The pedagogy of the clip

The role of the teacher in any learning process is central, and film education is no different. In the previous step we looked at some principles for choosing films to watch and study in the classroom. In this step we consider the specific role of film extracts - as part of analysis, practice, or general viewing and conversation about film - and how to choose them.

The Pedagogy
Alain Bergala

The French writer, critic, and teacher Alain Bergala is an important figure in European film education. For many years he has been creating programmes and projects, training teachers, and thinking about what it means to teach and learn about film (or ‘cinema’, as you will find many French educators refer to film).

Bergala’s book ‘L’Hypothese Cinema/ The Cinema Hypothesis’ has been influential internationally since it was first published in 2002 (and in English in 2017). In the video at the start of this step, he speaks for 6 minutes about the process of choosing extracts in film education. The context is the launch of The Cinema Hypothesis at BFI in London in February 2017, in which Bergala talked about the origins of the book, his career in film education, and his general approach to bringing film into the classroom.What makes film education a discreet and unique subject?

Download the transcript of the text of Bergala’s talk here.


Watch the extract below and think about how, when, and why you might use film extracts in your teaching.

Also consider the following questions and record your thoughts in the Notepad below.

  • Do you have a particular preferred approach?
  • Do you set up tasks around your clip choices, or leave discussion open-ended?
  • Do you always choose clips yourself, or do you encourage your students to choose as well?

You can watch footage of the whole Cinema Hypothesis event here but you will need to scroll through the set-up period to find the speaker presentations.

You have now completed this section. What were the ideas and issues that were new to you? Did you disagree with anything that you read?

My Notepad

Use this notepad feature to write down answers and your thoughts to questions posed throughout this resource.

Open Notepad

Use the Tag option to insert the name of this section as a reference before typing your notes.

You can Copy, Download or Email yourself these notes for future reference.