Looking at Social curriculum in the context of Star Trek is something that I have rarely done before. I personally, have never been a huge fan of Star Trek or the Sci Fi world it revolves around. However, after class I gained more insight into this show that is embedded with political issues, social awareness, international relations, race relations and much more. The article helped me to recognize the potential of using Star Trek in the classroom. Students are able to connect to many of the concepts and themes portrayed. According to the article Using Star Trek as an example of pop culture is one way of engaging students and capturing their attention in the classroom (Anijar. 2003). The use of popular culture can be a good way to encourage active participation from our students.
During our breakout room discussions we discussed the fact that during Star Trek there were social justice issues that came about such as the characters being forced to live together as a community in a confined space, and having to work together. We related this to our classrooms, where many of us teach our students about team building. One strategy used was Tribes. This was a great way to encourage a sense of community where the students learn to work together to achieve a common goal.
The correlation between Star Trek and Race stood out to me the most, Watching the clip about the character Nichelle Nichols', who was one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant was groundbreaking at the time. The fact that she got this role was a huge accomplishment in the Black community. Martin Luther Kings words to her are ones that resonated and wanted her to continue with her role. As he told her that Black children were looking up to her. This resonated with me because around these times there was a lack of representation of African Americans on television. I think that it is important for various cultures to see positive representations of themselves on screen in positive ways.
Anijar, K. (2003). Teaching Toward the 24th Century: Star Trek as Social Curriculum. New York: Falmer Press.