Using Films in Teaching

Amy W S Lee, Hong Kong Baptist University

Abstract

Petrarch, a 14th century pioneer of humanistic education, promoted the idea that to study humanities is to study the principles which make us human, and a humanistic education is the education for a moral self. As a humanities teacher, my teaching aims not only at transferring to students the knowledge of the major great works in literary, philosophical, and artistic fields, but more at inspiring students’ reflective and critical consciousness towards these great works. In the attempt to find ways of engaging the students in class, I proposed to use films to facilitate the teaching of literary masterpieces and possibly for further use in different humanities courses. After the acquisition of relevant film adaptations of literary masterpieces and the design of new in-class and take-home teaching and learning activities, I discovered that film is not only an effective tool to enliven teaching and learning of literary masterpieces, but also excellent teaching materials for a multitude of Humanities courses such as Gender Studies, Language and Humanities, and special topics in humanities. A collection of useful films for various purposes was built from the funds of this project and several very successful credit-bearing courses were commissioned by the Education Bureau and the Hong Kong Academy of Gifted Education.