History is expressed in different ways and through different mediums. This is also the case for the history of Martin Guerre which was a prominent personality in French history. He has numerous contributions in the building of the French world of which includes, but not exclusive to, philosophy, law, sociology and history. Martin Guerre became the subject of various historical learning materials from print to film. This paper will be using two primary sources for the comparative analysis of the two different mediums for learning history specifically the book written by Janet Lewis and the film directed by Daniel Vigne.
Before continuing the discussion of the topic of this paper, it is important to note that there are different interpretations of history that is dependent on the individuals who interpret them. Another is that the differences regarding historical accounts are also affected by the point of view. These two concepts are also present in the creation of learning materials regarding history where the gap between the written work and the visual work can be considered to be growing depending on the individuals who create them.
The difference between Print and Film based mediums of instruction Written and Film based learning materials are two very different mediums of learning history. Written forms of learning usually require more time and effort to both understand and appreciate since the times have already changed to create a society which is dominantly instant as well as visual though more information is readily available to those who take the time to learn them. Film based learning on the other hand may lose much of their meaning since creators essentially have control over the film.
The primary constraint of films are their time limitations where most films can only present information that they have evaluate to be important and leave those that they have deemed unimportant unpresented. Provided the limitation, the nature of the film industry produces material that can be easily remembered and understood as it stimulates the mind of the individual where almost all information have already been processed. The only thing that individuals who watch these movies need to do is to absorb the knowledge being presented.
These ideas will be explained in more detail in the succeeding discussions of the paper where the conclusion is an assessment as to which the writer prefers is a better medium for instruction in the historical field. Pros and Cons of Printed medium of instruction There are numerous pros to be considered when using printed materials for learning. One of them is the amount of data that can be present in printed mediums. There are usually more information that is present in printed versions of history which gives readers a more in depth understanding of the subject matter that they want to be learning.
Writers of these materials provide as much information as they can in this medium of instruction. Usually, only factual information are included in these kinds of materials which can be considered as credible and “true”. Books, journals and other written forms of communication are also more strictly scrutinized since the purpose of such material is usually for learning thus provides the individuals a more credible source of information. Another advantage of this kind of medium is that readers are encouraged to think more in order to understand the matter that is being presented.
They will be using their minds to imagine and interpret the matter which is said to develop mental capacity as well as its capabilities. Disadvantages of using the printed versions of history is that it is time consuming wherein a student would usually require large amounts of time, depending on the reader’s ability to read and absorb information that is presented in them. Also, printed materials are considered boring and more difficult to understand. This is one of the greatest obstacles to learning since students find it more difficult to be involved in the study of the subject matter if it does not spark their interest.
Printed materials also usually impose a greater mental toll in the minds of readers which makes the use of books particularly more difficult to use. Another disadvantage with the use of books is its affordability. There are many books there and many of them cost a lot of money. Books considered better than others cost more than those whose credibility are not scrutinized. This way, buyers are ensured of credibility but at the cost of making it more difficult to acquire especially for students (though libraries can be used).
Pros and Cons of Film Based learning Mediums Film based learning materials also have their own pros and cons. First to be explored is its advantages. Films are a great source of information especially if the person who made it is able to determine which information is more important than the others. Since not all information will be able to be presented using this medium of instruction, creators are already tasked with interpreting and analyzing the collection of data for those who will watch them.
In other words, films already present their own interpretation of the data available to them which leaves the individuals who will watch an already digested version. Another advantage of using films as mediums of instruction is that they usually only take up a definite duration of time usually ranging from one and a half to two hours which allows time for other activities. This means that an individual could easily understand the film during that time and if not they can easily replay the film or parts of the film that they missed or did not understand.
Films also provide its readers with a more exciting and enjoyable learning experience as films are especially made to stimulate its watchers to make messages easier to convey. Moving and dynamic characters that are viewed appeal to many more individuals since films are able to easily capture the attention of viewers, thus making them more perceptive to the lessons and messages of the film. The visual element of films also aid in the memory of students since they would be able to better remember events that had an impact to them.
The disadvantages of film based medium of instruction on the other hand are also numerous. One is that since the presented information in these films are already interpreted and analyzed, it provides students with a limited perspective of the events that had happened during those times. Films provide those who watch it a pretty distinct and straight forward interpretation of the events showcased in the film which does little for other interpretations. Also, since not all information are able to be presented in the film, there is a high chance that some important information may not be included.
The nature of films is primarily based on entertainment which means that some elements of the lessons and messages may not be given that much importance since it could be easily covered up with artistic elements. There is also a very high chance that the presentation of characters and events may be different from what had actually happened especially since films are highly subjective based on the views of their creators. The Presentation of Preference and Justification Being presented with the pros and cons of each medium, when given a chance to choose between the two to be used for academic study, two views will be taken into account.
One is in the point of view of introductory courses, those who are taking the subject as an elective or those who do not plan on taking the subject as seriously. The other point of view is regarding those who plan on taking the subject matter seriously as the focus of their education. Those who take the subject matter only as an introductory course or only as a requirement and not as a serious topic for their course will be better served by using film based medium of instruction since the purpose of which is to encourage and spark their interest for them to decide for a more serious study.
When they do decide for a more serious study, films are no longer seen as an effective tool for study since it would not be able to give them comprehensive knowledge about history. The serious study of history would require its student’s awareness of even small or minor events of a certain subject in order to facilitate better and deeper understanding. Overall, it is preferred that the serious study of history is to be conducted using printed material.
This is simply a more effective way to develop academicians in this field since it develops the necessary academic discipline and different analytical skills. Also there are more sources that are created each year than the number of movies that are being produced in line with this matter. Also, films are more focused on the artistic value of the film rather than providing a source of credible and accurate depiction of historical events which makes it unfit for being a serious resource for the academe.
The amount of information are only limited and there is very big risk of the interpretation by the film makers being wrong which would also mean that the impression and messages that they push out to the individuals may also be wrong or at the very least, inaccurate. Though, film resources are very convenient, they do not constitute nor facilitate actual academic learning and development of the necessary skills in order in the field. Comments Changing times usually also mean changing methods of learning.
There are pros and cons in each of these mediums but the best mediums are those that provide its students with quality and credible information. As of the moment, printed materials are still the ones who are able to satisfy this requirement of the academe though other sources could still be used as supplementary tools for learning. Reading printed materials is still considered the best way to learn in the academe despite its crude mediums and limitations. There is no shortcut for knowledge and information can only be truly acquired through effort, persistence and determination to learn about the subject matter.
Shortcuts would also only provide limited information which is not advisable in the academe. Perhaps in the future another medium would emerge and again provide individuals who wish to study history another kind of learning experience but until the time that they are able to reproduce the same accuracy and credibility that books provide, they would not be able to rival that of the books. Books or written accounts have been used since humans were able to formulate their own writing system. The method is still the most effective means to learn even until today perhaps because there is yet to be a method that can be used to rival it.
Courtney from Study Moose
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