Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Don't Need Another Hero, pages 22-29

Chapter 3 begins with a summary of what the author believes are Hollywood's gross exaggerations of the conditions in the school portrayed in The Ron Clark Story. Michie compares that with the much more stark and, he claims, more unconventional movie, Half Nelson.

The author compares these movies to the need for change in education and the challenges faced by teachers in urban settings. He then goes into a deeper discussion of the French film The Class and the school in it have failed its children.

Then he discusses a documentary called The First Year, which looks at the needs of teachers - and the need for more teachers - to focus on the steady, personalized support given to individual students and their unique needs, resulting in "a truly humanizing education." (p. 29)

The author closes the chapter applauding those who stick with teaching, especially in urban settings, and expressing relief that some filmmakers are bucking the "feel-good film" trend of over-the-top grand-gesture heroes and instead show educators as they really are: dedicated professionals who affect change every day with small gestures that mean the world to the individual kids they help every day.

Have you ever done something that was simple and small in your eyes but meant the world to a kid? What was it, and how did it affect they way you help kids?

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