The modern age has introduced several major transformational changes into the education system. Educational institutions are implementing innovative and out-of-the-box techniques to instruct and teach students. They aim at clearing the doubts of the students and providing them the ultimate educational experience. Cutting edge technologies and state-of-the-art educational procedures have made the teaching–learning process more interesting and engaging.
Film as an Educational Tool
These days, education has transcended the traditional teaching methods. Institutions have embraced modern technologies in education. Gone are those days when implementing modern machines and tools in the classroom seemed to be a distant dream. As a result of this technological revolution, films are now gradually being used as tool for providing education.
Without a shadow of doubt, textbooks provide students the fundamental and detailed knowledge about the subject matter. But they often find books dull and uninteresting. At such times, combining films with education makes it both educative and entertaining. It assists in getting the most out of the teaching–learning procedures.
Film can help in Learning
Using films in the classrooms can definitely be challenging, but if implemented properly, it can bear positive outcomes. Films assist students to learn visually and leave a lasting impression on their minds about the subject taught. For example, if the film ‘Gandhi’ is shown to the students in the classroom, it will help the students to relive the life of Mahatma Gandhi through the film, in addition to history books. Videos and clips provide greater understanding of the subject matter discussed. Moreover, unlike books, films do not have a limited scope; they can go beyond curriculum and touch upon topics which might not be a part of the curriculum, and provide students some additional information.
Generating Interest in Education
The core component of learning is interest. It helps students to concentrate on studies and encourages them to delve into new topics. Watching films related to the subjects will make students respond better to studies and will prevent them from getting distracted easily. Students who are not motivated readers and prefer videos and images over written texts can be taught using films.
Enhancing Reading and Comprehension
It has been proven that videos with subtitles substantially improve reading and literacy skills. Nowadays, many novels and literature are being adapted into films. Teachers can introduce versatility in a literature class by showing films based on popular novels and poems to enhance classroom sessions. Also, teachers can initiate a debate session among students on whether they liked the original or the adapted film version and why.
A Blessing in Disguise
Learning through films can act as a boon for many students. Pupils with severe learning disabilities respond positively to films and can relate to them. Also, financially deprived students often do not have books to study. But they relate to films and positive things shown in them. They are often excited and willing to discuss about films. Students connect with films and also gather knowledge from them.
The film industry is evolving gradually and is focusing on a variety of social, environmental, and economical issues. This provides students the scope to gather knowledge about different things happening in our society. Also, many films deliver positive and inspirational messages which can motivate students to take their studies seriously and hone their skills to prepare for a competitive world. For many students, film is a ‘universal language’ which overcomes the barriers of language and textual learning.
Overcoming the Challenges
Films provide multifarious advantages as an educational aid. But there are many challenges which need to be mastered in order to accept them as a standard medium for education. The modern generation may be quite used to films, but it is difficult for the older generation to accept the educational aspects of a cinematic universe. Many parents perceive education as an inadequate educational tool.
From a teacher’s viewpoint, adopting films in instructional procedure can be quite an arduous task. Teachers need to be supported and trained properly so that they can feel confident and successfully incorporate films in their teaching sessions. Proper planning is also essential to make this method effective. Teachers should carefully handpick the movies so that while watching a film student should actually learn something. If incorporating films can enhance classroom sessions, institutions should implement them in educational procedures. The growth of films as an educational tool has been momentous as a result of which we can witness a full-fledged cinematic education system in the future.
— Ananda Kamal Das