Testimonials

TESTIMONIALS FROM PARTICIPATING STUDENTS

“This program has given me the opportunity to think outside of the box and in different ways than in a conventional classroom environment. I greatly enjoyed the curriculum and felt that it opened my eyes to a broad spectrum of issues that would otherwise go unnoticed.”

“This year I have had the honor to participate in a class unlike any other. Through the various films that we saw in class, I learned that there is not only one way for a director or writer or creative mind to express themselves.”

“With our newly learned knowledge and our developing sense of global awareness, we can now move on into the adult world and strive to fix the problems that plague our world.”

“There is a long list of things I have learned and I am sure there is more to learn and I am excited to learn them.”

“I felt that these movies helped me understand better than any teacher or person, what life is like in different countries.”

“The goal of the Morgan Stanley seminar in “Global Economics” is to give students an understanding of the global marketplace, to learn more about the world of finance, activities in Emerging Markets, and to explain that the firm seeks out growing economies and studies them in order to understand the risks and rewards of doing business there.”

“I have become more informed in foreign affairs and so I can listen to the opposing sides and remain neutral and unbiased. What I most strongly take away is a lesson on humanity. If we do not care for each other, then we cannot care for ourselves and will never grow to become better people.”

“We got to travel to places we would never ordinarily go to. And to listen to top professionals at Morgan Stanley, an opportunity that would have never come about if it weren’t for this program.”

“For the first time, my mind opened to foreign cultures and stimulated me to learn like I never did before.”

“As the years pass, Global Voices will metamorphosis into a popular class that students will be lining up to take. This program has been a gift to us.”

“After viewing these films with my class and observing the discussions, I have never seen a more intellectually engaged group of students. One of the most remarkable aspects of this program is that my students are learning so much, not only through the films and literature, but also through their peers. “

“Before taking this course, I was ignorant of the things going on around the world.”

“I’ve learned more about global issues as well as historical events that have happened. I was able to see the events through the protagonists’ eyes.”

“Throughout the year it has grown into a class that I really enjoy and love to come to.”

“Our student population is submersed in visual imagery. Why not help students to see – see the people around them, see the world around them, see themselves? “

“Without the class, I would have never had the chance to discover and learn from these life enriching films.”

“All these films revolve around thematic struggles that strengthen the universal resilience of the human spirit. After viewing all these films and participating in activities, this is what I will take away from Global Voices Through.”

“The idea of learning through films is the best part of the class. You are learning with realizing it. I had a lot of fun.”

“This program has helped me grow as a student and as an individual. I have been able to learn about the world through films and not long lectures.”

“Often high school students can be hard to please, but during their trip to the Tolerance center all were fully engaged, to their own surprise.   The Tolerance Center’s program grabs students’ attention with its savvy use of visual presentation, technology and active learning mechanisms.”

“I have been transposed to countries I never imagined before. I hope more students will be given the opportunity to learn through this wonderful program.”

“We learned about worldly issues in ways that would not be possible in most classes.”

“I value this class very much because Global Voices Through Film is not a common class that can be found in the schedule of any student.”

“Global Voices for me was more than a class. It was a year full of challenges, new experiences, and lessons that made us aware about the truth of some economic/social issues.”

“Part of the reason why I enjoyed these movies, is because they were real. I learned that it is possible to change the world with a single voice and it inspires me to join in the effort to fight global problems.”

“I feel, at times, in school I’m never really challenged how I should be, but this program does it for me. I get to express my opinions freely. I will remember this class forever.”

————
LETTERS FROM PARTICIPATING TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

Hi Roberta,

As a high school student, I can provide an interesting point of view regarding International Cinema Education. The program moves education in the right direction because it is responsive to student wants and needs. The “Cinema Education” aspect of the program is a long-overdue addition to American education. Films are an important part of our cultural heritage. The leaders of tomorrow need to be literate in film, a powerful symposium of images, sound, and thoughts. The “International” component of the program plays into the new world order that globalization creates. The much-hyped transnational mindset of entrepreneurs and newsmakers is what education needs to communicate. I have especially enjoyed the trips to foreign missions and companies such as Morgan Stanley.

Students like me sign up for the program because they are interested. That’s success. ICE will only grow and continue to blaze trails.

I often get the sense that ICE is destined for great things. Take note, for this is the genesis of paradigm shift. This is the start of something.

Best,

George Rosa, Member of Youth Board, International Cinema Education, 2008-10

________________________________________________________

Dear Dr. Seret,

The good news is I will continue to teach this class next year.  Over 70 kids wanted to take the class so word of mouth has spread and I am looking forward to teaching new movies as some kids are taking the class again. This course is my joy.”

Jenny Ross, English Teacher at American Academy High School, Queens, N. Y.

________________________________________________________

Dear Dr. Seret,

Throughout this year I have learned so much in the Global Voices course. We watched various movies in class such as Tsotsi, Water, Sophie Scholl, March of The Penguins, Marjane Satrappi and The Bicycle. By joining this course as a student,  I was really satisfied and happy that I considered applying to this during my freshman year at the academy. When I joined this, I learned so much and I became more aware of the environment and concerned as well because we did many interesting activities such as doing group presentations that encouraged us to recycle, conserve energy, become more involve in going green to help better the environment and as well as the society. One of our trips such as the Tolerance Center was also interesting because we actually had “hands-on” activities as a group where we had to watch environmental issue urging us to help persuade our friends, family and other people to be more aware the global issues going on around the world today because there are many countries that are living in poverty and have more serious issues than we have in our country. As our global voices course have come to an end this school year, I cannot thank you enough for making this wonderful course in the Academy and I am really looking forward to have it again next year and to more fun-filled trips together with out teacher Ms. Ross who I am very  grateful too for introducing you to the students and making this course interesting. In this way I encouraged my friends and other students to apply for this course as well in order to have more students next year.

I’m really looking forward for more exciting activities next school year and thank you very much.

– Alexis Nicole Flores

_____________________________________________________________

Dear Ms. Seret,

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to allow us to enhance our human awareness through global film. Through all the motivating films that we’ve watched as a class, they were all memorable and through each movie, we are able to grasp a glance of each issue that occurs in the outside world. Even though we are unable to travel to faraway places, looking at films through our own lens helped us understand the unfortunate reality that lurks in this very planet we happen to live on. In Tsotsi, not only did we learn how characters develop and changed overtime but also how South Africa’s society operates. It’s bloody scenes  and violent themes contributed to our understanding of the movie. Another all time favorite movie that influenced me was Persepolis, a highly recommended movie to watch because it covers a truly unbelievable story that just so happens to a young women named Marjane Satrapi. Durng the Iranian Revolution. it was a very devious life because of theocratic system of government. Unlike your ordinary averaged teenager, she, a rebellious child faced many excruciating problems with poverty, relationships, politics, depression and other struggles. Another movie that enhanced my abilities of understanding was Beijing bicycle. With the juxtaposition of Guei and Jian, disputes over the bicycle, and the portrayal of china’s modernization showed many indifferences and contrasts. I really enjoyed the debate weather who should own the bike was a interesting activity because everyone had different opinions. Who are we to claim what’s right or wrong? There was more to  than just morals and justification and yet, the movie ended with a circular ending leaving the audience to determine the conclusion. These movies clearly show that in every microcosm or community in the world has a challenge where global issues are dealt with. Although this particular class was held four times a week, it has expanded my sensibility of unaware problems that occur before our very own eyes. Thank you Ms. Seret for opening a new door to a early start of involvement and perception.

Sincerely, Jing N. Leong from Academy of American Studies

_________________________________________________________

Dear Dr.Seret,

The impact of the movie on me was incredible. It showed me what my image toward race and racism, and the living style of people is different than mine, and how cultural differences still subside in the dwelling of South Africa and many other nations in Africa. The idea of Tstotsi’s HIV sicken mother (inferred) and his drunken father and his reactions shows the ignorance of people living there and how it affected Tstotsi; him running away. One in regular public schools in New York would think that everything has resided and the great billow of hatred toward Colored people would have ended, and everyone is both equal and not seperate. But as we learn from this story, most people in South Africa’s ghettos are Native Africans from South Africa and most of their means of living is by robbing, gambling, joining a gang, but a few like Mariam would live of scrap and hard labor. This impacted me by changing my view of the world and the treatment of second class citizens in both the U.S.A and South Africa, which makes me wonder will there be a better future and how i can help into fullfilling a hate free future for everyone.

________________________________________________________

Hi Roberta,

My students and I would like to thank you very much for giving us the great opportunity of visiting and U.N. and watching the documentary “Pray Them Back to Hell.”  My students were moved and I believe forever changed because of the great and positive impact this documentary provided for them.

We realize the amount of work that goes into organizing a program such as this, and we would like to greatly thank you.

We look forward to participating in other programs such as this.

Thanks again,

Teresa Matthews

___________________________________________________________

December 1, 2009

Dear Ms. Barad,

I had the pleasure of accompanying Dr. Roberta Seret and the students from her class, Global Economics Through Film, to the Simon Wiesenthal Tolerance Center on November 10, 2009.  Her course is currently being offered through a City University of New York program called College Now where I am a Senior Program Coordinator.  College Now works with New York City public high school students to better prepare them for college.

Often high school students can be hard to please, but during their trip to the Tolerance center all were fully engaged, to their own surprise.  The amount of information to convey concerning intolerance around the world is, frankly, overwhelming.  As a former high school teacher, I am intimately familiar with the challenge entailed in communicating a vast amount of content in an engaging manner.  The Tolerance Center’s program grabs students’ attention with its savvy use of visual presentation, technology and active learning mechanisms such as the simple but well-designed cafe component.

The issues covered by the exhibit are seldom addressed even on the high school level and bring a much needed global human rights perspective to visitors. The program provides teachers with a rich foundation upon which to build and help students become informed and engaged global citizens.  These are precisely the qualities colleges look for in their prospective students, and hence we strive to instill.

Thank you so much for offering our students this opportunity. I hope that you will again extend the invitation in the future.

Sincerely,

Lee Schere

Senior Program Coordinator

College Now

CUNY Office of Academic Affairs

__________________________________________________________

Hi Dr. Seret,

First I would like to thank you for coming to Lehman High School and giving a wonderful and informative presentation.  Even I, who have taught your course for the past two years was mesmerized with your introduction to the film “Osama.” Your grace and elegance is captivating and your knowledge of the subject astonishing.  Thank you!

As you my know, I am an adjunct professor at Hostos Community College in the Bronx.  I took the liberty of asking the assistant chair of the English Department, Craig Bernardini, if I could teach Global Voices in Film at the college level.  I spoke to him about the success we have had with the class at Lehman High School and the wonderful teaching experience and feedback I have been able to share with my students because of this great course you have created.  He is very interested in learning more about the curriculum and your book.  I would like your permission to share the curriculum with him and seek the possibility of teaching this course at CUNY.

Please let me know what you think. I will wait for your thoughts and ideas. You can e-mail me or my call me at (347) 621-3360 in the evenings.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Teresa Matthews

________________________________________________________

March 20, 2011

“Dear Dr. Seret,

I cannot begin to thank you enough for inviting us to see Pray the Devil Back to Hell.  It was a profound and moving experience and Abigail Disney was absolutely stunning in her presentation.

Your International Cinema Education program is extraordinary and will ensure that the students who participate will be prepared to be the global citizens we need to lead us forward into the 21st century.

If there is anyway I can help you with the program, please let me know.

Once again, I thank you for an amazing experience.

Best,
Karen Andronico
Lehman High School”

————-

March 21, 2011

“Hi Roberta,

My students and I would like to thank you very much for giving us the great opportunity of visiting the U.N. and watching the documentary “Pray Them Back to Hell.” My students were moved and I believe forever changed because of the great and positive impact this documentary provided for them.

We realize the amount of work that goes into organizing a program such as this, and we would like to greatly thank you. We look forward to participating in other programs such as this.

Thanks again,

Teresa Matthews”

————–

“The good news is I will continue to teach this class next year.  Over 70 kids wanted to take the class so word of mouth has spread and I am looking forward to teaching new movies as some kids are taking the class again. This course is my joy.”
Jenny Ross, English Teacher at American Academy High School, Queens, N. Y.
(May 2010)

————
March 30, 2009

Dear Roberta,
I would like to thank you for giving my students the opportunity to participate in the Global Voices Through Film class at Mott Haven Village Preparatory High School in the South Bronx.  This opportunity was not only a wonderful experience for the students, but for myself as well.

Due to the mission of the class, my students were able to have a chance to delve deeply into topics that they might not normally get a chance to explore during their high school experience.  They had the chance to look at issues of extreme poverty, child abuse, cultural differences, religious conflict, human rights, politics, and economics.  They had an opportunity to have dynamic discussions about these topics.  I feel that they became vastly more globally-minded, as well as giving them the chance to discuss similar issues in their own lives as well.  It has gone a great way to helping them to understand and prepare for what they will see in their world after graduation and throughout their lives.

We got to travel, literally and figuratively, to places they would never ordinarily go.  Through movies, we got to visit South Africa (“Tsotsi”), India (“Water”), China (“Beijing Bicycle”), Germany (“Sophie Scholl”), and Iran (“Persepolis”).  On field trips, we had the chance to visit the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, which gave them an opportunity to take the classroom discussions that we’d been having about India and meet real people who could confirm, deny, or explain what was actually happening in the country today.  During this time, they also had the chance to connect these ideas to the real world, which was made abundantly clear when the Mumbai Bombings occurred during our work on the movie “Water.”  The connection that they were able to make to the real world was invaluable.  We also had the opportunity to visit Morgan Stanley and listen to a top-level presentation from professionals at the firm.  In addition, my students had the opportunity to apply for a summer internship at the firm, an opportunity that would have never come about if it weren’t for this program.

Thank you so much for giving us this unique opportunity.  I know that both my students and myself will take what we’ve learned and use the knowledge in our future endeavors.

Sincerely,
Melissa Cohen,
Mott Haven Village Preparatory High School, South Bronx

————
January 29th, 2010

Alyce Aldige
Flushing High School
3501 Union Street
Flushing, NY 11354

My name is Alyce Aldige and I am an English teacher at Flushing High School where I am currently participating in Dr. Seret’s fantastic program, Global Voices through Film.   I have modified this program to fit the needs of a sophomore honors English class that will be taking the regents come June, and I firmly believe that integrating film into our traditional curriculum will do nothing but help the students improve their critical thinking and writing skills.  With these films, the students are offered different perspectives on life and the complexities of human nature, just as in literature, except they are visually engaged in learning, and often more motivated to expand and reflect upon what they have learned.  Moreover, the interdisciplinary element of this program allows students to make real connections to the films viewed – whether they involve personal experience, economics, history, human rights, politics – the students are engaged in analyzing the world around them.

When I began a unit on Tsotsi, a film that chronicles six days in the life of a South African gang member, most of my students had never heard of apartheid.  Reading Cry, the Beloved Country, gave them a sense of what it must have been like to live under apartheid, while viewing Tsotsi gave them the opportunity to analyze the lasting social, economic, and emotional difficulties the country still deals with.   After viewing this film with my class and observing the discussions and writing material produced, I can honestly say, I have never seen a more intellectually engaged group of students.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this program is that my students are learning so much, not only through the films and literature, but also through their peers.  At Flushing, the students bring into the classroom a beautiful array of diversity, and many are able to share personal anecdotes about the countries and cultures we explore and discuss in class.  During our Water unit, I had several students from India (or whose families come from India) who were able to share their experiences regarding the treatment of widows and women in general in India.  Their thoughts and ideas enlightened the class and encouraged thought-provoking discussion – the kind of discussion a teacher quietly observes and marvels at, while the students reason, reflect, and astonish you with their depth and curiosity.  I am so lucky to be working with these students.

We must also keep in mind that in this age of video games, television, major motion pictures, and Internet, our student population is submersed in visual imagery. Why not help students to see – see the people around them, see the world around them, see themselves?  We, as teachers, have the responsibility of guiding our students to academic success.  However, it is always our goal to instill in students a genuine thirst for knowledge.  We want to build life-learners, and by teaching kids how to observe their surroundings, how to interpret and analyze images, we can foster awareness on so many levels.  I am seeing such great results in my students and I am truly grateful to be a part of this program.

Sincerely,
Alyce Aldige