Since when has it become acceptable for a teacher to outsource teaching to Hollywood?
Hayley comes home from school quite often saying "We're watching a movie in (some class of hers)." This past week it was the movie "Volcano" for science. I also seem to remember her watching "Dante's Peak" in science too. I asked her what she was supposed to be learning by watching "Volcano" and her response was "how the movie is wrong about volcanoes."
Forehead smack. On the teacher's forehead. Now don't get me wrong, I know teachers have a difficult time teaching these days, especially given that many kids come to school with a chips solidly planted on their shoulders, and with attitudes of "you'd better entertain me or I'm not going to listen." But surely there is a way to teach what a volcano is or isn't that doesn't involve three or four class periods of students staring at a movie screen.
I also question the time spent--2 hours--to teach two things that Hollywood got wrong about volcanos. Surely that could be taken care of in a matter of minutes.
Jim and I just watched "2012" and I cringe to think of that ever being
used to teach the science of solar flares. There was very little in the
way of useful information about solar flares, and quite a bit of
information on how to be a crazy person in Yellowstone, and much time
was spent on showing that anyone who has a pilot's license can fly any
kind of plane including a ginormous Russian transport airship, and in
any condition, including the collapse of the Western seaboard. And there
was a person ground up in giant gears that I could have done without
seeing. Plus there were numerous scenes of people outrunning
explosions, which annoys me to no end. People canNOT outrun explosions,
they cannot outdrive them, or even outfly them.
I don't mind if they watch episodes of "Planet Earth", "Bill Nye the Science Guy", any National Geographic special, Mythbusters (which Paul says they've watched in Physics) or even shows like "Hoarders" (which Paul says they've watched in Abnormal Psych class), or Masterpiece Theater for some of the Lit classics, but I am not at all in favor of Hollywood teaching science, relationships, English, literature classics, or even history (because they seem to add a lot of fiction in with their history, and most of the time, it's history from a certain perspective). It seems like a lot of class time wasted on an easy out for the teachers. And Hollywood teaching science? It's all sensationalism and questionable science. I'd rather the kids go outside and pick dandelions or sift dirt through their fingers.
I have also heard my kids tell me that they watched Disney movies in Spanish. Either in English with Spanish subtitles (in that case, are they really paying attention to the subtitles?) or in Spanish with English subtitles (which doesn't seem the most efficient way of learning Spanish).
Jenni, I would be interested in your perspective on this. I know you have done movies in class. Tell me your take on this.
I ought to write down all the times my kids watch movies in class (that they tell me) just to see how often it's happening. Once in a while I guess as a treat it would be ok, but I've heard reports of movie watching way more than I thought was necessary.