Movies in the classroom


Showing the class movies is becoming more and more common, the question remains whether they affect students the way teachers want them to (Photo Credit: Zaynah Siddique).

Showing movies in the classroom receives mixed reactions from students and teachers. While some argue that watching films is beneficial to the learning process, others simply believe that it is a waste of both the students’ and teachers’ time.

Whether to reinforce a topic or appeal to visual learners, movies shown in class can be  a refreshing change when utilized correctly. Film can be a great tool to facilitate student learning. They can also provide students and teachers with a nice break as they sit, watch, and ponder the film.

“I think showing movies is a good idea. The ones I show, for instance, have very well-written scripts, and they…relate to each lesson,” said English teacher Ms. Jan Mordenski. “[When] you see a film you can really visualize the main point the teacher would make.”

Movies present language in a way that is often more natural than that found in textbooks, and they can help students understand a topic better.  “I love watching movies,” said junior Katie Urbin. “I think it helps by giving another perspective since it’s not always easy to understand the teacher’s perspective.  I like having the same information presented in another creative way.”

Yet others feel that if movies are shown too often or don’t have clear relevance to a lesson, they are simply a waste of time.

“I think that showing the class movies to suck [up] time is lazy,” said Ms. Abigail Youngerman, English teacher. “They are useful only if they encase valuable content that’s definitely related.”