Educational Film

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How can arts and film be used as an educational tool? Let’s look at My Better World as an example and the response from children at our schools in Warri.

Education is often viewed as a formal affair that must take place in a classroom and in the constraints of a
curriculum. While this is the formal route of education, there are so many other ways to get an education
and be educated. In this article, we will be discussing how arts and film can be used as an educational tool.
UNICEF’S Learning with Fun plan proposes making the education of children less rigid and more exciting.
This is done in a bid to soften the often imposing figure of formal education. Using arts and film is one way
that you can make education entertaining and fun for kids. Arts and Film have often been used as tools for
societal change and for education. Why should it be used as an educational tool

Arts and Film can be used as educational tools because of the following qualities.

  1. Three-Dimensional – Art and Film are three-dimensional items that offer viewers and users so
    much more to work with. Let’s look at art, for example; creating and viewing art is often a total
    body experience. You can read about art and then view the piece. Art is an excellent tool for
    education because it encourages creativity and deep understanding. The colour blue could
    represent different concepts to different people. The beauty of perceiving art lies in the various
    ways it can be interpreted. How people view a work of art is dependent on their perspective, which
    makes the experience transformative for everyone. Making art also does the same except in a
    different form. It can often be extremely hard for individuals in vulnerable communities to try out
    mediums of art because the mediums are inaccessible, or perhaps these kids do not believe they are
    capable of creating works of art. Enabling kids to explore and dabble in art is a great way to build
    up their confidence and encourage creativity. Art and Film’s three-dimensional scope of
    interpretation is a vital tool for education.
  1. A Wider Scope of Expression – Kids, especially, younger kids are often visual learners; therefore
    incorporating visual methods of learning can be very beneficial. Art and Film are both visual forms
    of art which mean they can see what they’re meant to study. Sometimes, a text can be stressful and
    confusing to understand, but movies, on the other hand, tend to carry everyone along. For children
    in vulnerable communities who might not have had access to consistent education, a re-
    introduction to education through film is often very effective. This is because movies are simple,
    lively, and often easy to follow. This will help them ease in education in a much more
    accommodating manner. Art and Film come with a wider scope of expression, which is more
    relatable than simply reading a text. This does not mean texts are to be discarded. We believe that
    texts and other visual forms can coexist in the educational sphere.
  2. Creativity – Creativity is a vital part of education. Unfortunately, it seems to be disregarded in
    most traditional school curricula. Children should be allowed to express creativity. For children
    who are coming from vulnerable communities, an art class is often their first introduction to the
    power of creativity. Creativity helps to improve the thinking skills of children and broadens their
    mindset. The goal of including arts and film in education is to provide children with a form of
    education that is relatable and accommodating. Education should not be rigid, stiff or a source of
    terror. Education is amazing because it provides knowledge, and it is important that kids have this
    perspective on education. Arts and Film encourage and spark creativity in children because they are
    more likely to be interested in these mediums.
  3. A More Approachable Method – Art and Film provide softer ways to educate children on very
    important topics. Later on, we will discuss a short-animated film, My Better Health which discusses
    extremely serious topics like poverty, child marriage, and abuse but presents them through a softer
    lens. It is important that children are well educated on these topics so they can stay out of harmful
    situations; however, it is very difficult to sit a 5-year-old down and start discussing abuse. A simple
    to understand film about these issues will help children identify these situations and understand the
    gravity of such situations.
  4. Inclusivity – Art and Film provide more inclusive spaces for all children. Some autistic children
    find it hard to understand more traditional methods of teaching, i.e. reading and writing. Providing
    them with mediums like art and film helps them feel included and also helps them learn. It is
    important that all children have access to education no matter what; however, it is also important
    to ensure education is as inclusive as possible. Art and Film is often a great way for children with
    special needs also to enjoy education.
  5. Building Relationships – Art and Film provide easy ways for children to make friends. A film
    club or an art club provides a safe environment for children to discuss films or art projects that they
    like and enjoy. It is also important to note that there doesn’t have to be an official film club. Art
    and Film tend to prompt more discussions which make it easier for people to form relationships
    based on interest. This works for children just as well. For example, My Better World has several
    characters and children who watch the film often have a favourite character. Children with the
    same favourite character can easily form a friendship that is motivated by their love for the
  6. Representation – A huge issue that is prevalent in vulnerable communities is a lack of hope and
    representation. Through art and film, children can begin to gain confidence in their abilities, and
    they can realise that there are people in the media who look just like them. It is important for
    schools to adequately research films that are relatable to their student body as this can help boost
    confidence and self-esteem.
    My Better World is an African animated show created by Impact(ed) International that follows six teens as
    they go through life. The motivation behind the series is to address serious topics and also have a good

representation of African teens in the media. Animated shows like My Better World are challenging the
status quo and producing shows about Africa that are not sensationalised or overly dramatised. It is
important that kids have shows they can relate to and characters they can relate to. Stallion Empower
Initiative had a private screening of My Better World for students in our schools in Warri.
The purpose of these screenings was to provide the children with characters

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