Watch and learn, kids - Macleans.ca
 

Watch and learn, kids

Why are Hollywood films taking over high school math, history, even geography class?


 

Rick Eglinton/ Toronto Star

Struggling to decipher a Shakespeare play has been a long-standing rite of passage for students in high school. Today that chore has been eased somewhat. Rather than plod through the text, Grade 9 students at some Canadian schools instead watch a movie in class. Romeo + Juliet, with Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Danes, is a popular choice.

It’s certainly easier on the eyes. But not everyone is happier. “When I found out my son was watching a movie rather than actually opening a book and reading the words on paper, I was shocked,” says Karen Huff, the mother of a Grade 9 student at a high school in Waterloo, Ont. “They seem to watch an awful lot of movies in school these days.”


And not just in English class. Movies—big-budget Hollywood-style movies—now occupy a significant place in Canadian classrooms. With teachers claiming film is the surest way to engage students, celluloid teaching moments are popping up everywhere, from math class to geography.

School boards typically purchase blanket public viewing rights to show commercial movies to their students. The list of the 50  most popular films shown in high schools provided by Criterion Pictures, one of two copyright licensors in Canada, reveals approximately 2,000 showings of Hollywood movies in the month of February alone. And this is just a portion of the national total.

Literary adaptations are strongly represented on Criterion’s list—Romeo + Juliet is number one, and four of the top 10 are movies of Shakespearean plays. However, the list is quite diverse. The slacker comedy School of Rock was shown 23 times nationwide in February. The Bucket List: 26 times. Transformers: 21 times. Star Trek: 22 times. It’s not readily obvious why these movies are relevant to any curriculum, as parents such as Huff complain.

A recent survey of approximately 20 Grade 9 students in Waterloo revealed a great array of celluloid curiosities. French teachers frequently show English-language movies such as Spider-Man, Back to the Future and Elf to their classes. Even with French subtitles activated, the pedagogical value of this is not clear. One math class watched the science-fiction movie Jumper. An English class sat through Muppets in Space.

The Waterloo survey also revealed a surprising propensity to screen movies in geography. During the current school year, Grade 9 geography students in the Waterloo Region District School Board watched The Core, Unbreakable, The Day After Tomorrow, all three Jurassic Park films, Volcano and The Perfect Storm, among many others. While most of these movies have some tenuous connection to the physical sciences, the educational value of watching Tommy Lee Jones save Los Angeles from a river of lava in Volcano seems slight.

One class watched the John Candy and Steve Martin comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles as an example of the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of transportation. Another student saw five movies in one term; that’s nearly 10 per cent of the provincially mandated 110 hours of instruction time.

“These movies are garbage, basically,” snaps Michael English, chair of the geography and environmental studies department at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. “They don’t represent anything that has to do with reality or science.”

English loudly laments the overall quality of geography instruction in high school as preparation for university, and suspects feature films have become a “time-killer and treat given to students to please them and keep them happy.” The fact students often report movies are shown in serial fashion during the final 20 minutes of class lends credence to the notion they’re being used to buy good behaviour rather than serving an integral role in the teaching process.

Besides pacifying students, movies may appeal to teachers for other reasons. Instructors of Quebec’s new compulsory ethics and religious culture course in high school have been encouraged to use movies largely because it simplifies preparation time for the hastily rolled-out program.

Advocates of movies defend the practice by observing that students today have grown up immersed in media and technology and they expect the same from their schools. “Film can be a really effective way to get students engaged,” says Joan Engel, the Alberta Department of Education’s director of curriculum for arts, communications and citizenship, mathematics and science.

Alberta’s guide for high school English teachers includes an entire chapter on using film effectively. In particular, Engel notes that reading a book or play and then watching its film version exposes students to multiple perspectives. And the 2008 film Passchendaele, about the Canadian experience during the First World War, was made widely available to Alberta schools and libraries as a supplement to social studies instruction. (Of course, the selection of individual movies remains a subjective matter. Alberta’s high school English guide says this about Psycho, the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock horror classic: “The film is suspenseful, but there is no gratuitous violence.”)

Regardless of relevancy, the blockbuster approach to teaching shows no sign of slowing down. Criterion is planning to unveil a digital movie-delivery system for Ontario schools this September that will simplify the process by piping on-demand movies straight onto classroom screens.

And yet the ubiquity of movies in school may eventually rob film of its educational value, frets one long-time fan. James Frieden, a lawyer based in Santa Monica, Calif., operates TeachWithMovies.com, a website that sells teaching guides to movies for use in schools. These guides are distributed free in Canada to Criterion’s clients.

“You can do all sorts of fabulous things with movies in the classroom,” says Frieden, who also holds a teaching certificate. He promotes using movies to study overlooked concepts such as ethics or cultural differences and prefers using lesser-known, small-budget movies such as Pay it Forward, Water and Fly Away Home for their instructional value. He also recommends that movies be used sparingly.

Frieden blanches at being told Romeo + Juliet has become a substitute for reading the play. And he’s outraged to hear children are watching Hollywood fiction in geography. “Some teachers are out of control when it comes to showing movies,” he complains. “Movies are an underused teaching resource. Unfortunately they’re also an overused babysitting mechanism.”


 

Watch and learn, kids

  1. As possibly a future teacher of mathematics, the concept of showing a movie rather than actually teaching content abhors me. The idea of compulsory high school education is to make sure that we have a reasonably literate and intelligent populace. I don't know how watching a movie can actually help you develop hard skills of analysis or problem solving through watching films. I know there are some films that are inspirational, like Stand and Deliver, Finding Forrester, however these are films that teachers have to learn from more than students. We need to deliver the content to these kids, in ways that gets them involved, that gets them to practise the skills they will need in modern civilization.

  2. Terrific.

    And people wonder why home/private schooled kids get a better education for a fraction of the price per student than those in the public system.

    • Obviously it's because, being at home, they have boundless more opportunity to turn on the television.

      • Yes, that must be it. More movies too, no doubt.

    • Do you have an approximate decimal value for this "fraction" that you mentioned? I thought that the cost savings of a private education were rather small, so I'm interested to have a look at those numbers.

      • Depends on the school, of course, but for good private schools the fraction is as low as 0.5, while for homeschooling it's more like 0.15.

        Numbers:
        Taking Ontario as an example, the annual budget is roughly 20 billion, with approximately 2 million students. That's $10K per student per year.

        Private schools: quite a range, from about $5K to $25K. All are generally better than the public schools.

        Homeschooling: most homeschooling families I've encountered do it for approx $1-2K per student per year, although that goes up in high school to $2-4K depending on how much is invested in lab equipment, sports, field trips, etc. Again, the results are generally superior to public schools.

        Either way, it's often (for private schools) and always (for home schools) a fraction of the cost with superior results….and of course the cost is paid by the family (on top of school taxes), rather than by the taxpayers.

        • Wow! Five thousand, that is very impressive. Would you be able to provide a link to or even just the name of one or two of the cheaper private schools? I'd be very interested to learn more about how they do what they do.

          • Sure. Since I used Ontario for my example, consider this list of Toronto private schools. Lowest in the list starts at $1800. A bunch start at or below $5K. Several top out below $10K.

            Alternately, you could chat up almost any large homeschooling family – they generally accomplish the same or better on an even thriftier budget.

          • Thanks. Much appreciated.

          • OK, so……I perused the link, and I have to say that reality has reared its ugly head.

            I found the $1800 tuition – it only applies to the third child. Granted the first child's tuition was ~$7000 and the second was ~$3750 (going from memory), so if you had three children attending, that would average out at about $4000, which seems like pretty good value. But I am disappointed that schools have now resorted to teaser rates; I thought only cell phone and cable companies did that. ;-)

            And yes, there were quite a number of tuition ranges that started at about $5000, but many of them were for kindergarden; in most cases as soon as the child "graduates" to Grade 1 the fees tended to be at least $8000. Again, granted, that is lower than the $10,000 number that you provided for public school, but now the fraction isn't looking quite as good as earlier reports suggested.

            Regardless, I'm basically OK with private schools, but I do wonder how they manage to provide the service at the costs quoted. The public schools should be checking it out to see what they can learn. Salaries is the obvious target, in the sense that they must make up a huge portion of any school budget, public or private.

          • I can tell you how private schools achive better results at lower cost: it's no union crap, just work the curriculum, if you do not want to do the curriculum – go home.

            I am actually very pleased every time I meet with a oublic school teacher who actually wants to work. In the system the union has set up for them working hard is an unnecessary luxury. Whatever they claim, teachers choose what they teach using curriculum as a door knob. School is generally set up to provide employemnt for teachers, not education for children.
            Here is an example: Last year in my son's high school history course after a month of study I have raised a concern that with the relaxed pace instlled by teacher students would never reach the end of the textbook by the end of semester. I actually came to see vice principal about it. Even brought son's history textbook to show that after five years of use the book has never been opened beyond the middle. Result? Very politely vice principal advised me to shut up. I have seen similar situations before.

          • What is your estimate regarding how many of the teachers in the public system are great, how many are simply competent and how many are poor?

            Can the public system be reformed, or does the entire venture need to be abandoned in favour of a series of private schools?

          • I shall say in my two sons' experience out of 10 teachers 2 are very good, 1 is very bad, the rest "have room for improvement." These 7 either do not want to work or do not know how.

            Public school system should not be reformed, it should be put in direct competition for funding with private providers. Teachers should NOT get any other pension benefits as other private market provides. (This goes, btw, to all public servants too.) If this measures are realized, teachers will reform the school themselves. After all, absolute majority of them are not stupid: if they will have to work to survive – they will. The problem is that now teachers do not have to sweat to live a very lucrative life.

          • Your personally experienced 2 : 7 : 1 ratio of good : fair : poor is probably quite close to the actual school system numbers. IIRC that ratio is fairly widely accepted as applicable to many groups of people (bus drivers, newspaper columnists, barbers, heck, even blog commentators). I say that based on my own readings and the soft skills training that I've been exposed to over the decades.

            I'm not really sure that the 70% group can ever be converted into great performers, but they can at least become completely competent, through some training and through properly matching their skills to the teaching assignment.

            I'd be open to moving to the competitive model that you mention, at least in some fashion. However, I wonder at what point the private system would start to become a victim of its own success. Specifically, if 80% of the students were being taught in private settings, presumably about 80% of the teachers in a district would be working in private settings, which means that many of today's not quite competent teachers would be working there, and even a few of the poor teachers.

            And a final question: You mentioned lucrative pay and pensions – would you agree that the top 20% of teachers today are worthy of that remuneration?

          • The 70% group definitely includes teachers that are capable of doing a better job. The problem is that current system motivates them to cut corners, not seek any improvement, avoid the burden of qualification upgrade. All that is secured by the union, which is the real problem. I hope that when the same teachers migrate to private schools and the union behind, they will perform better. And then this happens the union will have two options: either die or become an effective means of managing teachers' performance (=survival).

            Top performing teacher may deserve a top pension, but it comes to each and every teacher. Even those who openly cheat by not working: my son had a teacher who claimed to have taught a whole course of geography, while she has not even touched it ONCE. I believe such "teachers" should be tried for stealing public funding, while TDSB (on my complain) has limited their reaction with a smooth transfer to another position within the same school. I felt being robbed at daylight, while she will still have her pension and 9 working months per year.

          • More about the 70% group, if you can spare a few moments; I'm interested in getting some background.

            Are you saying that that group of people is fundamentally lazy, and that as much as possible they will do as little as possible (eg upgrade qualifications) unless someone is explicitly "on their case' to keep them on track? Or, is it more that that group is fundamentally well meaning and somewhat capable, but the union has created rules or whatever that prevent this group from excelling? Or, a bit of both?

            I'm fairly sure you are talking about the union, but I just want to be sure. Assuming that is the case, do you have an example or two of how the union thwarts efforts to upgrade qualifications? And a tough one for you…why do you suppose the union does what it does? And I don't just mean because unions love the status quo…I mean how exactly does blocking qualification upgrades actually help the union? That type of thing…Thanks!!

          • Answering your first question I tend to believe that union is the key to the problem. And not the union per se, but the situation it has created in public teaching.
            An example? Here – a few years ago, dig it if interested, TDSB has tried to introduce a regular qualification testing for teachers with, if necessary, prescribed training. The idea was, as much as I can comprehend, to substitute pay for seniority with pay for qualification. Union? "We will strike". TDSB backed up.
            Another? At my son's high school there was (is?) a teacher who knew nothing about the subject. Everybody knew that. Principal openly declared that he would not fight her. Why? Atop of union the teacher happened to be a black female. So she did whatever she wanted at lessons, but teaching. Could not be even punished.

            Why teachers union is what it is? Let me speak up my mind with a question: Do you think a capable teacher will drop teaching and switch to administrative work? Who is that monster a capable teacher has to be protected by a union? Sapienti sat.

          • Wrt qualification testing:
            – I support adjusting the progression system so that capabilities are an important factor in determining advancement from one pay band to the next
            – for me, this would not necessarily have to be qualification testing…I would support negotiating something to which both the union and the board can agree
            – the TDSB (supported by parents) needs to keep pusing this issue

          • Let me put your idea into a bigger picture:
            Government sets eduction requirements, hires teachers to deliver eduction to meet these requirements, gives teachers monopoly for education, collects taxes to fund the process, right? Are you saying that now government should any other criteria but qualification in deciding how much to pay teacher? And even negotiate this matter with teachers?
            Can you imagine a similar situation in private business? I can't.

          • I'm saying that the boards need the teachers to achieve their goal, which is to educate students. Workers, in many cases, do have useful insights into how best to achieve the results of the organization, and there is no inherent reason that workers can't help shape things such as qualification testing.

            I'm also saying that basing payrate solely on the results of some type of qualification testing is not realistic.

            And I say all of this on the basis that this is exactly how these things are done in some private sector organizations, and I would even argue that those private organizations are generally more successful than traditional organizations where owners/managers decide and workers simply do.

          • Part II…

            Wrt firing a teacher who isn't doing the job, at all:
            – firings can be made to happen
            – the problem is that it is easier (for principals, mostly) to live with the problem rather than jump through all of the hoops to make it happen
            – the TDSB needs to give principals the tools / time / support / encouragement to make those obviously required firings happen
            – I'll guess that most teachers (the top 20% and many of the middle 70%) would actually welcome the change – the truly bad teachers are not a positive influence for the rest of the teachers

            Wrt teachers union in general:
            – perhaps some of the original rational for creating / supporting unions has disapperared
            – some type of group advocacy role is probably still a good idea
            – maybe we need to look at how other professional groups have organized themselves.

            Thanks for the discussion.

          • I am not aware of a single teacher being fired, ever. I do not know how teachers in general would react on it. I believe I know what union is going to say if anybody attempts to fire a teacher for nonperformance. It's not going to smell roses.

            I do not mind any advocacy, but with a great simplification I believe that:
            when I, as a taxpayer, hire government to organize education, which includes hiring and managing teachers, then it's not the teachers who has to set rules and monitor performance. Right now, a translation of public school system into private business would like like employees setting quality procedures, designing technology, monitoring output and giving bonuses to themselves. To me this looks sadly counterproductive.

          • I agree that the firing of teachers is rare, at least in my neck of the woods, and seemingly also in yours. But it does happen, although we would probably both agree that regardless of how often it happens now it should happen more often.

            My point is that generally lousy teachers don't get fired for the same basic reason lousy employees in other public and private enterprises don't get fired – because it is a lot of work on the part of management (the principal) to get all of the paperwork in place. It's easier to just shuffle the lousy ones around. It ain't right, but that's a big part of the reason it doesn't happen very often.

            And in the case of the truly lousy teachers, yes, the union headquarters may put up a bit of a fight so as to show the membership that the union still exists, but a significant number of the teachers themselves will actually (quietly) thank the board/principal for getting rid of someone who was dragging them all down.

            As to your last paragraph regarding allowing or even promoting the involvement of workers in aspects of the enterprise other than actually doing the work, I can tell you that there are private enterprises where this is done, and often with marked success.

          • This message should be read after the next, but I can't put it there.

            I have just found that what I was trying to promote as an amateur, has been already described professionally – http://www.saynotoboredom.com/author.html
            Author speaks of issues south of the border, but Canada is heading in the same direction.

          • I'll be checking the local library for the book…thanks for the suggestion.

          • I already did to no avail. :(
            Articles on the site are good, though.

          • The other thread doesn't really talk about cost savings, so, would you say that the cost savings come from:
            – larger class sizes,
            – paying teachers less than they would earn in the public system,
            – paying teachers the same as their public system counterparts but only hiring teachers with little experience,
            – cutting back on extras (ie only focus on things like athletics, band, or drama if it is a part of the core specialty of that particular school),
            – less administration,
            – combination of above?

          • I am not a specialist in public school budgeting, but I suppose general financial inefficiency of public school system is the major cost driver.

          • If I was your teacher and you provided this answer to the question I posed I would give it a mark of C. ;-)

            I say that because I believe that there is always a reason that one thing (eg some private school tuitions) are cheaper than some other thing (eg public school costs). As much as possible I like to know exactly what it is that makes up the cost differential, so that I can decide if I really want to support the cheaper choice. Your explanation is a little too vague for me to make that decision.

            But thanks for the discussion!

          • If I were your student in school budgeting, I suppose I'd know better, but as of now I just do not know and openly say so :)

          • Or maybe if we both run for school board… ;-)

          • "OK, so……I perused the link, and I have to say that reality has reared its ugly head… now the fraction isn't looking quite as good as earlier reports suggested. "

            The fraction is looking exactly as I suggested earlier. Here is what I said:
            "Depends on the school, of course, but for good private schools the fraction is as low as 0.5, while for homeschooling it's more like 0.15."

            And here is what you claim:
            "I found the $1800 tuition – it only applies to the third child. Granted the first child's tuition was ~$7000 and the second was ~$3750 (going from memory), so if you had three children attending, that would average out at about $4000…."

            In short, the ratio can get as low as 0.5 (actually 0.4 if you have 3 kids, 0.5 if you have 2, 0.7 if you have 1).

            The claim was accurate, and even a bit conservative. The larger point is also solid: the private schools can accomplish more with less than than the public schools. And you haven't even addressed the homeschooled option, which in my experience beats both of the above hands down.

          • My mistake on the $1800 tuition, I'm not sure why I thought you had "touted" that figure; perhaps I merged the home schooling numbers.

            And yes, your actual figures are not in dispute. I'm pointing out that from a strictly financial perspective I had initially developed a very rosy view, but after closer examination, my view is somewhat less rosy, although still basically favourable.

            Also, I don't believe that I took issue with the results side of things at all.

          • Wrt, home schooling, I didn't think that I needed to challenge that option. Just to clarify that option, if parents were just to look at things financially they would also need to look at forgone wages when considering if home schooling makes sense. Of course there are other considerations.

            Overall, for some families home schooling is absolutely the right choice, and for other families it would be the wrong choice. By way of background, of the 60 child-years of schooling that I have first hand experience with, about 6 child-years were done in the home with results that were really no better or worse than the other 54 child-years.

          • "OK, so……I perused the link, and I have to say that reality has reared its ugly head. "

            Reality never looks nearly as good as she does on television.

          • But after a few beers…

  3. I've always been a fervent supporter of education, feeling it is absolutely crucial for kids to have somewhere to go when they're not learning.

  4. My suggestion on how to fix this and many other public school problems: public funding – private or public delivery. Give me the education budget money (voucher) and I shall decide where to cash it. Let me choose between public, private of home schooling. If government requires school education – let government provide funding and run same exams for all students.
    If my child fails exam – I am prepared to pay for his retaking the course. Fair is fair.

    • Charter schools in other words. A terrific idea, but try getting that past the Ontario Teachers union.

      • Unions must die :)
        In the way unions are set up they promote laziness and low performance and lots of other sins. Unions must reinvent themselves to have any meaning in current business situation. This includes teachers.

      • Would the Ontario Teacher's union actually need to approve charter schools? Or do you mean that the union would raise a big stink?

        If it's just a big stink, other than writing Letters To The Editor and so on what could the union actually do?

        You might already know this, but Alberta has (a few) charter schools, since the mid 1990s I believe, and there doesn't seem to be too much of a fuss today. Also, I don't recall that there was too much fuss from the ATA when they were setup, although I stand ready to be corrected on that.

        • No way Ontario Teacher's union should be a part of approving a competition to themselves. Eduction is too important to be self regulated. (Same goes for medicine, but this is a different story). Teaching and education should be separated, as manufacturing and quality control.

          The only role for which teachers union actually have a right for existence is the in improving quality of public school education through an effective cooperation with public, government and teachers. This may sound general and vague, but this is exactly what unions have to do: create conditions to make teachers work better. Now, imho, union is busy with creating conditions for teachers to live better. Big difference.

          • Oh I agree that the OTU shouldn't be able to block such a move, it's just that I wasn't sure if RR was indicating that they actually could block the creation of charter schools.

            OTOH, I don't have a problem with a professional group (or any group of workers, for that matter) creating an organization that represents their interests and advocates for their members, especially to prevent workers from being exploited, wrongfully dismissed etc.

            In the right circumstances such a group could also perform the role that you mentioned – helping to improve the quality of education.

            Perhaps the problem with the current setup is that the threat of a strike or work to rule permeates all aspects of the relationship between union and board, and this should not be (and does not need to be) the case.

          • Professional representation representing interests of a group of workers against employers is fine with one simple condition: the enterprise must have a possibility to go bankrupt with all workers being unemployed in result.
            This will bring sense to union's behavior, first all, by union members themselves. As long as enterprise can not possibly go under ( = publicly funded, like transit, education, medicine, police, etc) rights of its union must be heavily restricted, this includes "no strikes".
            Alternatively, let me as a parent, sue teacher's union for services not delivered (strike, nonperformance) under a contract I have fully paid for in advance.

          • We are probably mostly in agreement here, although…

            – I'm not sure that the possibility of "enterprise bankruptcy" will guarantee more reasoned/thoughtful union response, but it does at least allow the possibility of bringing some "clarity" to a potential strike
            – I wouldn't want to ban strikes outright, but I can agree that strikes should be restricted to a very few cases, cases of gross misconduct by the employer (not sure how to define those limits)

  5. According to my daughter, it seems that whenever a substitute teacher is taking over the class, they put on a movie instead of teaching the curriculum..many time she won't even bother going to class as it is just a total waste of her time.

    • The way teacher substitution is organized allows to bring any teacher for any class at any moment. I would not expect even a highly qualified teacher to be able to perform at such conditions. This is system fault, not teacher's. Any business would have a Plan B, public schools just choose to call a substitute teacher in the evening before class.

      • Yeah, but even if the substitute is called in the evening before, it would still be very possible to come up with something interesting to do with the class instead of watching movies,no?

        Why not have some intelectual games at the ready. Divide the class in section and get on with it. The intelectual games will stimulate the kids mental capabilites as well as social capabilities. Teachers, substitutes or regulars, need to be much more creative. I believe it is the lack of creativity within that resorts to movies in the first place. The teachers themselves are bored with teaching and need a break and so the cd is pushed into that slot. Problem solved. And so the next generation of teachers will become even less creative in teaching and you can quess at what happens next time around. And so forth.

      • Don't forget just how much teacher substitution is ENCOURAGED with generous sick days and personal leave days, all thanks to collective bargaining with a monopoly provider (the teacher's union).

        One would think a system that builds so much, um, flexibility in worker attendance would have figured out how best to stick to the educational program during the numerous and inevitable absences. Well, one would think that if there was competition for customers in the marketplace.

  6. My suggestions to improve public school education is to have national exams for grade 8 and grade 12 kids. In addition, teachers have to be evaluated on a regular basis to see whether they are teaching the subjects properly by school inspectors appointed by the school board. These school inspectors have to visit regularly and put grades for teachers who teach well and who don't. That will make teachers to take responsibility of the students performance. These grades should affect their salaries in some way. Otherwise teachers aren't going to work hard. This will put the public system better than private system. Furthermore, students who are not interested in higher education should be given technical education (CEGEP type) so that they can find jobs to support them. I'm getting very frustrated with the public school education in Canada. Another thing the government should do is to have year around schooling with more short breaks like in England so that the kids have time to catchup if they fall behind rather than hanging around in the malls for the whole summer providing cheap labour for the government.

    There are very few teachers teach in high schools now. They tell the students to read the material and do the questions provided, and test them at the end. They tell them that this is how it is done in the university, therefore you all get prepared for it now by studying on your own. My question is if a student does not have basic understanding of the subject matter, how can he/she learn on their own in high school/university. Universities say that students are not prepared for university. So everyone tries to put the blame on previous institution rather than fixing it. Why not fix the problem earlier than later.

  7. The only way a movie adds to the educational value of a curriculum is if the material has been studied thouroghally first and then an appropriate movie that expands the educational value of the material is provided. No movie plays out exactly as the book version and so is not appropriate as a substitute for the written material and should never be used as such. Using movies as babysitters is no more appropriate in the classroom than it is at home. It is a time waster and a poor substitute for teaching and parenting. If the education system/educators recognize that movies are for the most part strictly for entertainment than their validity in the classroom becomes much easier to discern. Does a small portion of a movie illustrate a point?-show that-not the whole movie. Just because today's kids are used to being entertained for much of their lives does not mean that it is an appropriate or effective method of leaning. Will they expect their future bosses to entertain them when they are being trained for a job? I think not. Let's train our kids not entertain them, they deserve at least that much from our educational system.