Using Science Fiction Movie Scenes to Support Critical Analysis of Scienceby: Alan Kafka and Michael Barnett

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This article discusses the pedagogical advantages and challenges of using science-fiction movies and television shows in an introductory science class for elementary teachers. Two instructional episodes are described in which scenes from the movies Red Planet and The Core are used to engage students in critiquing science as presented in the films.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:38 PM

I have been correlating a lot of my curriculum to novels, and was looking for something else to add in that students would appreciate. This article showed the value of movies, specifically science fiction movies, in illustrating examples and nonexamples of science.

Erik  (Bountiful, UT)
Erik (Bountiful, UT)

  • on Thu May 10, 2012 2:46 PM

This was a great article on ways to use movie clips and scenes in the science classroom. Many of my students believe that if they see something on TV or in movies, that it is real. The activities and videos mentioned in this article really show that you can effectively bring these scenes into the classrrom and find what is science fact and what is science fiction.

Erik  (Bountiful, UT)
Erik (Bountiful, UT)

  • on Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:51 PM

While it is written as a research article - the research noted provides worrying facts - things most teachers know but don't talk about a lot - that students have a tendency to believe any science a movies shows them, even if they think it might be wrong. The authors then describe the beliefs their college students had about science shown in video clips from two specific films and how they dealt with misconceptions that were caused by the films. Personally, I think college is a little late to begin teaching students to be critical of popular movies and television programs. And the new ELA Core Standards has a section that mentions helping students to learn how to evaluate media information that this type of lesson ties into. However, this article provided research that confirms my suspicions that can be used to explain to administrators and parents why showing these clips has meaning in my science class.

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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