Selected clips from famous movies about teaching and learning.
My Fair Lady - Pronunciation
In this scene from My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) is being taught by Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), a professional phonetics teacher, in order to develop her speech and improve her status as a lady of high class in society. We can see Eliza being taught the very basics of how to work on pronouncing words and phrases. Although regarded as a well-known phoneticist, Higgins' teaching style involves plenty of repetition, especially with a student such as Eliza. While comedic, it seems that every time that Eliza mispronounces a phrase in her "Cockney" accent, he shows his frustration as a result of her errors. Professor Higgins only seems to focus on Eliza's mistakes and doesn't acknowledge any of the progress she makes throughout their speech lessons. This seems problematic, as Eliza feels that she isn't gaining any progress through Higgins' teachings, and his slight neglectful behaviour creates a more negative atmosphere for her. Teachers can sometimes fall into this mentality of frustration towards a student and I feel that While it can be beneficial to target the basic elements of how to pronunciation clearly, Higgins is taking a more traditional pedagogical approach to teaching Eliza, which may appear to her as boring. In today's world of education, we should strive to add some creativity into the classroom and introduce a fun atmosphere for students to enjoy. Along with this, Professor Higgins is putting more stress upon himself as an educator by not taking proper care of his own being. As it says in the song, "All day long, on his feet, up and down until he's numb. Doesn't rest, doesn't eat, doesn't touch a crumb." This could make him more prone to reacting to Eliza's mistakes and frustrate him even more. I chose this scene to show the traditional pedagogical teaching-style some teachers employ in their classrooms or music studios and how the student might react to it. I feel that what we can take out of this is that we as educators should learn to create a teacher-to-student connection, and not belittle a student due to their imperfections.
School of Rock - "Classroom Leadership"
Jack Black stars in the movie School of Rock as Dewey Finn; a substitute teacher at the strict Horace Green Prep School. In this scene, we see that Dewey is integrating something unorthodox, yet creative, into the classroom. He begins to acknowledge each student for their musical talents after overhearing the students playing in their music class. Seeing that the students were raised in a disciplinary manner by their teachers, Dewey does his best to bring forth their own creativity through rock music. Educators, such as Lindsey Dawe in our last reading, can create a enjoyable atmosphere for students to enjoy by using their own creativity in their classroom. What Dewey is demonstrating here is that teachers can try experimenting with unorthodox ways of teaching so that students can enjoy learning more. Dewey's approach to teaching music is rather contrasting to what Professor Higgins would teach about pronunciation. While he could focus on teaching the elements of music with his class, Dewey instead focuses on another type of genre of music as opposed to the stereotypical classical-style behind a music class. He lets students who were restricted to one conforming type of music-making use their own creativeness to gain a better understanding of music that they can enjoy. This clip for me shows that while risk-taking is nerve-wracking for educators to try, we should work on incorporating each student's creative ideas and integrate new things to try in the classroom. (even with Dewey's over-the-top behaviour)