I appreciated your scenario and after reading it, so many views overwhelmed my mind and I would like to share a few of my views with you. While many teachers utilize various teaching methods in their classrooms, one tool that many teachers utilize, no matter the subject, is a movie just as the teacher did in your scenario. A movie may allow a student to see how a diamond is designed or feel the suffering of a soldier at war. Hence, movies can be an imperative teaching tool for the classroom. Thomas Edison once said, “I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years, it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of books.” (Marcus & Stoddard, 2007, p. 317; Nielsen, 2011, p. 43). Even though Edison overestimated the power of the motion picture, movies continue to be an influential capacity of the classroom.
This is an essential topic to explore for the reason that movies are not going to be disappearing from the classroom and can be fundamental to a student’s learning encounter, if used correctly. While deciding on what movie to use in the classroom, the teacher must also consider, language of the film, age of the audience, and consistency with the values that are promoted in the home and degree of violence (D’sa, 2005, p. 11). In this scenario, the teacher denied showing an R rated movies, but parents continued to complain and when the principal arrived unexpectedly in the class, an inappropriate movie was playing. Therefore, this clearly indicates that the teacher didn’t apply good professional judgment.
Consider this. It is apparent that an R rating means no one under age 17 is allowed to view the movie in a cinema without being accompanied by an adult, so why would a teacher show this type of movie in a class setting? When it comes to showing movies in the classrooms, many teachers do their best to keep their selections secure. They do this for the protection of the students and to avoid getting complaints from parents like the complaints that came from parents in your scenario. When principals visit a teacher’s class, they want to see that a movie does more than add to students’ media saturation. Principals do not want to observe teachers using movies for non-educational purposes, such as to calm disruptive students or provide a class with a Friday evening indulgence. Was this a potential reason that the teacher showed the R rated movie? Whatever the circumstance, as a new teacher, he/she should always check his/hers districts’ policies on showing movies, or obtain written permission from parents or guardians.
Teachers deliberate on issues such as what kind of movies to show the students; for example, a historical fiction, a drama, or a documentary. In this scenario, the teacher was showing an R rating historical movie to the students. Since social science teachers are using increasing amounts of features and documentary films on a weekly or even daily basis (Marcus & Stoddard, 2007; Stoddard, 2009, p. 407), it is important to understand these specific teachers’ perspectives when they use movies, which are accepted when approval is confirmed. For example, reading a textbook chapter on World War II followed by Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl puts the Holocaust in a historical context and helps students relate to the author’s personal nightmare.
Even though students enjoy watching movies, the movies must be efficiently integrated into the teacher’s instructions (Nielsen 2011; D’Sa 2005). When the principal visited the class, apparently the teacher’s movie was not integrated into instructions. The lesson plans would have confirmed what the teacher was teaching. However, it could not be confirmed since the teacher did not post the lesson plans. Do you think the teacher refused to post the lesson plans since movies would be shown frequently?
The principal took the correct action against the teacher. As teachers, we are required to protect students’ physical and mental health. Parents should be able to raise their children in a practice they see appropriate. To whatever degree reasonably possible, this should extend into the school systems. I am not saying that teachers can’t show R rated movies, I am only saying that before teachers do, they need to get some type of permission. In your scenario, the teacher did not do so and as a result, problems occurred. My district takes measures and before teachers can show any movies, the movies must be approved.