Teacher of the future will be expert with camera and moving picture machine
by Herbert Quick
Ten thousand school children at Saginaw, Michigan were recently given their first treat at the free municipal moving picture shows. The future of the moving picture lies not in amusement, but in education; not in the five cent theaters, but in the schoolhouses.
Why should children be forced to read about the landscapes, the people, the cities, the industries, the hab its and customs of the world in big, heavy books of geography, when they can actually see the things themselves in moving pictures. Why study the geography books, when they may write their own geography lessons as exercises in English after having seen cotton-picking in the South, tiger-hunting in India, freight handling in Liverpool or Hamburg, Japanese flower festival in Tokyo, or a safari in Rhodesia?
Why pore over books which tell of the development of a seed to a mature plant, when the whole thing can be displayed before the eye and written out as a test of interest and memory? Why submit to examination’s on the topography of the Battle of Gettysburg or Waterloo, when the picture machine will print it upon the memory in a minute?
The moving picture is the greatest educational discovery ever made. It has not yet been more than ten percent discovered. School houses must be built for the movies, so as to save the time of teachers and pupils. Drudgery in school must be relegated to such things as are necessarily hard.
Insofar as science, technical operations, domestic economy, etiquette, architecture, farming, orchardry, and in short, all human activities can be shown in pictures, they will be so shown to the coming generations of learners. Things will be better taught so.
Education will be made what it should be, a pleasure. The school boards will devote huge sums of money to the establishment of circulating libraries of moving picture films, and the teachers of the future will be as expert in the management of the camera as they now are with chalk and blackboard, and as their predecessors were with the birch. Progress in education will be marked by the transition from ferule, ruler and rod, to screen and vitagraph.
Progressive school boards must prepare to follow Saginaw, and surpass her.
Movie still shown is from The Squaw Man (1914) by Cecil B DeMille