The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Upending the Status Quo in Teacher Education Using Cross-Media Stories

Randy Testa, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Division of Professional Education (United States)


Given continuing advances in communications technology, e.g. streaming, ZOOM virtual classrooms, the latest IPhone, etc. across professions, educators are currently afforded an expanding menu of ways to use selected stories, both fictional and factual, in their work with students, perhaps now out of necessity after COVID-19 and classroom life since the pandemic. At a time when content streaming and movie-viewing at home are at all-time highs, how can a cross-media approach help educators evaluate and optimize the use of popular movie adaptations with the books they are drawn from, to promote social, emotional and academic development with learners? We also ask: what does easy access for today’s students via digital technology mean for the use of stories about social relations in educating students/learners? This presentation demonstrates the value of using stories that “cross” from one media format or content platform to another –using the two as equal partners. We highlight cross-media methodology with a story that “crosses” from a play –Bashir Lazhar, by Evelyne de Cheneliere—to the Academy Award-nominated film adaptation Monsieur Lazhar written and directed by Philippe Falardeau   --two tellings of the uplifting story of a French-Canadian elementary school reeling from a beloved teacher’s death, and a substitute teacher’s effort to put shattered classroom lives back together. Our thought is to first build the case for teachers’ use of cross-media methodology in their own professional development in order for them to then value and use cross-media methodology with and on behalf of their students.



Cross-media, media literacy, professional development, teacher ethos



[1]         R. Selman and R. Testa, “Tales Told Twice Through Close Cross-Media Comparisons” [How print and film both offer educational value.], ED: Harvard Ed Magazine, Fall 2019. Retrieved from:


[2]         [E. de la Chenelière. Bashir Lazhar: A Play. Chambersburg, PA: Ingram, 2011 [Hardcover edition].

[3]         Monsieur Lazhar. Monsieur Lazhar directed by Phillipe Falardeau. Quebec: Microscope Productions, Les Films Seville Pictures. 2011

Best, Randy Testa

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