History 101: Pass the Popcorn, Please
In the “History 101: Pass the Popcorn, Please,” published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Elaine Minamide, a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor at Palomar Community College, discusses the disadvantages of using films in the classroom. She points out some common beliefs about using entertainment as a way for educational purposes; the belief that showing films in history class can encourage students to search about history and learn better; the belief that films can help teachers to avoid having a boring class; and finally, the belief that everything which encourages student to think can be positive. She argues about disadvantages of showing films in history class. She claims that since these kinds of historical movie consider their story more than the historical facts, it is difficult to recognize the border of fiction and fact in them. She believes that using these movies in the class should not replace the main course. She suggests the teachers to use the movies after their teachings, when the students have learned the subject. She also believes that yesterday’s preschoolers who learned materials with song and dance are today’s high schoolers that expect to be entertained in the class. She discusses that this kind of educational method can be harmful in long terms since students will not be able to learn material from reading the books alone. Finally, she mentions reinforcing of reading skills as one of the goals of education and suggests the teachers to provide a list of books for their students to read instead of a list of movies to watch. She believes that movies should not take the place of books and actual learning in our classrooms.
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