Teachers exercise several practices to ensure effective implementation of teaching methods and techniques. The strategies used by teachers aid in engaging the students and augment the learning of the course content. In the film, Music of the Heart, the main character portrays the role of a teacher who uses several strategies to ensure effective implementation of her teaching techniques. The paper will evaluate the teacher in the film considering the teaching practices and strategies, and it will evaluate the film.
Evaluation of the Teacher
The film, Music of the Heart involves a teacher, Roberta Guaspari portrayed by Meryl Streep, who commits herself against significant odds to teach violin to elementary school students from various cultural backgrounds. The students were mostly from underprivileged backgrounds. Roberta Guaspari illustrates professionalism as an important practice for teaching. She integrates her instructions professionally essential in exercising the violin learning experience to the students. Roberta uses instructions to train the students on the effective ways of learning how to use the violin such as how to sit and hold the violin. She uses the right terminology essential for the teaching of playing the violin. Roberta further demonstrates professionalism through her involvement in activities to improve the violin-teaching program. She organized a fund-raising concert to raise money for the Violin program when it faced budget cuts from the school that portrayed her active involvement in the program. Hence, she taught her students by the school rules and policies and related well with her colleagues such that other teachers rallied behind her in support of her cause to raise funds for the violin program.
The teacher in the film further creates a classroom environment in which respect and rapport were enhanced. Roberta was determined to ensure that the students gained respect for playing the violin. As such, she involved seriousness in her teaching technique where she teaches the students with sternness and appears as a strict teacher. She encourages strictness to ensure self-discipline from the pupils. Her seriousness consequently increases respect from the students who appreciate her candid and powerful teaching method to aid in their learning of violin. She places the needs of her students above her own enabling her to involve her students at all levels. She continually encourages the students, and they continuously improve their violin practice because they learn that she believes in them and their abilities. The result is the students succeed in playing the violin and finally manage to play with professional violinists. Roberta manages to establish a culture of learning in the class where she showed the students that they had the ability to play violin through her persistence on the pupils. She also relates with the students enabling her to encourage the students and to support herself in her determination to teach the children violin. She changes her students' behavior towards violin as a waste of time and gradually changes their perception towards violin and increases their interest. The result is that each year diverse pupils in the school try out for slots in the violin program. It can be seen where she interacts with one of her pupils, Guadalupe, who is physically disabled and who gives Roberta the strength to carry on her cause of teaching children violin.
Roberta also portrays a teaching technique of planning and preparation in the film. The teacher plans for her students and readily provides the resources needed for the program. She begins her classes by providing her 50 violins to the students to aid in teaching the students. She identifies the different strengths of the students of violin, which she cultivates by instilling more knowledge and practice in the students on basic violin information. She teaches the students violin right from the basic requirements such as how to hold the violin. She sets outcomes for the students to ensure their improvement that leads them to practice always violin not only in school but also in their homes.
Roberta also instilled instruction as a teaching technique to her students. Through this, she transmitted her knowledge of violin to the students such as through requiring them to watch as she played the violin. She continually issued instructions such as how to pull the violin strings and paid attention to each of the students' progress. Her strict instructions increased the students' seriousness in learning how to play the violin. Her provision of violins to the students enabled her to engage the students as each learned how to play the violin practically. She observes the students performance and strives to correct each of them. Her requirement for success from the students leads them to practice violin even in their homes to ensure that they perform according to her instructions. She maximizes her teaching time to instruct the students on the proper ways of playing the violin. Roberta also identified the needs of each student and abilities and found ways to help the students based on each of their capabilities. Teachers should be able to influence positively the attitudes, behavior and attitudes of their pupils (Counts, 1969). Roberta succeeded in doing this by positively influencing her students' behavior and attitude towards violin through her particular teaching methods.
Through incorporating on demonstration as a teaching strategy, the students learned from various class activities on the right ways of playing the violin. Roberta’s strictness served as a challenge for the students where they learned to develop respect and discipline in playing the violin.
Evaluation of the Film
The film brought about several Hollywood tropes that are constantly being showcased in several films. One major trope is on white savior where a white character saves non-white people from their plight. The film shows a white woman who ventures in a neighborhood mainly dominated by blacks and Hispanics and uses music to improve their lives.
The film brings about topics on education to the audience. It leads the viewers to think about education in different ways such as identifying that the current generation lacks the discipline and moral quality and direction. It challenges the viewers to think about education in identifying the initial lack of importance of art programs. The film shows how art programs are not budgeted for forcing the teachers to provide their resources such as how Roberta had to provide her violins for the teaching of the violin program. It challenges viewers to view education not only as a source of gaining academic knowledge but also as a means for instilling discipline on children. People also are challenged to view education differently as not only involving the main subjects but also including art programs as necessary components in education. It shows how programs that are of social power to people are introduced in areas where people are privileged (Apple, 1979). Additionally, the film challenges viewers to view education as involving not only students and teachers but also the parents. The film shows how the parents' involvement in the program aided in requiring their support in ensuring continuity of the violin program. Therefore, the film challenges viewers to view education as a driver of building children’s capabilities in different avenues and not only in theoretical studies.
The film succeeds in displaying different themes to the viewers. One theme portrayed is on teachers’ role in ensuring children’s success. The film shows how Roberta was determined to see her students succeed in becoming great violinists. The film shows how teachers gradually place their students’ needs above theirs to ensure that they gain success in their studies and the sacrifices they have to make. Roberta in the film has to use her resources including providing violins for the children. Moreover, despite battling her personal problems such as divorce and not receiving support from the school and the children’s parents, she is seen to remain firm in her quest of providing children with knowledge on playing the violin. The film thus succeeds in showing the importance of teachers’ support and their determination in ensuring the success of their students.
The film also succeeds in capturing viewers’ attention regarding the education system and its take on art programs. The film shows how art programs are not placed on the main agendas in school and are not budgeted for easily. It shows how programs that lead to the power of people in society are only provided for those who are advantaged (Bourdieu and Passeron, 1977). It identifies the struggle of several schools in trying to place importance in art programs. It further shows how parents also do not see the importance of art programs. The film identifies the challenges that some teachers face in introducing and maintaining art programs. Roberta had to demonstrate to the school principal on the beauty and importance of presenting a violin program to the school by bringing in her children to play the violin to the principal. The film also shows how schools in wealthy areas are better than those in poor regions (Anyon, 1980).
The film also succeeds in exhibiting on the role of disability where it shows a handicapped student who despite her disability, strives on to learn how to play the violin. It succeeds in showing the eagerness of young children to learn and practice playing the violin.
The dangers of the film include its portrayal of a strict system of teaching that is used by the central character. The result may be the emulation or other teachers taking up the technique to teach their students, and the result may not be as positive as those indicated in the film. Another danger of the film is the view that all challenges in advocating for several programs in schools will always be solved by the intervention of parents and famous people. The film shows parents and famous violinists involved in the concert to raise funds for the program. The result may be viewers relying on external intervention for example in advocating for the maintenance of individual programs in schools.
The film, to the general audience, shows the view of schools regarding various programs such as art. It shows how schools are run concerning the prioritization of different programs in the budget. It also shows how schools neglect various programs forcing them to be cut and further forcing the teachers and students to find other ways to keep their programs running. The film also shows how several programs that lead to social power are only provided to those who are privileged (Bernstein, 1977).
The film also shows how teachers are involved in students' lives and the roles they play in ensuring the success of the pupils. It shows how teachers' belief in their students shapes how they perform in various areas. Hence, the determination of teachers in ensuring that their students achieve success is also portrayed and how they advocate for children to have access to various programs. The film shows the general audiences how teachers make sacrifices and are involved in the lives of their students. It also exhibits how teachers play a part in the social lives of students such as through teaching them self-discipline.
The film also shows to the general audience how parents influence the learning of their children in school. It portrays how parents’ involvement is necessary for the success of several school programs and how they can aid in ensuring that programs that are important for their children are maintained.