Canadians and Their Pasts (2013). Digital Film-making (2014).

Finding myself back in class after an absence of many years, I’m pleased to see that the SQ3R method of study is still around.

An overview at the link in the previous sentence provides a definition of what SQ3R entails:

  • The SQ3R strategy is a widely recognized study system that is easily adapted to reading assignments. This method provides concrete steps for interacting with information that results in high levels of comprehension.
  • SQ3R (Vacca and Vacca, 1989) stands for
  • Survey: The reader previews the material to develop a general outline for organizing information.
  • Question: The reader raises questions with the expectation of finding answers in the material to be studied.
  • Read: The reader next attempts to answer the questions formulated in the previous step.
  • Recite: The reader then deliberately attempts to answer out loud or in writing the questions formulated in the second step.
  • Review: The reader finally reviews the material by rereading portions of the assignment in order to verify the answers given during the previous step.

[End of excerpt]

Canadians and Their Pasts (2013)

On a related topic – namely with regard to the “Q” in SQ3R – I’m really pleased I came across a book entitled Canadians and Their Pasts (2013) by Margaret Conrad.

The introduction includes a quote from p. 80 [actually, it’s on  p. 92, in my copy of the book from the Toronto Public Library] of Requiem for a Nun’s (1951), in which William Faulkner remarks: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

[To be more precise, Faulkner’s character Stevens, in the book, is the person who says the words. The lack of precision in the Introduction, regarding this quote, is noted, as I think about this later. That said, it’s a great quote, and the quote is what matters.]

Canadians and Their Pasts in my view is an excellent book – evidence-based, and with a suitable focus on frames of reference – regarding how we look at history.

A back-cover blurb notes that the book is suitable (I have not listed this in the same order as in the blurb) for teachers and professors; media producers; broadcasters; preservationists; and media professionals.

Among the contributors is David Northrup of the Institute for Social Research at York University. As the link in the previous sentence notes, David Northrup is “is Director of Survey Research and is responsible for the design and management of major surveys at the Institute. He has over 25 years of experience in questionnaire design and data collection. His research interests include survey methodology, election studies, public policy, and how Canadians explore the past in everyday life. Mr. Northrup holds an MA and he teaches survey research methods at York University.”

Links between the local and the global, the personal and the public

The book notes (p. 157) that “Exhibits and programs that link personal and community pasts to larger national and international stories may not only draw the largest crowds but also perform a key educational function by promoting understanding of links between the local and the global, the personal and the public.”

[End of excerpt]

As well, I found of interest the following passage (pp. 157-158; I’ve broken the longer text into shorter paragraphs) from the book:

  • The survey showed that many Canadians, particularly those with more schooling, viewed the stories conveyed by textbooks and teachers, family and friends, museums and monuments as being open to interpretation, challenge, and critique.
  • Their expressed interest in “multiple sources,” “primary sources,” “archives,” and “the real thing” (i.e., artefacts) suggested that they could wield the tools necessary to interrogate claims about the past; they could use evidence to assess contending historical interpretations.
  • As a twenty-first-century democratic state, Canada should promote precisely such critical historical practices. Our strategy should be to encourage citizens’ engagement in active interrogations.

[End of excerpt]

Digital Film-Making (2014)

I have been reading the 2007 edition of this book by musician/film-maker Mike Figgis.

It’s well worth a read, for anybody with an interest in any aspect of movie-making.

I was pleased to learn, in writing up this blog post, that a 2014 edition of this first-rate book is also available. Things change quickly in digital film production. For that reason, there is value in having access to the latest overviews regarding this topic.

Among other things, Mike Figgis speaks of his experience as a director working with actors in the production of good films. He also shares his views, which I found of interest, regarding lighting strategies for digital movie production.

He notes (2007 version, p. 102), that “If you constantly explain what the context of the particular drama is, then the actors can often be very helpful and creative.”

He adds (2007 edition, p. 104): “Unless you create an environment where people enjoy the working experience, the chances of making a good film are minimal.”


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