Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Opinion
Education Opinion

Using Movies to Teach History

By Walt Gardner — May 26, 2017 1 min read

There’s a misconception that teachers who show movies in class aren’t really teaching. But I maintain that movies can enhance instruction in history when used properly. The key is for teachers to make it clear beforehand the difference between fact and fiction (“Are movies a good way to learn history?” the conversation.com, May 16).

I say that because so many students regard history as dry and boring. Movies can enhance learning by engaging them. Let’s not forget that students today have been exposed their entire lives to visual images. Why not use their orientation to make instruction more memorable?

Textbooks that are finally adopted contain material that has been stripped of anything controversial. As a result, students are turned off by the pablum they read. I think they’re more sophisticated than we give them credit for, which is why movies can be just what is needed as a counterbalance.

Yet there is one caveat. When in doubt about any movie, teachers are well advised to clear the use with their principal. Teachers in K-12 do not possess academic freedom like university professors.

The opinions expressed in Walt Gardner’s Reality Check are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Special Education Teachers
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read