Active Learning by Utilizing a Film About a Gifted Child

Mikako Nobuhara (Nagaoka University of Technology)

In 2022, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology announced that it will support gifted students. Gifted students tend to reach an IQ of 130 or higher and often have specific talents such as prodigious memory, artistic skills, and computing power in math.

Unfortunately, schools in Japan do not offer suitable approaches that encourage the individual growth of this group of children. Therefore, acquiring sufficient knowledge about this topic and implementing the best teaching for these students are essential for teachers and future teachers.

Today, as an introduction to achieving the first step for an enhanced understanding of gifted children, I would like to propose using films is one of the most effective methods for elucidating the nature of gifted children and what their teachers should do for them.

As a potential activity, I strongly recommend “Gifted (2017),” which was launched by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The main character Frank is dedicated to raising his young niece, Mary, a gifted child. The storyline of this movie is based on family bond and love in which Frank and Mary are building their relationship through various events around them.

     This activity might be most useful at the university level. Especially for students who aim to become a teacher in elementary schools, I recommend promoting active learning as a method for consciousness-raising.

First, the teacher asks students to answer questions about the talent that people tend to possess and the meaning of “gifted.” In class, the teacher divides students into groups of three and gives them time to share comments with all group members. In the discussion, students should listen very attentively and accept their opinions. The leader then presents the group’s ideas to the class. When students work on activities in an interactive manner in the following activities, I predict that they will continue learning comfortably in the same manner.

As another activity, students will watch a certain scene selected by the teacher and a consciousness-raising activity focusing on the feelings of Mary and Fred in the scene will also help students deeply consider which decision is suitable for Mary for doing well in school. They can also determine the model teaching method for her and a suitable learning pattern for each subject. University teachers should be very careful to avoid instilling a one-sided idea about gifted children in other non-gifted students. Screenplay often includes dramatic scene in films which may not match real-life situations. Therefore, teachers need to make some adjustments when addressing similar social topics.

Through various activities in class, such as those previously mentioned, preservice teachers will be equipped to employ better approaches for gifted children. In the future, I strongly hope that more people will understand that building a better society for each person, including gifted children, is crucial for achieving a bright future, where everyone is respected. One method toward this end is the use of films.