Cinemas are platforms for the display of performing arts. Films are powerful tools for education. They are a potential source of education mixed with entertainment, though they have not been used in education as frequently or substantially as they need to be. This can be traced to a generally widespread misconception among people in general and the academicians in particular that education and entertainment are two distinct areas.

This misconception is also the reason why performing arts are primarily limited to romantic literature and fiction films. Increased exposure of students to cinemas can bring a revolutionary change in the state of the art educational practices, and the change will happen for the better. Not only will it increase students’ interest in education and improve their tendency to acquire knowledge, but it will also serve as a motivation for the directors and producers to create movies that have increased educational significance.

Weaknesses in the Present Education System

There are many reasons why students approach their studies as a burden. The most significant reason of all is that the instructional format has been designed in a way that makes education look boring. The traditional book and pen format does not coincide with the self-chosen way of education by young people nowadays.

A review of the routine life of most students reveals that most of their time is spent in front of some screen – laptops or smartphones. They don’t just use these gadgets for making presentations and assignments or making calls; they use them as their prime source of information and education. The minimal integration of modern technology in the traditional educational setup creates a clash between students’ needs and expectations and what they find in schools. As a result, they can’t relate to the current system of education, and their tendency to learn is impeded.

The standard classroom setup for education has failed to keep pace with the demands of the changing times. While the importance of a setup where students are guided by one instructor who is responsible for conveying and teaching the concepts in students cannot be underestimated, there is an equal need of adapting that setup to the requirements of the changing times. Most importantly, students need to see things firsthand to build solid concepts, and the best way to achieve that is the development of models and storytelling.

The Potential of Cinemas to Improve Education

Owing to the underestimation of cinema as a platform for the propagation of education by the academicians, cinemas have mostly been limited to extending non-educational entertainment to the audience. While schools need to orient the curriculum around cinema, there is an equal need for the film-makers to produce quality educational content. This can be achieved with mutual collaboration between academicians, film directors and producers, and story writers.

Let’s take a subject or field of science, for example – Civil Engineering. A student studies a lot of courses about the design and analysis of structures. The program curriculum also includes many case studies so that students can learn from the mistakes of past constructors and builders. But since the instructional format is primarily paper-based, not many students remain successful in retaining their interest and engagement in the content enough to develop solid concepts.

The quality of education can be enhanced manifolds by showing students models of such case studies in movies. The same students who find reading books boring can be introduced to a new and unique way of education through films. There are also many other benefits associated with this change of instructional format. Some of them include:

Change of environment of instruction that boosts students’ interest in studies.
Increased opportunities for collaboration with each other and of clarifying concepts through questions and answers among students and between students and teachers.
The blurred division between education and entertainment, so that both mediums can be integrated better for optimal results and visual learning.

How to Improve Movies’ Content for their Best Educational Significance

Considering the example of the Civil Engineering program, an essay writer can be hired to write a script for storytelling based on the case studies in the program curriculum. It is important for the writer to be well-versed with the core Civil Engineering concepts, so one of the bright and well-performing students with good writing skills can be assigned this task. Students can even be encouraged to perform in the movies, and the films can be funded by the research and development departments of the concerned colleges and universities.