Generally, the only times students in my classes watch full movies are the few times I’m absent (though we’ll often watch short clips), and when I’m not there it usually relates to a school-related meeting.
All of the English teachers at our school spend four days each year — two near the beginning and two near the end — to review writing assessments all students in our school do twice a year (you can read all about that process at a previous post). Two of those days are coming-up and, since substitute teachers aren’t allowed to supervise computer use, I’m going to have my IB Theory of Knowledge class students watch a movie.
They’ll be watching “Inception” (you can download the hand-out they need to complete while watching it).
It also got me wondering about other movies that might be useful for TOK classes, too.
I have my students watch The Matrix as part of a lesson on Plato’s Allegory of The Cave, and you can see that lesson here.
I did a quick online search, and found three sites that offered other good suggestions:
Theory of Knowledge Filmography
Video: Wow, It Looks Like Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Movie Will Be Perfect For IB TOK Classes!
Video Trailer: “The Stanford Prison Experiment”
If you are a Theory of Knowledge teachers, this Facebook post sharing good movies for class is great.
What are your suggestions?
I like ‘Memento’ the whole notion of unravelling a story backwards is great angle for looking at logical deduction and what happens if any of the ‘truths’ along the way are called in to question.
Also like ‘The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind’ on the role memory plays in our lives.
Both great movies with lots to think and talk about in a ToK class. Maybe we could crowd source a list…….
Thanks for the links
Momento: Great one!! It’s one of my favs and what a great use for the classroom!!
My wife teaches TOK and was asking just this. She has used “The Truman Show”, but it has disappeared from Netflix. I suggested “The Stuntman” (1980), where Peter O’Toole plays a movie director with delusions of godhood. A hapless young guy on the run stumbles onto his set and gets recruited as a stuntman. He’s never quite sure whether O’Toole wants to kill him or not, or whether the leading lady cares for him or not, or sure of anything else for that matter. Nor is he quite what he seems either! A lot of fun, and an overlooked classic.
In a Better World
My Name is Khan
The Story of Weeping Camel
Like Father Like Son
Why we Fight
The Live of Others
Fog of War
The Constant Gardener
Dirty Pretty Things
Turtles Can Fly
Color of Paradise
The First Grader
The Shock Doctrine
7 UP doc series
The Girl in the Cafe
Born into Brothels
Jame’s Journey to Jerusalem
Caterina in the City
Tree of Life
Right before Winter Break this year I showed “Elf” to my students. The vast majority of the comedy in the film focuses on Buddy the elf trying to make sense of this foreign metropolitan world he finds himself in. I give my students a handout with the 8 ways of knowing and ask them to identify knowledge claims and categorize them under the primary Way of Knowing that allows the particular claim to be made. A follow up could be to have them concoct knowledge questions from the various claims.
I always show “Pi: the Movie” in the math unit (not “life of pi”) to good effect. Its very short but look up anime “Cat Soup”. A Beautiful Mind, Donnie Darko, and documentary on Andy Goldsworthy in aesthetics unit, “Rivers and Tides” have also been used to good effect (I hope).
Are there any movies specifically about Sense Perception?
I know the Matrix would be good, but I am thinking of other movies students may not have seen.
Can’t think of any right now….
I did The Matrix a few weeks ago. I was worried too many students would have seen it and it would not be terribly effective. Boy was I wrong. Only a very few had even heard of it! Those few who had seen the whole trilogy posed interesting questions that stemmed from the sequels.
You can check out ‘Vantage Point’ – a great place to discuss perception.
I always show my students the old version of “Twelve Angry Men”
I have a various times shown….
What the “Bleep” Do We Know
lots of TED Videos esp. The Lucifer Effect