Many teachers of grade schools and universities use movies and videos to aid them in their lessons.
According to The Denver Post, Disney announced Feb. 12 it will donate the recently released movie “Lincoln” to every middle and high school in the U.S.
Halen Watkins, a Texas Tech history professor, said he sees how doing this will be a positive thing.
“It seems like a daunting task for them to try and do,” Watkins said. “But if they can actually pull it off, I think it could be very beneficial.”
Steven Spielberg, the director of the film, had received many letters from teachers asking for permission to use the film for their class, according to The Denver Post.
“Of course, there may be some teachers who won’t want to use it, but that’s their choice,” Watkins said. “But using a popular film could help draw an interest with the students.”
Some teachers and administrators also may be skeptical about using the film because it is not completely accurate, Watkins said.
Rob Weiner, an associate humanities librarian, said he thinks the film could still be useful even though it’s not completely correct.
“Even though it may not be 100 percent accurate, I think it could still be useful in the classroom setting,” he said. “Instructors could use the film as a starting point for discussions.”
In general, having students watch a film that isn’t completely correct could still be a good thing, Weiner said.
“They could discuss how films often take liberties when portraying historical events and the concept of accuracy,” he said.
According to The Denver Post, Participant Media, DreamWorks Pictures and Fox will fund the donations.
“I think the performances are terrific,” Weiner said. “It was almost as though Daniel Day Lewis was channeling the spirit of Lincoln when he played him.”
Disney plans to start the donation process as soon as the movie becomes available on DVD, according to The Denver Post.
Janet DeMoore, a sophomore English major from Littlefield, said she thought the movie was very interesting and is interested to see how this plan unfolds.
“I think if Disney actually goes through with it and doesn’t chicken out, it could be a really good thing,” she said. “It might make kids actually interested to learn if they get to watch a recently released movie at the same time.”
When Disney releases the film, a learning curriculum also might be included for the teachers to follow, according to The Denver Post.
“I almost wish this had happened when I was in school,” DeMoore said. “I feel like I would have been a lot more willing to learn if they had done something like this at my middle or high school.”
According to The Denver Post, there are approximately 37,100 high schools to which Disney will donate the movie, and the number of middle schools is still unknown.
“When it comes down to it, it is still a partially made-up movie they are watching,” Watkins said. “But when thinking in the way of making positives outweigh negatives, I think they definitely do in this case.”