There is an increasing tendency for educators to use films and documentaries creatively as educational tools, to enhance teaching effectiveness. Films have been broadly used in many disciplines, such as in Education, Sociology, Psychology, Counselling, English, Science, Nursing and Communication.
Some of the proponents of using films as a pedagogical tool argue that they assist in capturing students’ attention, providing the opportunity to students to study a scene repeatedly, in order to make an in-depth analysis of an issue at hand. As a literacy practice, films can be used to help students to develop their academic writing skills. Film viewing can be used as an inclusive learning activity, because it ensures that students with diverse cultural and other background have a common denominator (e.g., the story in the film). Additionally, films provide a multisensory engagement and can stir emotions in the audience. Films can also promote perspective-taking skills, as viewers are often encouraged to understand different characters vantage points.
Films and documentaries can expose students to gender and racial prejudice and injustices, alert them on social justice issues and create the conditions for a more empathetic view of such concerns. The use of technology is widespread nowadays and educators are often expected to use popular culture and films to make learning more interactive for students.