Movies in education

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Movies in education

Abigail Washam, Managing Editor, The Bagpipe

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What sorts of movies should teachers be allowed to show in schools?

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when talking about showing movies in the classroom. For instance the age is important to consider. Also add to that list the class, the maturity levels of the students and whether it is something that the students’ parents will want their child to see.

The genre of the movie could also provide an idea as to whether it should be show or not. Just recently for instance, the Forensic Science classes were shown The Silence of the Lambs. While this movie is considered to be somewhat of a classic horror film, it is still a horror movie none the less and could have potentially caused stress, fear or anxiety for the student.

This can lead to upset in the learning environment, which will in turn cause the class to possibly fall behind or miss out on the instruction that is being given at that particular date and time.

Now, the majority of people reading this are probably not teachers. But this does not mean that they should not be aware of this issue. For example, the other day when I got home from school, I went through the basics. You know, the “how was your day sweetheart” and “what did you do.”

At my mention that we watched Silence of the Lambs, my mom kind of went into a fit about it. The basics of what she said were that students should not be allowed to be shown that in school because it is inappropriate and not a productive use of time. As my mom, she is very invested in my education and she did not like the fact that we were watching things like this.

Granted, the topic we were learning about was serial killers, and in truth, Silence of the Lambs did help to get various ideas across, but this does not mean that it was a good idea to show the movie in class. In fact, a couple of my fellow students very obviously did not want to watch it because they either do not like or they are not allowed to watch horror movies.

Now, flashback to fifth grade were virtually the same thing happened. There was this one time that we saw a movie, Nightmare in Jamestown, for our social studies class. Friends of mine were coming up to me after and saying that it was horrible and that it scared them. Not going to lie, I was of the same mindset. Come to find out, that very same movie was R rated.

We were fifth graders. Fifth. Graders. In our opinions, the movie was gruesome and bloody and not something that we enjoyed spending a day in school on. So it’s probably understandable that parents got so upset over the fact that they showed it to us in school. Now, teachers are not allowed to show that movie to the students. I personally do not see anything wrong with this fact because it was not appropriate to be showing that movie to begin with.

In closing, it is also true however that movies can help to get a particular educational ideal across, whether it be for History, English, what have you. But it is very important to consider all of the surrounding factors, factors being the students, the parents or the rating. With the right movies, learning can become something more intriguing and, in some cases, it can get the lesson across better than a powerpoint ever could.

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