Understanding The Use Of Feature Films To Maximize Student Learning

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Charles S. Mathews
Charles J. Fornaciari
Arthur J. Rubens


Self-Theory, Films, Classroom Learning


Feature films, old and new, have been used for many years to teach management education in general and leadership skills in particular. Films are often able to affect not only our emotional responses and perceptions of events, but they can also have an impact on our personal lives over long periods of time. Although anecdotal evidence (primarily based upon Social Learning Theory) has generally supported the use of feature films to teach management education, the paper draws upon theoretical advances in universalistic self-theory as part of cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST) as an epistemological basis for why and under what specific conditions management educators should use feature films to maximize student learning. From this reasoning, the paper proposes that management educators apply contextual self-theory as a pedagogical guide for the actual selection of films for classroom use. In addition, the paper highlights the importance of how the management educator needs to look at other factors, such as the age and cultural background of students, as important considerations for the selection and use of feature films in the classroom.


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