Discuss the representations in the film “Coach Carter”
The Film Review Assignment
Guiding Questions and assignment outline:
Introduce the film. Why did you choose this film?
Describe the Big Picture –
What are the portrayals of the stereotypical or iconic ‘good teacher’ and ‘bad teacher’ in the film?
How is ‘school’ presented?
What is the goal of education, according to the film (what is presented, not what are the intentions of the film makers).
Do these representations match any of the socially constructed discourses listed in Part 2 below? Are these discourses interrupted in the film?
What representations emerge in the film about ‘curriculum’? Provide specific examples of scenes in the film where the teacher focuses directly on curriculum (e.g., using textbooks, taking the students out of the classroom to learn, refusing to use the mandated curriculum text or approach, subverting the mandated curriculum with ‘other’ learning).
So, can we redefine good teaching by troubling or analyzing these representations?
Can we redefine curriculum by analyzing the different spaces for teaching and learning in the film?
What do you think were the intentions of the film makers?
Did you find anything that surprised you as you completed the assignment? Will you look at these innocent respresentations differently in the future?
Some Teacher Discourses that might appear in popular culture (film, television, etc.,):
Teacher as carer (the pastoral teacher cares for students’ wellbeing and intellectual and moral development like a pastor would of their flock)
Teacher as parent (in loco parentis)
Teacher as saviour (teaching as salvation, student redemption – to enable human self and moral development, self-actualization, saving ‘problem’ students)
Teacher as disciplinarian (authority, control, punishment)
Teacher as technician/technical professional (influenced by psychology and philosophy, the first half of the 20th century the teacher uses routines to manage learning, students’ intellectual development, moral well-being and self-discipline)
Teacher as social servant (emphasis on a moral agenda in the 19th century, encouraging personal self-control and respectability, emerging from the historically feminized construction of the teacher as a ‘good woman’)
Teacher as moral leader (teacher leads students to be morally upright citizens by themselves being morally upright)
Teacher as agent of social change (the CRITICAL ?progressive teacher seeks social change, equity and access to life opportunities for all students)
Teacher as competent practitioner (teachers possess a range of specified and verifiable/measurable teaching skills)
Teacher as professional (teacher belongs to a community of self-regulating and authorized experts)
Teacher as entrepreneur (teacher seeks out their own interests, like an entrepreneur in the market place, seeks self-advancement)
Teacher as ‘font of all knowledge’ (teacher holds all the knowledge students need and shares or withholds according to the use of power, knowledge transmision)