Teaching history with film


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In 1995, Rosenstone already discovered the practicableness of utilizing Historical Film to learn history. “Films show that faculty members do non have the yesteryear. Film creates a historical universe with which the written universe can non vie, at least for popularity.” ( Rosenstone, 1995 ) . Films re-constructed the image of the yesteryear, envisioned history in a manner audience able to understand. Harmonizing to him, although historical movies are frequently being accused as confounding audience with inaccurate content, but the impact that historical movies would convey to the audience is undeniable. Historical characteristic movie can be a better learning tool than docudramas if pedagogues are able to use it in a proper manner. He summarized how historical characteristic movies present the historical universe. Compared with docudramas, historical characteristic movies have a complete secret plan, with a narrative that is able to prosecute audience’s emotions with the movie. Rather than written history, movie summarize, combine, and stand for a specific historical period visually. It enables the audience to understand and to associate more easy to the yesteryear.

Walker ( 2006 ) mentioned in her article „Historical Literacy: Reading History through Film“ , that pupils frequently gain more cognition about a historical period, and a specific historical figure via movie. She concluded that it is necessary for pupils to develop their ain historical literacy accomplishments, “which are the accomplishments set that gives them the tools to understand a text from historical period” ( Walker, 2006 ) . These “tools” can be printed material or non-printed stuff every bit good. Harmonizing to her, all accomplishments require pattern to do it prefect ; watching movie provide pupils another option to develop and better their historical literacy accomplishments. She besides suggested movie should be used as primary beginning of learning instead than secondary beginning, it is utile in developing student’s ain thoughts alternatively of memorising facts in the text edition.

The 2012 UK survey “Teaching Using Film- Statistical Evidence” statistically shows the success of movie instruction in the UK. Most of the surveyed instructors expressed that utilizing movie as learning tool can increase the student’s passion for the related topics. “We should take it for granted that we help kids and immature people to utilize, bask and understand film images ; non merely to be technically capable but to be culturally literate too.” ( Brooks, Cooper & A ; Penke, 2012, p.2 ) . More significantly, the full statistic proves that movie instruction has a great impact on students from assorted facets of instruction. Harmonizing to the statistic, the most important deductions of movie instruction, “attitude towards learning/ motive to learn” ( highest ranking ) , while other important deductions include the addition of originative abilities, develop most of critical thought, and betterment in concentration. In “Teaching with Movies: A Guide for Parents and Educators” developed by The F.L.I.M Project ( n.d ) , the feasibleness of utilizing movie as instruction tools for young person and students is described.

The book “Teaching History With Film – Schemes For Secondary Social Studies” published in twelvemonth 2010 by Marcus, Matzger, Paxton & A ; Stoddard, includes five major intents of utilizing movie as instruction tools: ( a ) to learn history, ( B ) to develop empathy, ( degree Celsius ) to develop analytical or interpretative accomplishments, ( vitamin D ) to learn about controversial issues, and ( vitamin E ) to visualise the past and as narrative. The book describes exhaustively how movie can be used as a instruction tool and depict exactly how good this method to pupils is. This is a new attack of instruction, which combines learning via text edition, treatment and movie.

“World War II in Selected European Films” ( 2010-2013 ) by Schaar, Schafer & A ; Selke is another recent ( yet unpublished ) survey which strongly promotes the feasibleness of utilizing historical characteristic movie to learn history. They have concluded that “feature movies as reliable and entertaining art merchandises – which visualize extraordinary historical events, introduce new thoughts and offer a alone reading of “historical truth” – doubtless have the ability to resolutely determine thoughts of the past and influence the civilization of remembrance” . Harmonizing to their surveies, characteristic movies have been proven as one of the most influential medium in conveying history. Although historical characteristic movies could non be regard as “a history book with traveling images” , but with proper research and filtering of information it can be one of the valuable beginning for instruction intents. More significantly, this is non a familiar method yet in Malaysia, particularly in the field of learning history.


Among assorted learning methods ( active acquisition, intercultural, double linguistic, etc… ) , there’s non a individual specific learning method that suits all pupils, because everyone have a different acquisition manner ( auditory, ocular, haptic, etc… ) . What instructors have to make is merely to place a acquisition manner, which is a combination of different acquisition manners. The manner of larning changed from clip to clip, today there are some states like Germany, England and USA which advocate media literacy and media instruction. “Undeniably, media images are powerful and influential in our society” ( Walker, 2006 ) . Through media instruction pupils can set up media literacy expeditiously. What is Media literacy? There is one general definition introduced in 1992, which states media literacy is the ability to entree, to analyse, to measure, and to make media in many different manner. “The media literacy motion is chiefly concerned with assisting persons understand more to the full the nature of their interactions with the media and thereby to exert more control over their exposures, their significance buildings, and the influences the media exert on their beliefs and behaviors” ( Potter, 2004 ) .

“The importance of media literacy is justified non merely by the measure of media exposure. The critical function of information in the development of democracy, cultural engagement and active citizenship besides justifies it” ( Koltay, 2011 ) . Developing media literacy is of import because modern coevals is the more ocular type, they can absorb knowledge even faster. Harmonizing to the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics ( 2013 ) , undergraduates from the age 20-24 merely spend an norm of 10 proceedingss of reading in a twenty-four hours while they instead spend about 5 hours a twenty-four hours watching telecasting.

Our Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib, has expressed his will in the Preliminary Report for Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2015. “Our state requires a transmutation of its full instruction system, raising accomplishment for all pupils. Make no error ; this will necessitate an wholly new position, so that pupils develop accomplishments needed for the 21th century” . Sing the latest Malaysia Education Blueprint, movie instruction has to be included as one of the acquisition system. The hereafter of Malaysia’s instruction system as described in the latest Malaysia Education Blueprint requires a transmutation which will convey away more educated, knowing, and more globally competitory immature Malaysian.

Since the beginning of the movie industry in the early 1890s, the potency of movie as a instruction tool has been keep discovered and analyzed by research workers and historiographers. Robert A. Rosenstone, an expert in movie survey, mentioned in 1995 “Films shows that faculty members do non have the yesteryear. Film creates a historical universe with which the written universe can non vie, at least for popularity.” Wegner ( 1977 ) besides claimed “Film is the most influential and seductive force available to us to learn, to convert, and to convey thoughts and information – or merely to demo the universe as it is.” Marcus, Metzger, Paxton & A ; Stoddard ( 2010 ) have point out that the use of Historical Feature Film as learning tool is non merely limited to construct student’s “Historical Understanding” , but will besides develop student’s “ Historical Empathy” every bit good as “Analytical or Interpretative Skills” . There are many extra deductions of utilizing Historical Feature Film as learning tool which, when like an expert applied this method into German History Class BBD 3301 can better the instruction program, increase larning efficiency, develop critical thought accomplishments among pupils, and raise consciousness of media literacy/ historical literacy. It is one of the ways to fix pupils to come in today’s competitory globalized society. Already in 1991, the Media committee of the National Council of Teachers of English had discovered that the pupils who were weak in covering and measuring non-print media ( include movie ) were in fact unprepared for a productive calling.

While utilizing historical characteristic movie as learning tool, there are several jobs which have to be addressed. The first job would be the “truthfulness” of historical characteristic movie. Students have to understand that non the full content of a historical characteristic movie is true and based on written history but partly there are. Historical characteristic movies alternatively provide “one taken truth” of an event. “This is non to state that pupils automatically believe everything they see in the screen is historical truth- pupils can be funny about what elements in the movie are “real” and which are fictional” ( Marcus, Matzger, Paxton & A ; Stoddard, 2010 ) . Second, the genuineness of the ocular scene in the movie is really of import as it shows the images of the yesteryear, errors might supply pupils with incorrect information and thoughts.

Third, movie can be a really powerful learning tool, “Although characteristic movies frequently fictionalize or embellish facets of the historical records for dramatic intents, they can besides be a powerful medium for assisting pupils acknowledge the determination devising and experiences of people of the past” ( Marcus, Matzger, Paxton & A ; Stoddard, 2010 ) . Therefore far, this method has a really low consciousness in Malaysian’s instruction system. The consequences from this survey would assist to better the execution of movie instruction.

Fourthly, pupils might comprehend movies merely as amusement, hence, it’s rather disputing for instructors to utilize movies as instruction tools. Particularly in Malaysia, pupils are non familiar with movies as learning tool ( as a recent survey by Schaar, Ogasa has proven ) ; they might meet jobs with this new attack.

Fifthly, alternatively of watching the movie entirely, pupils need some basic apprehension of movie analysis and some proper guiding in order to absorb historical cognition decently. In this instance, the instructor plays an of import function in steering pupils.

Sixthly, the movies should be chosen harmonizing to the construction of the history class and associate a relevant narrative to a specific historical period.


Qualitative research: Questionnaires/ Interviews

a )

Film choice will be done based on standards mentioned by Schaar & A ; Ogasa in their article published in twelvemonth 2014. They have mentioned that the movies selected should be reliable and should state a relevant narrative or incorporate a character which is related to a specific historical period. Other standards should be taken into consideration, such as: cultural, cultural, spiritual, educational background, life experience, general penchant and sing wonts. German History Class instructor Dr. Torsten Schaar has agreed to present and prove this method in his history category. I will besides do certain culturally unsuitable scene will non be shown in the history category.

Among assorted historical characteristic movie, we choose those more illuminative and educative movie in order to avoid pupils implicated by stereotyped media influence. Selected movies will be non merely limited to one specific clip period but will include the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and the Age of spiritual discord, the Baroque Age, Nationalism and Unification, The 2nd German Empire, World War I, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich and World War II, the two German provinces, the re-unification of Germany. Not lone German Films will be show in the category but besides some foreign linguistic communication historical characteristic movies with English captions since foreign films sometimes convey German History better than German historical movies do. Or they are the lone cineastic beginning for a peculiar event. Historical Feature Films such asDownfall,The Pianist,The BookThief,Collette,AllQuieTOxygenNThymineheTungstenesternFront,Kingdom of Heaven,Luther,The Tunnel,The Miracle of Berlin, andGood passVladimir ilyich ulyanov… will be shown in the German History Class.

B )

In the BA German History Class BBD 3101, several movies or selected scenes will be shown in the category. A guiding debut and questionnaires will be given every clip before testing. Individual interviews will be conducted with random participants after the showing. Critical and ranking inquiries such as “What can you larn from the movie? ” , “Does the movie broaden your apprehension of the historical event? ” , “Which scene of the film inspired or challenged you the most? ” , “Are at that place unreciprocated inquiries? ” will be asked.

Besides of result from questionnaires and interviews, schoolroom observation will besides be involved to attest to the deductions of utilizing Historical Feature Film as instruction tools. All informations generated from this survey will be analyzed harmonizing to the needed criterions for qualitative and quantitative informations analysis to turn out the practicableness of utilizing Historical Feature Film as instruction tools for German History category BBD 3101. Notes, questionnaires, and transcripts from interviews will be attached as appendix.


The expected consequences of my survey are the practicableness of utilizing Historical Feature Film as learning tool in German History Class BBD 3301 in UPM, an betterment in understanding historical contents, the ability of the pupils to critically discourse the content and to identity unfastened inquiries. The survey will ( hopefully ) show that pupils have gained a wider historical position and a more complex apprehension of historical events. Movies should hold a positive impact on students’ larning behaviors, on motive and involvement in history, every bit good as on single public presentations. The interaction between instructors and pupils will besides beef up.

Significance OF THE STUDY

History categories in Malaya today are still being traditionally taught in the method which involves the text book and the teacher’s talk. Harmonizing to Schaar & A ; Lapasau & A ; Ng ( 2009 ) , more than 60 % of Malaysia pupils spend most of their leisure clip watching Television, DVDs, or on-line movies. Although watching movies is a popular civilization among Malayan pupils, the survey besides mentioned that the usage of movie as learning tool in Malaysia is in fact really limited. Malayan pupils should be encouraged to spread out their acquisition through the power of movie. At the same clip instructors besides should be encouraged to present movie instruction.

The consequence from this survey will turn out the practicableness and importance of implementing movie instruction in Malaysia. Since movie instruction already enjoys great success in western states such as Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, the consequences from this survey purpose to heighten consciousness for movie instruction in Malayan schools, colleges and universities. Educators and pupils should be more unfastened and comfy in utilizing movie as learning tool in the history schoolroom ( or for many other topics as good ) . The survey aims to extinguish the misconception about the sensed insufficiency of utilizing Historical Feature Film as learning tool.


“The more you know about the yesteryear, the better prepared you are for the future.” ( Roosevelt, n.d ) . In the 21th century, it’s necessary to help the transmutation of the instruction system in our ain state in order to cultivate a more educated and globally competitory new coevals. Using Historical Feature Film as learning tool is already globally accepted and applied. Since engineering and media have already been involved in modern instruction theoretical accounts, the result of this survey will supply converting grounds that movie instruction is non merely necessary, but theoretically and practically applicable in Malaysia excessively.


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