Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nickleby Meets Hollywood

On Eduwonk, a posting calling Coach Carter the first post No Child Left Behind (NCLB, Nickleby, unfunded mandate, you choose) movie.

Hollywood usually goes for the simple, stirring narrative structure in its "ed" movies: Think To Sir With Love, Conrack, Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me...the list goes on.

The emphasis is on the individual teacher or principal standing up for the kids, against the bureaucracy. What educational theorists call the "social context of education" tends to drop out with these tales of individual effort, creating the illusion that the singular, heroic, dedicated teacher or principal can effect systemic change. But Eduwonk makes the case for this film being "data driven," at least in part, and thus moving beyond the romance of the singular, virtuous teacher or principal carrying everyone along to a brighter new world of educational promise.

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