Transcultural perspectives in Teaching Children's Horror Films


  • Marjo Kovanen University of Tampere
  • Sirkku Kotilainen University of Tampere


transcultural, film education, children, horror, media education


Transcultural perspective has recently raised more academic attention due to the internationalization of higher education and migration all over the globe. Thus the objective of the paper is to open the discussion on film education, especially teaching children’s horror films from the transcultural perspectives through an empirical case study among university students in media education. We concentrate on students attitudes and perception on children´s horror from the perspective of film education. Our question is, how to increase the students understanding of children´s horror culture and pedagogies related to it? The paper consists of the first research results based on the course including lecturers’ research diaries, students' interviews, their film life studies and practical assignments such as films made during the two-week workshop.


The preliminary results show that the perceptions and attitudes vary a lot depending on cultural backgrounds. Students’ pre-understandings of film culture and film literacy as a pedagogical practice mostly were professional-oriented and colored with the aesthetic perception on film. The most visible impact of the course was the minds-opening for wider understanding of film as education and uses of film in teaching. Taking up the aspects of children´s horror in the course was surprising, even irrelevant to students: they didn´t expect this kind of perspective at all. As a result the course was able to create open, safe spaces for reflection and changing students’ mindsets. Based on the results, situated approaches to film education is suggested to reinforce multiliteracy model with creation of safe space for discussion and supplementing emotional skills.




How to Cite

Kovanen, M., & Kotilainen, S. (2018). Transcultural perspectives in Teaching Children’s Horror Films. Seminar.Net, 14(1), 31–42. Retrieved from