Education

occurs in an educational environment.3 It appears to be necessary for teachers to adopt unconventional methods of teaching within the conventional educational framework, aided by structural changes, in order to bring about real change.

The two films “Dead poets Society” and “Stand and Deliver” both present unconventional teachers, who challenge their students to think out of the box and who impart an unusual element into their classrooms, thereby engaging the interest of their students and leading them on to active participation in learning.4 Therefore, they raise the following issues:

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“Make your lives extraordinary!” says the Robin Williams character, John Keating who encourages his students to follow their passions. He is an unconventional teacher who encourages his students not to follow by rote learning methods but to follow their passions and to learn to think for themselves. The character of Jaime Escalante, a Math high school teacher in east Los Angeles is equally unconventional and daring in his classes, forever challenging his students to perform. He has a simple philosophy about learning – students will rise and perform to the level of the expectations about them and he constantly challenges the invisible barriers that exist in the students’ minds, about their Hispanic race and their poor socio economic status being barriers to their performance in their lessons and challenges them all to study for an advanced AP calculus exam. The relationship between the teacher and his students in the “Dead Poets Society” that of mentor and co-conspirator, encouraging them to eschew traditional male socialization norms instilled in them by their own fathers, to follow a more unconventional path, although the non conformist views propagated by John Keating are unable to fly because the boys must face the reality of traditional socialization and gender roles.

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