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Pedagogical film

How do films contribute to a child's education?
Can a film without pedagogical content be educational?

The educational objectives of a film. Use in the classroom

Deciding why and how to use a film with pupils is the first step in choosing a film for children.
Introduce children to image techniques? Stimulate artistic sensitivity? Enrich a subject studied at school?
Find out also how to find quality short films and the selection criteria for educational films.
See our ranking of the best films for children.

What is a pedagogical film?

First of all, documentary films, but also fiction films, can be very instructive because of their informative content. They allow children to discover new worlds or to take a new look at what they already know.

In documentary films, whether about animals, the earth, history, geography, science, music, colours, there are many very good educational films online.

Film pédogogique, comment enseigner la géographie aux enfants © CalArts. Short film for children by Seth Boyden : An Object at Rest.

If you, as a parent or teacher, are looking for a free educational film, an original educational film, you will find many clever little films for children on the Francetv education website.

A new look at what we know

A quality documentary or pedagogical film can raise awareness among young people about subjects that are difficult to discuss in class with pupils. How can we make children aware of racism and discrimination? How to talk about disability?

In this context, pedagogical films allow difficult messages to be conveyed in an indirect and entertaining way.

Jeux éducatifs sur le thème des personnes handicapées à l'école © Olivier Defaye. Educational toys on disability.

A film can also be used to introduce children to the techniques of images and sounds, but we most often hear about films and pedagogy in terms of analysis because a film can be an excellent teaching aid and allow a child to learn while having fun to analyse the elements of a film, the themes, the stories, the characters, the narrative techniques.

Building an educational film environment

There are also many very interesting free educational dossiers and materials to support teachers in the use of cinema in the classroom, in schools. The analysis of films is fascinating. However, we do not seek to analyse films from this angle.

Film pour stimuler la créativité des enfants © ONF. Boogie-Doodle by Norman McLaren, 1941.

What we are interested in with our selection of films for children is to bring together a number of poetic and original films whose quality and diversity will constitute an educational environment and a pedagogical tool at the service of teachers and parents. How can a set of films contribute to the education of a child?

How can a set of films contribute to the education of a child?

Each film allows children to see our world through the eyes of another, those of the director. The diversity of films, themes, messages and visual universes is important for education because it allows children to develop their own tastes.

education par le cinéma © Films pour enfants. Public screening of children's films

As with books, painting or music, films stimulate children's artistic sensibility and give them the desire to invent and experiment, but films also allow children, from an early age, to have a personal opinion, to know what they like or dislike.

A child, during the different stages of its intellectual development, the phases of distinguishing between the external world and its imagination, constructs its own vision of the world through its real experience with things but also through all the scientific and artistic representations of these things.

Seeing our world through the eyes of another

Thus, later on, impregnated with the vision, the style of different authors, he will perhaps also want to create his own representation, or simply to have his own vision of the world.

Films stimulate children's artistic sensibilities

It is when you meet children in a kindergarten class that you realise how different each child is. And yet, adults tend to look the same. Today, the supremacy of feature films (a very restrictive format), the scripted and visual uniformity of blockbusters, and the stereotypes of the hero, do not allow children to discover different worlds. It would be a shame not to introduce them to other musical genres from an early age.

Which films are most appropriate for a child's education?

Short films are very appropriate for children under 6 years of age because they capture the attention of children. The varied, original and far from stereotypical world of short films encourages the child's sense of wonder and accompanies them in their artistic and cultural education.

Films that address topics that children are studying in class are also great educational materials; they provide a different perspective and offer teachers a new tool to enrich lessons.

Film approprié à l'éducation d'un enfant © Cube Creative. Short film by Nicolas Deveaux : 5 mètres 80.

The integration and use of films in schools stimulate the imagination and artistic sensitivity of young children.

Films accompany the child in his education

They invite the practice of other forms of visual and plastic expression such as drawing, modelling or dance and contribute to artistic practices in the classroom, but they can also be used in other areas of learning such as civic and moral education and the discovery of the living world. They also contribute to artistic practices in the classroom, but they can also be used to support other areas of learning, such as civic and moral education and the discovery of the living world.

In this sense, we have created thematic programmes of short films for kindergartens but also themed programmes of animated films for schoolchildren in general, such as dance, music, but also ecology, the forest, water.
Contact us

Do you want to give your opinion on the topic "educational film"? Have you recently discovered an original educational film for kindergarten children? Do you know of other free online resources or educational materials? Are you a documentary filmmaker who wants to present an educational animation, a free educational film? Are you a school teacher with children under 6 years old? Help us to find educational films online, to build up educational programmes of animated films for schools.
UNESCO French Ministry of National Education