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Frequently Asked Questions
•  What are some ways to ensure that classroom discussions of race and culture are respectful and productive?
•  If I want to use FRONTLINE/World activity ideas in the classroom, do I have to purchase a videotape?
•  Why is FRONTLINE/World a good fit for my classroom?

•  Can FRONTLINE/World reporters come speak to my students?

•  Does FRONTLINE/World ever have content that might not be appropriate for classroom use?

•  How can I contribute educational activity ideas for using FRONTLINE/World in the classroom?



What are some ways to ensure that classroom discussions of race and culture are respectful and productive?


Discussing issues that involve different races and cultures presents an important opportunity for building student empathy and understanding for others around the world. To create a classroom environment where students feel comfortable sharing their ideas and feelings about diverse groups of people, start by being knowledgeable and prepared. After reviewing the FRONTLINE/World resources you plan to use, think through the issues at hand. Predict the types of comments that might be made by your students and plan how to gently correct misinformation or respond to potentially offensive comments or labels.

You can also help students avoid stereotypes by asking them to not generalize about groups. Encourage students to stay away from the word, “they” when making statements about a race or culture. Instead, ask them to discuss the comments of particular individuals, use statistics or point to specific evidence to support their opinions. Also, whenever possible, conduct activities that help students to step into the shoes of the culture or race being studied.

Above all, maintain a neutral position during class discussions so that students with alternative viewpoints don’t feel minimized. For more tips on facilitating respectful and productive classroom discussions, see a related Note for Teachers at the FRONTLINE Web site.

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If I want to use FRONTLINE/World activity ideas in the classroom, do I have to purchase a videotape?


No. You can tape FRONTLINE/World programs off-air and use them in the classroom for one year. In addition, you can watch each story in its entirety at the FRONTLINE/World Web site. Of course, if your one-year taping rights have expired or you prefer to have a copy of a program in your tape library, you can always purchase a program on videotape.

Check the broadcast schedule to plan for upcoming programs. And subscribe to FRONTLINE/World's email newsletter to stay posted on future broadcasts, Web-exclusive features and educational events.

For more information on PBS copyright policies, please visit PBS TeacherSource's Copyright Information.

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Why is FRONTLINE/World a good fit for my classroom?


For one thing, the format is perfect for classroom use. Each broadcast consists of three self-contained stories, two about 20 minutes long and one about 10 minutes long. This format allows in-depth coverage of important issues while allowing teachers the flexibility of showing either short excerpts or a full story within one class period and still having time to conduct related activities.

Also, FRONTLINE/World is a fast-paced international newsmagazine program, with a more personal, "backpack journalism" style that students find highly engaging. Each story is a journey of discovery that provides students with a contextualized exploration of an important global issue. FRONTLINE/World reporters have crossed the DMZ into normally forbidden North Korea, covered conflicts in Lebanon and the Philippines, ventured into the remote coffee-growing highlands of Guatemala and southern Mexico, and much more.

And finally, the video stories are complemented by an award-winning Web site that includes maps, facts and stats on featured countries, story overviews, interactive activities, timelines, reporter notebooks, complete transcripts, and other helpful resources for the classroom.

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Can FRONTLINE/World reporters come speak to my students?


Maybe. We'd be happy to consider any requests for guest speakers and will try our best to make arrangements for live or virtual (via computer) reporter visits. Email your request to frontlineworld@flworld.org. Please be understanding if the schedules of reporters and your classroom do not coincide or if a reporter's current story assignment deadlines must take precedence.

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Does FRONTLINE/World ever have content that might not be appropriate for classroom use?


At times, yes. In its coverage of violent conflicts, disturbing images are sometimes shown that might be too strong for students. Please be sure to preview any video content and consider the maturity of your students and your school's and district's media usage guidelines when deciding whether to include the video in your lesson strategy. On the Web site, profanity occasionally appears in reporter notebooks and interview transcripts. Again, please preview and use your professional judgment.

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How can I contribute educational activity ideas for using FRONTLINE/World in the classroom?


FRONTLINE/World is always seeking talented educators to write for its Web site. We'd also love to hear about your experiences using FRONTLINE/World in the classroom. Please email us at frontlineworld@flworld.org.

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