CFA presents CHICAGO PUBLIC
Not all students are alike, right? Some might need…well…an alternate approach to learning. Come join us as we premier three newly conserved films about Chicago’s approach to students who just didn’t fit into the cookie-cutter category during the 1960s.
These three films offer a glimpse of a major urban public school system during a time when institutions and other social structures were being challenged on a national and wholesale basis. These films reflect the Chicago Board of Education’s response to those times.
Presented in the program will be three brand new 16mm prints made for this conservation project, including a special color restoration of METRO!!!.
FROM A TO Z: THE STORY OF SPECIAL SUMMER SCHOOLS, Goldsholl Design & Film Associates for Chicago Board of Education, 1964, B&W, 27 min.
This 1964 film portrays one of Chicago Public School’s innovative summer programs for pre-K through sixth grade students. Rather than relying on textbooks, teachers follow loose subject guidelines that fit the needs and skills of his/her particular classroom. This film offers an insightful peek into alternative teaching methods and philosophies within the framework of a major public school system.
A SOIL FOR GROWTH: A STORY OF THE GIFTED CHILD PROGRAM, Goldsholl Design & Film Associates for Chicago Board of Education, circa 1966, B&W, 20 min.
In the mid sixties, select students were chosen for Chicago’s city-wide gifted programs to provide “particular needs for a particular child.” The hallmark feature of these programs was the focus on critical thinking, achieved through the careful selection of materials and facilities, including science labs and libraries. The film also discusses the integration of handicapped children into the accelerated program.
METRO!!!: A SCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS, Rod Nordberg, 1970, Color, 18 min.
The political and cultural upheavals of the ’60s gave added impetus to the desire for a more open and challenging secondary education. As part of his contract, CPS Superintendent James Redmond had promised to develop an alternative experimental high school that would challenge “conformity” found in the traditional high school.
This film is about the genesis, philosophies and early years of Metro. With the mantra of “freedom, choice and responsibility,” students were encouraged to explore the city, think critically, and develop a strong sense of responsibility.
Previously existing prints of METRO!!! had all faded in color to red, but as part of the conservation project, the color has been restored and preserved in a new 16mm print. Come see this film for the first time exactly how it was initially presented in 1970!