- Teachers are working the blockbuster “Black Panther” into curriculum around subjects from colonialism to technology, reports Education Week.
- There is also a push to ensure students see the movie, with educators and celebrities buying tickets, and Michelle Obama also tweeted about the film.
- Disney, which produced the movie, is additionally donating $1 million to the Boys & Girls Club of America, which will use the funds to launch STEM programs in 12 different cities across the country — a nod to the technological innovation highlighted in the Black Panther's fictional home country of Wakanda.
There’s no denying that pop-culture has a heavy influence on young students, who digest music, clips and updates about their favorite celebrities constantly through social media. Linking those subjects to classroom curriculum may help to spark their attention and interest in academics.
It’s an idea Disney is certainly chasing, based on in its decision to donate $1 million to programs that will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects — one of the key elements in the “Black Panther” film.
Tying pop-culture to academics can be an effective teaching tool — whether that’s using hip-hop music to more deeply embed literacy into ELA curriculum or analyzing the value of independent research through the storyline of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” as a recent blog post noted from the Center For The Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis.
Weaving students' natural interests into their academic lessons can help enliven classroom learning while making their educators, and administrators, look that much cooler.