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Sarah Connor Chronicles in the Classroom: An Educator's Guide

Updated on July 24, 2012

The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Sarah Connor Chronicles

for Professors, Teachers, and Students


Sarah Connor Chronicles for Professors, Teachers, and Students

The Sarah Connor Chronicles might seem an odd choice for curriculum material since Sarah Connor spends most of her time yanking John out of the classroom and home schooling him. However the show raises a number of issues of our time. The first being that she doesn't actually teach him anything because he knows more about computers and robots than she does.


Adult Issues

Adult Issues

  1. nuclear war, nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation, nuclear fission for nuclear energy, nuclear powers, and nuclear winter

  2. pollution: toxic waste as cause and cancer as effect

  3. artificial intelligence and AI scientists' determination to make humans obsolete, trans-humanists' desire to make humans obsolete, AI's and genocide, trans-humanists and genocide, and the lack of Asimov's Laws of Robotics in military robots and AI's. What will people do when everything is automated?

  4. genocide

  5. slavery: Are we creating a new race of robot slaves? Will we be the slaves of AI's?

  6. respect for women, use of the word bitch, use of the word whore

  7. violence

  8. morality and ethics: Bible quotations, Ellison teaches morality to an AI (John-Henry) at the request of a machine who lacks morality (Catherine), Sarah avoids killing humans but sees no hypocrisy in the killing of machines, the military already uses machines (as it once used dolphins) to kill humans and is not worried that they may learn to enjoy killing humans and get too good at it

  9. mind control: ranks with slavery and genocide as the most heinous evil because it strikes at the very basis of individuality, personhood, self and what it means to be a human being – free will

  10. loss of privacy using presumption of guilt as the legal excuse

  11. child abuse: in the characters of Riley, Cameron and perhaps even John Connor

  12. mental health: Sarah in the asylum, psychological problems common and widespread among survivors in the future, Jesse Flores may be completely nuts, Cameron assimilated Allison Young's trauma, Cameron represses guilt over what amounts to matricide (template Allison Young is, in effect, Cameron's mother since her biological component is cloned from her), the presence of mental health professionals like Doctor Boyd Sherman and Doctor Silberman (the latter having gone insane), and the halfway house counselor.

  13. incest: between John and Cameron, and many fans are convinced that John and his mother are too close

  14. terrorism: Sarah is regarded by the FBI as a terrorist

  15. torture: Derek was tortured so badly by Charles Fischer that he has amnesia about it, Derek was also captured with his squad and held in a house by a terminator for some experiment; Sarah was tortured by Sarkissian; Jesse justifies torturing the young Charles Fischer on the grounds that he will grow up to be the older Charles Fisher; Dick Cheney would be so proud that he has made torture acceptable on shows like this and 24

  16. sociopaths: serial killers, mass murderers and the Krafft-Ebing image.


Teen Issues

Teen Issues

  1. teen suicide: Jordon and attempts by John and Riley

  2. bullies: those harassing Morris, Jordon Cowan, and Cheri Westin

  3. injuries: Cameron is always healing from skin tears and being slammed around

  4. dating: this relates to the next issue

  5. gender double standard: John has a girl spend the night in his bedroom without permission from his mother while Cameron is forbidden to kiss anyone [allowed to kill but not kiss, violence acceptable but not sex]

  6. home schooling: this relates to the next issue

  7. losing friends: John has no friends from changing schools so often, his mother moves him from town to town at the drop of a hat

  8. risk taking behavior

  9. overprotective parent: While perhaps justified in Sarah Connor's world, in the real world a child would be suffocated by being mothered to death

  10. teen angst

  11. school shootings: in the pilot/premiere episode

  12. school sex scandal: this is what prompts Jordon Cowan to commit suicide

  13. driving & drivers license: fast cars driven by kids who should not be driving yet

  14. drinking and drug abuse: Riley hangs out with college kids, one of whom has a weak enabling mother who buys beer for the house party at home

  15. foster care system: Riley does not appreciate the nice home in which she is placed, apparently she misses the gutter she came from in the future

  16. breaking the law: Sarah teaches her son that it is okay to break the law for a cause; the amoral Ed Winston calls her Ma Barker leading a gang

dealing with death

Riley is the one on the morgue slab
Riley is the one on the morgue slab

general philosophical issues

the show teeters between Destiny ("Mother of all destiny") and Choice ("No Fate but what we make")

additional instructional materials

future updates of this hub will add material as requested by professors, teachers and students

feel free to ask

complete curriculum

from college

to kindergarten

Have you done a masters thesis or doctoral dissertation on SCC?

If you have done a masters thesis or a doctoral dissertation on the Sarah Connor Chronicles, then let me know so that I can put up a link to it and help your career along.

Just make sure it is on Skynet and not Marx.



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