Date: Aug 16th 2013
091A Research Paper II
Can Historically Inaccurate Films Have Positive Effects on Education?
“Titanic” is one of the most famous films in the world, which is based on a real shipwreck mixed with fiction. About 2 years ago, My girlfriend and I saw the film and discussed the facticity of the film. Both of us thought that the film was a historical true story, because everything was perfect matched in the film and we could not find any mistakes in it. Nevertheless, what surprised me was that a research in Duke University found that there was a great deal of historical inaccuracies in the “Titanic” such as First Officer William Murdoch did not commit suicide on the ship, and he was believed to have died in the water. Sharda Umanath (2012) who is the leader of this research states that historically inaccurate films can have negative effects on education, because “it can hurt students’ ability to separate truth from fiction” (p.1). However, based on the latest research, historically inaccurate films can also benefit students by increasing critical thinking, reducing the acquisition of false information, and encouraging students to learn more history. Firstly, watching and researching historically inaccurate movies promote students to think deeply and find the truth by themselves. Critical thinking is a way of gathering information from convinced evidence and deciding whether others’ opinions are true or false. It is a very important learning skill that helps students to think independently. Most teachers will practice it in their class. Eric Carlson (2007), a history professor in Gustavus Adolphus College, claims that historically inaccurate films can be used in the classroom to promote students to think more constructively and deeply about evidence. His examples came from a course that he taught on the Elizabeth I who was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 1558 until her death. At first, three different...
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