When Hollywood goes to school...

With Spring arriving in the United States, many students are embarking on a break from their studies, both at the secondary and post-secondary levels. To maintain the lightheartedness of the season, we thought we would take a look at how Hollywood might view the field of international and comparative education.

Young Woman, Meadow, Concerns, Relax, Rest, Sun, Sunny

Fictional Credentials in Pop Culture, Episode 1

While B.A. and B.S. degrees are par for the course in our field, in Episode 4260 of Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch earns a B.O. degree from Putrid University (P.U.).  

This episode introduces young viewers to social science research and provides an accessible depiction of remote learning long before many grade-schoolers would experience it for themselves (the episode first aired in 2011.)  Under the tutelage of Professor Nikola Messla, Oscar follows the scientific method to perform several experiments measuring disgust reactions in his neighbors. For his contributions to the field of Grouchology, Oscar earns his B.O. degree and attends a virtual commencement ceremony.  

This is a memorable example of a Fictional Credential in Pop Culture because my toddler enjoyed all the stinky garbage jokes and I appreciated all the higher education puns. Do you have any favorite Fictional Credentials?

Garbage, Waste Container, Waste, Waste Bins

Fictional Credentials in Pop Culture, Episode 2

As an American reader, the Wizarding education system in Harry Potter feels like a hidden inside reference for anyone with a familiarity with British O and A level examinations.  Here is the grading scale used for Ordinary Wizarding Level examinations (O.W.L.s).  

Passing grades:

Outstanding [O] (always continues to N.E.W.T.-level)

Exceeds Expectations [E] (usually continues to N.E.W.T.-level)

Acceptable [A] (rarely continues to N.E.W.T.-level)

Failing grades:

Poor [P] (may repeat)

Dreadful [D]

Troll [T]

What equivalent grade would your institution recommend for the result of Troll?

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Mary Dumke is an Evaluator and has been with ECE since 2010. Her areas of specialty include Middle East and North Africa, Brazil, and former Soviet educational systems.



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