Posted in Higher Education, Journal edition