European movies in teaching and learning Mathematics – Part 1



How and in what ways can we use media and ICT as educational tools? We are living in a media-saturated world, from television to movies, the Internet, music, magazines, video games and more. Technological advances in the digital realm have broadened access to programs from a variety of platforms, allowing youth to multitask with their media. Many media sources (feature films, music videos, visualizations, news stories) have very high production quality capable of showcasing complex ideas and mathematical conceptions in a short period of time. Media is a powerful tool, and by connecting students’ love of movies, we could cultivate positive attitudes to mathematics and expanding students’ learning and Knowledge. Film stories can be used to connect mathematic theories taught in the classroom with real world events and policies. Teaching is in a traditional way, would be boring, instead of teaching with films would be more interesting while the students delighted. Effective learning mathematics must begin from direct experience or experience in the concrete and toward a more abstract experience. Films offer important opportunities to enhance the quality of education at many levels. Media based resources can be used across the curriculum to illustrate and promote engagement amongst students but are often poorly taken up. Following and supporting innovative teaching practices using media, this paper presents how can we use European cinema in teaching and learning Mathematics as example of Erasmus+ KA2 project titled “Cinemathpararadise”.

Theoretical framework

Media can be used in almost any discipline to enhance learning, both in class, and also for out-of-class assignments. Short film and television clips, written articles, and blog postings can be viewed to reinforce concepts and spark discussion. Songs and music videos, especially when the lyrics are made available, can be used to the same effect. Movies provide an excellent vehicle for educational purposes.

Literature shows that teaching with movies has been adopted in a variety of subjects (Smithikrai, 2016). Movies can be a powerful tool for illustrating course content, promoting a visualization of concepts and theory, increasing student involvement, and promoting critical thinking and analytical skills (Casper, Watt, Schleicher, Champoux, Bachiochi, & Bordeaux, 2003, cited: Smithikrai, 2016). A significant benefit of movies is that they offer both affective and cognitive experiences. Research found that individuals learn new, novel, and abstract concepts more easily when presented in both verbal and visual form (Salomon, 1979). It is also found that visual media make concepts more accessible to individuals than text media and help with later recall (Cowen, 1984). In Willingham’s (2009) research he asks a simple question to make his point, “Why do students remember everything that’s on television and forget what we lecture?” – because visual media helps students retain concepts and ideas. Bransford, Browning, and Cocking (1999, p 194) also note the crucial role that technology plays for creating learning environments that extend the possibilities of one-way communication media, such as movies, documentaries, television shows and music into new areas that require interactive learning like visualizations and student-created content. According to Jensen (1997), interactive abstract learning that includes the use of various media, such as CD-ROMs, the Internet, distance learning, or virtual reality, utilizes the categorical memory and requires little intrinsic motivation.

As written to blog’s Ndish Oke ( with the media uses in teaching and learning activities to teach the students, in the delivery of the subjects became more standardized. Each student who saw or heard the presentation through the media receive the same message, even though the teacher to interpret the contents of the lesson with different ways, with a range of media use that interpretation results can be reduced so that the same information can be conveyed to students as a foundation for assessment, training, and further applications. Teaching is more interesting, because the clarity and message, appeal an arbitrary image can lead students to analyze and think, all of which indicate that the media has the aspects of motivation and increase student interest in learning. During the progress of teaching and learning activities, learning more interactive and interesting, because time teaching requires only a short time in delivering the lesson content of the messages in sufficient quantity and students can absorb many contents in an optimal learning. With the use of teaching media in teaching and learning activities on students, tasks and roles of teachers towards a more positive change. That means loads of teachers to explain the repeated lessons about the content can be reduced and even eliminated so that teachers can concentrate on other important aspects in teaching and learning.

In general, the advantages of Media for Students:

  • Popular media (films, music, YouTube) are a familiar medium to students that helps gain attention and maintain student interest in the theories and concepts under discussion. Students can see the theories and concepts in action. In more than a figurative sense, theories and concepts leap from the screen.
  • Students can hone their analytical skills by analyzing media using the theories and concepts they are studying.
  • The use of media in the classroom enables students to see concepts and new examples when they are watching television, listening to music, or are at the movies with friends.
  • Students can experience worlds beyond their own, especially if the media is sharply different from their local environment.

(*The third and last part of the “European movies in teaching and learning Mathematics” will be available on the next Scientix post! Check it out!)

Article written by: Argyri Panagiota, STEM teacher, Greece

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