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In a world where students and the general public are likely to access historical information from a television program, film, or even video game, it is important to equip students with the ability to view historical representation critically. In this essay we present arguments for using film to engage students in rigorous and authentic social studies pedagogy and support these arguments with data and examples from our research over the past ten years. Our goal is not to promote film as the ultimate classroom source or as a replacement for a teacher, but to highlight how effective the use of film can be in engaging students in authentic intellectual work with important content and issues. If we have learned anything from our research on using film to teach about the past, it is that it is important to have a clear purpose for selecting a film, both justifying the use of time and presenting the perspective that the teacher wants to portray

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