Movies as Curriculum
© Beverley Paine
Last night we saw Armageddon, a science fiction movie where Bruce Willis saves the world from a disastrous impact with an asteroid. On our way out of the cinema and in the car on the way home the following aspects of the movie were explored:
Comparing how some of us are becoming desensitised to disaster scenes in disaster movies - that is, they are having less of an impact - as we watch more and more of this genre;
Noticing that when disaster scenes are preceded by scenes where individual victims are portrayed going about their normal lives they have more impact on the viewer, and the scenes where whole cities are obliterated make you think of not just the city, but the occupants;
Comparing the credibility of the plot to Independence Day (ID4);
Talking about the special effects; the improvement in special effects; how effective they were; comparing them to other movies, like Star Wars (1970s);
Talking about the actors, comparing the work they did in this movie with other movies they have been in;
Noticing Bruce Willis has noticeably crooked teeth and noting that it is possible to make it to the top of the acting profession without absolutely straight pearly whites! (Despite what the hype and advertising says!);
Talking about the realism - what scenes and ideas were realistic and why;
Imagining ourselves in the situation of an asteroid heading for the earth like that and talking about what could be done, especially on a personal level;
Discussing weaknesses in the movie which make it less credible;
Discussing the impact movies such as Armageddon and Deep Impact have had on budgets for science communities to look for near earth orbits;
This is quite a conversation, especially at that time of night! I don't know what National Educational Curriculum Outcomes it covers, or at what level... but it certainly shows that my children are not passive viewers of film media!
This is home education - real learning - conversational learning. It may not be recorded on paper, a term essay, a project, a comprehension exercise, etc. There is no one to satisfy, to give grades, only the participants are involved in the learning process.
Just how do you convey the depth of learning that occurs when a family engages in 'natural learning'. How do you convince the educational authorities, or anyone else, the people that continually question and seek to judge such a learning program?
The answer is, you can't, you don't, and you shouldn't!
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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