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    Movies as an Effective Medium for Teaching History

    These days, learning and education have gone beyond the traditional way of teaching. It has been such a long time since the idea of using technology as a part of education was just a dream. As a result of this innovation, more and more educators utilize movies as one of their tools to impart knowledge to their students. When teachers combine learning and entertainment it will be easier for them to get the most out of their students.

    Using movies as a tool to educate may be challenging, but has its numerous benefits. Learning history by watching movies, for example, can help give people an idea about the past. Movies are used to teach students about history to make them more excited and interested. Furthermore, here are some movie choices that can help educators teach history:

    • All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) – a fictional movie about World War I through a soldier’s perspective
    • All The President’s Men (1976) – a movie based on a book written by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, The Washington Post reporters, about an investigation on Richard Nixon, a president who resigned from his position in 1974 because of corruption accusations against him.
    • The Birth of A Nation (1915) – a fictional movie about the Ku Klux Klan and how African-Americans were treated in the past.
    • The Deer Hunter (1978) – this movie shows the effect of the Vietnam War on soldiers and to the people who love them.
    • The Grapes of Wrath (1940) – a movie about the Great Depression. It shows a fictional story about Oklahomans who have just migrated to California to look for a job.
    • Hoop Dreams (1994) – a documentary telling the story of two high school basketball players and their struggles of being African-Americans.
    • Johnny Tremaine (1943) – a Disney film for young adults about the American Revolution.
    • Philadelphia (1993) – a fictional movie telling about the story of an attorney who got fired from his job because he was a gay man and suffering from AIDS.
    • Schindler’s List (1993) – this movie focuses on a Nazi business executive who saves thousands of Jews during World War II.
    • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – a movie that tells about the racism felt by African-Americans during the 20th century.

    History movies can be an effective learning tool for teachers and students, but it is not something that is easy to realize. Teachers should be knowledgeable about the topics to easily discuss and explain the difference of a fictional movie from the facts. They should also be aware that students will be having a diverse point of views when it comes to certain topics, and will need to devote time for discussion after viewing the movie.

    Family watching TVLearning through films as a teaching method is no doubt an effective way of teaching, but there are still so many things to overcome before it can be fully accepted. There is a chance that the older generation still has not acknowledged the fact that it is possible to educate through movies, and some parents still believe that watching films is an incompetent method of teaching.

    However, if the teacher sets a lesson goal and class activities using the film, and will be able to properly explain the relation of the film to the subject matter, then it will be an effective way for students to learn history.

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