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Film education in India is approached in much the same way that school education is conducted. Blackboard, talking teacher and hopefully listening students. Seldom is a demonstrative approach taken.
This is a result of the trainers themselves having internalized, not just the teachings but the system of teaching as well. Concepts are taken for granted and never examined or reconsidered. Take for example the Kuleshov effect. It is a simple experiment to show the power of editing. How different arrangement of shots can give different meanings to the whole. It goes like this. Three shots, one of a bowl of soup, two of a man once happy then sad. Now if these are arranged as happy face, soup bowl, sad face, then it means one thing. If arranged sad face, soup bowl, happy face, it means quite another. This experiment is told to the student, rarely shown and never performed. It is pure theory that it works.
The point is that education in a subject like film that is firmly planted in visual arts should be demonstrative to the point of illustration. See for yourself >
Which means that every little or big piece of information should be shown in real, not talk, be it technical like bending of light rays or human, like handling a tricky situation.
It is well understood in the realms of education that the grasp of a subject by the student increases with interaction and visual and audio aids.
A students grasp through different inputs.
Demonstrative, interactive, self discovering 100%
Blackboard 10 %
The trouble with blackboard teaching is that it is top heavy. A knowledgeable person passes predefined truths to a less knowledgeable person, namely the student. The students then has to retain these borrowed truths and make them their own. In the process, most is forgotten.
When the process of learning becomes a process of discovery, where the teacher guides you to the problems and the student discovers the solution, then the discovery becomes the student’s truth never to be forgotten. It is in the nature of discoveries. The teacher here has to carve a coherent path that plots each link in such a way that the whole text book is visited and internalized without ever opening it. This way there are as many understandings of the subject as the students, yet each student has a clear picture of the subject.
This is the principle that we adopt in our approach to teaching.
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