|I am so shocked by all of this tv in school! Is this normal for many public schools?
It's certainly not unusual, but it doesn't happen in every school. When I was in elementary school (1980s) each grade had a two-hour period per week when they would watch films one after another; these were "educational" films, e.g. singing cartoons about safety rules, food groups, etc., and "the excitement of drilling in the North Sea" produced by local petroleum co., but they rarely presented material we hadn't covered in class, and we saw most of the films at least twice a year each. In jr high we watched only a few films per year. But then the schools got a grant and bought a bunch of video systems, and suddenly we were watching a lot of feature films and taped TV, much of it only tangentially related to the curriculum. 20 hours of my Advanced Placement English Literature class were spent watching film versions of all the books we read in class, plus several that we didn't read, plus Monty Python and the Holy Grail
. My biology teacher showed Faces of Death
for no apparent reason. Etc.
But when I described this to my peers in college, many of them found it shocking and weird. They hadn't seen nearly so many films or videos in their schools--and many of them went to schools that in other ways wouldn't be considered any better than mine. So it definitely varies.
I'm less attuned to what goes on in schools now, but when my Girl Scouts talk about school they rarely mention videos.