Martin Scorsese and George Lucas Discuss Cinema and Visual Literacy in Education
There are already plenty of universities and colleges that teach communications and film, but very few schools below that level get much further than basic art and music classes. Teaching film in schools, or at least using the language of film to help teach communications, is rarely considered in these lower-level schools. Usually if films are even shown, it’s when there’s nothing to teach, or as a break from regular classes. In the videos below (which were recorded in 2006 and 2005, respectively), Martin Scorsese and George Lucas discuss the importance of visual literacy and using the language of cinema in education.
As communication beomces more and more visual, and we consume more video than ever before in the history of mankind, it might be time to reexamine the way visual media has traditionally been used in teaching. I tend to agree with both Scorsese and Lucas about visual literacy in education. Of course it’s still important to teach basic subjects, and science and math are just as, if not more important than they’ve always been, but I think there is a considerable amount that can be learned from cinema.
I really like the way Lucas talks about using films and media in a practical sense, and not something taught strictly in the way it would in an art or film class. We are literally bombarded every single day by images and videos, from advertisements on the street, to our TV screens, to our computers, tablets, and smartphones. I think the more that people understand what these images mean and how all of this visual stimuli affects us, the better off we’ll be as a civilization. At the very least, reexamining the way we’ve been doing things for the last 50-100 years and not taking anything off the table will be a major step in the right direction.
How do you guys feel about this? Do you think visual literacy is something that should be incorporated into basic education? How do you think the language of cinema should be taught in schools? How do you feel about using film as a teaching tool?