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CBC Enterprises, 1989
VHS cassette. 1. The Television Documentary, 140 min., $835.00, Teacher's Guide $25.00; 2. Television News, 30 min., $595.00, Teacher's Guide $25.00; 3. Children's Television, 120 min., $750.00, Teacher's Guide $25.00; 4. Television Drama, 120 min., $800.00, Teacher's Guide $25.00; 5. Television and the Consumer, 30 min., $85.00, Teacher's Guide $25.00; 6. Television as an Artistic Medium, 60 min., $385.00, Teacher's Guide $25.00; Series, $3,000.00; Teacher's Guide set, $115.00
Distributed by CBC Enterprises, Box 500, Station A, Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6.

Grades 4 and up/Ages 9 and up
Reviewed by Irene J. Karasick.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Inside the Box is a video project designed for media studies and media literacy. The format includes over ten hours on videocassette of original programming from CBC's English network and a series of teacher's guides. These six resource guides, written by teachers, have reproduction rights and are included in the overall package. Focusing on the impact of television on the lives of young people, the series, an initiative of CBC Enterprises, is in­tended to create more awareness and understanding of television.

The six theme packages and compan­ion guides consist of "The Television Documentary," 'Television News," "Children's Television," 'Television Drama," "Television and the Con­sumer" and 'Television as an Artistic Medium." Not structured to any particular level of difficulty, the project has the flexibility to be used for a wide range of students.

The series offers lessons in discrimi­nating viewing, understanding of the television medium, learning effective analytical skills and developing critical judgement. These are the skills that the Honourable Jeanne Sauve in her introductory remarks in each guidebook notes as "imperative" in today's "fast-paced world."

The documentaries, films, archival material exciting full-length docudramas, and a compilation of CBC children's television programs are some of the best seen on CBC. Particularly valuable is the opening piece entitled "Face Value," an interesting and provocative program hosted by David Suzuki, which sets the tone and theme of the series in pointing to the need for observation, analysis and assessment in the sphere of human communications.

The videocassettes, used in concert with the assignments, should provide a challenging learning experience in awareness and understanding of mass media. As the guide books provide a variety of questions and challenges, both children and adults can benefit. For instance, the videocassette 'Televi­sion News" would be suitable for grade 4 to adult viewing, but the questions, assignments and challenges offered in the guide would be selective. The series would also be excellent for teaching in the home by parents concerned about their children's television viewing.

Whether the program is on the artistic or on hard news, each provides a vehicle for exploration of issues, assimilation of information, and the opportunity to develop abilities to recognize and choose quality program­ming.

The authors of the guide books - Loretta and Stanley Skinner, James Fowlie, Claudine Goller, Catherine Moorefield, Mike Schultz and Mark Zamparo - are all experienced educa­tors with the appropriate expertise to develop these excellent teacher's guides.

There are several ways to purchase the package, which can be obtained in either 1/2 or 3/4 inch VHS or Beta.

The complete series may be ordered, or each videocassette may be purchased individually. One free copy of the Teacher's Guide is included with every purchase. CBC Enterprises offers duplication rights, which may be licensed for teachers.

Irene J. Karasick, Winnipeg, Man.
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