Arranged and photographed by Lester F. Beck, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon. Beck also wrote the script for Human Growth, the first sex education film shown in Oregon schools in 1948. Filmed in part at Crater Lake, OR. Shows golden-mantled ground squirrels (which resemble, but are not, chipmunks) first at play in the wild, and then learning increasingly complicated tasks in a lab (coerced by nuts). Silent short full of unintentional humor and pathos. Was the basis for the popular educational film Squeak the Squirrel (1952).
As a followup to last week’s post of psychologist Lester Beck’s Photographic Studies in Hypnosis we bring you more of Beck’s film footage. The above film, Human Growth, was produced in 1947 under Beck’s guidance as an introduction to human reproduction for American students. The film is described as follows:
The “Oregon film” was the first film about human reproduction to be shown in U.S. public schools. It was written by Dr. Lester F. Beck, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, and produced by Eddie Albert Productions. Sy Wexler directed and shot the film. The film was sponsored by the E.C. Brown Trust, a non-profit foundation associated with the University of Oregon since 1939, whose mission was to promote healthy sexuality and family life. Intended for seventh grade students, HUMAN GROWTH was seen by millions of schoolchildren in 20 countries, and won numerous awards. At its height of popularity, there were 2,000 prints in circulation, although only a handful currently exist. Two subsequent editions were released in 1962 and 1976.
As pointed out on the blog 16mm Lost and Found, the film received rave reviews from a number of publications, including Life magazine (which can be read online here). The blog goes on to note that,
Human Growth approaches its sensitive subject in a calm, facts-based manner. It demonstrates how families and classrooms can discuss sex openly and without embarrassment. Boys and girls are not segregated, and there is no moralizing. The film also models good pedagogical methods and exemplified how it should be used in actual classrooms. In the film, junior high students watch a film called “Human Growth” and the teacher leads them in discussion before and after the film. “Every single aspect of a film being made must have an educational purpose ultimately related to the classroom so that the film will aid the teacher, but never substitute for him,” Dr. Beck wrote in a 1964 article.
The film won every national and international award for documentary film, including the Golden Eagle Award from the Committee on International Non-theatrical Events (CINE). Thousands of schools from all over the United States and 20 countries worldwide adopted the film, with widespread approval from parents and teachers.
YouTube’s CreativeCommonsTV has posted a clip of University of Oregon psychologist Lester F. Beck’s Photographic Studies in Hypnosis. The footage from 1938 is described as,
This silent film shows a woman being hypnotized and includes both pre and post hypnosis scenes. The hypnotist demonstrates how a patient’s mind can be manipulated as he pinpricks and burns his patient with controlled and suggestive reactions. This unrehearsed session of hypnosis features two students whom are given false memories. The pair are then tested about their memories and are given some basic psychological tests to see the effects of the hypnosis.