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A scene from the documentary “The World in Claire’s Classroom.”

The Arts

‘The World in Claire’s Classroom’ gets a special screening

PUTNEY—Join filmmakers Lisa Merton and Alan Dater on Tuesday, July 17, at 7 p.m., at Putney Public Library, 55 Main St., for a free screening and discussion of their documentary about Westminster West teacher Claire Oglesby.

What can a classroom of first and second graders in one of the whitest states in the union teach us about respecting diversity and building community? The World in Claire’s Classroom documents a veteran public school teacher and her class over the course of a year, with a focus on the children’s sustained, in-depth study of another culture.

Within this deep and textured exploration, Oglesby continually focuses the children’s attention back on themselves in relationship to each other, their local community, and the world.

Though this film is nearly 20 years old, it is timeless in terms of the way Oglesby works with children, and how she embraces diversity and inspires her students to be curious about it rather than fear it. The film is used in hundreds of schools all over the United States and has become a classic in the world of education.

The filmmakers, Lisa Merton and Alan Dater, will be there for the screening along with Takeshi Akaogi, who has great interest in our local communities embracing diversity in the ways Oglesby models in her classroom.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #466 (Wednesday, July 4, 2018). This story appeared on page C4.

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