Films give depth, emotion

When African Americans tried to mix with Whites during the Civil Rights years, the police and citizens enforced segregation by all means necessary. This fact is crucial to understanding an important time in our American history. But when merely communicated through the spoken word, can students truly grasp the hate and agony experienced in this time? For very few, maybe so. But for most, no.

Many teachers use movies to better educate students in critical topics that are hard to understand through words alone. While people are quick to denounce teachers for using movies out of laziness, people do not realize the apparent benefits of teaching kids through movies.

I?m not denying that some teachers can use descriptive, powerful notes or that some books can use effective imagery to instill emotion; it?s simply that society?s minds have evolved to learn through movies. It?s safe to say that a good number of kids watch more television than read books. This is not a pattern that is apparent for only one year?s time. For most kids, it?s a pattern evident throughout their whole lives. Naturally, our minds have become used to understanding emotion through dramatic cinema rather than reading in a book or notes.

There was time when students learned best through books and notes and motion picture was an unfamiliar technology. Unfortunately, that time is in the past. In a perfect world, students would learn more from books. But that simply isn?t a realistic portrayal of education any longer. And with generations to come, this dependency on television may increase.

For teachers who still teach through notes and books, consider using movies in certain circumstances. We?re living in the 21st century and it is time for old-fashioned teachers to admit to that. So just try it. You may even see some higher scores.