A Study of Teaching Film Appreciation and its Effects by a Junior High School Teacher

  • Fu-Ju Yang Kainan University, Taiwan
Keywords: Film Appreciation, Appreciation Education, Junior High School, Art Teacher


In today’s world, where we are constantly surrounded by visual images of all kinds, students need the ability to appreciate and interpret images if they are to be able to function properly in contemporary society. After failing to find a suitable model in the literature, the researcher had previously developed, through teaching practice, a model and strategies for teaching film appreciation at university level; this model and the supporting strategies were brought to a junior high school located in Taipei City, Taiwan, where the researcher worked together with the school’s art teachers to jointly implement action research and develop a model and strategies suitable for the teaching of film appreciation to junior high school students, and to evaluate the results achieved through the application of this teaching model. The present study therefore had two objectives: (1) To develop a teaching model and teaching strategies appropriate for the teaching of film appreciation at the junior high school level, and to explore the factors affecting film appreciation teaching at this level; (2) To analyze the learning outcomes of students who had been taught film appreciation using this model.

The study makes use of in-class observations, interviews, documentary analysis (including analysis of reflective journals, learning sheets, and feedback form), etc., to collect data and analyze the teachings of the art teachers involved in the case study. The study found that the film appreciation teaching model helped the students transition from simply enjoying the films to being able to appreciate them by simplifying the process into three “layers” at the junior high school level: getting students to describe the content of the film on the basis of their immediate response to it, analysis of form, and evaluation and reflection by the viewer. A wide range of teaching strategies were employed, including asking students questions, getting students to provide examples, encouraging students to make comparisons, use of still images, discussion, etc.; this utilization of diversified teaching strategies helped to enrich the teaching and make the classes more accessible and enjoyable for students. Unfortunately, the overall quality of the teaching was negatively affected by disruption caused by other school activities, and by the teacher’s lack of specialist expertise in this area. Nevertheless, the students who had been taught using this film appreciation education model were able to: describe film plots (in terms of how the film begins, develops and ends);  explain the meaning of a film’s main theme-although it will require designing further teaching strategies for them to provide in-depth explanation of the film’s meaning, and their ability to make formal analysis depended on the teachers’ specialist knowledge; perform a rough analysis of the major formal aspects of a film; and put forward their own views on a film. Reflecting on the films that they had seen encouraged the students to change their own ways of thinking and behavior; the students enjoyed learning from the films, and felt that this approach to learning was a valuable one.

Mind map for art appreciation at the junior high school level