Who are the history boys? (Play)Beginning of History Boys
Who are they? Boys from Sheffield (a not very rich place) 8 Elites of the school Aimed (by Principal) to enter Oxbridge Extra term for preparation Meaning? Are they specially taught for promoting to higher education and elite roles? Yes
What gets taught? History knowledge (subject matter) General studies Exam and interview strategies – Impress Oxbridge interviewers Things taught are for: Preparing them to be the dominant people in society
Profile – The principal & P.E Teacher Principal of the Boys Grammar School In Sheffield Acid to the students and teachers Conservative The P.E teacher, Wilkes Little bit racist Religious Strict to students
Their role in education The Principal Business-minded – Its a business! Believed only outcome – Utilitarianism P.E. Teacher One who imposes – requires all the students to have P.E lesson (no matter they get a doctors note)
The Principal – his perspective? Principal asking the boys summer jobs
P.E. Teacher – his perspective? (Play)Boys having P.E. Lesson
Their aim of education Principal ATo gain reputation for the school BTo help students to acquire knowledge CTo help student reach for perfection and be a talent in the society P.E. Teacher ATo let the students become good athletes BTo develop each individual's abilities in order to better serve higher power CTo fulfill his duty
Philosophical perspectives Pragmatism Principal : – Hire Mr. Irwin as provisional teacher – Demand the students have extra elite class – Ask Hector to put the date of retirement forward – Keep asking of the students progress, unlike the teaching method of Hector – Resentment on students part-time job *All these are for pushing students to get into great universities-> have fame
Philosophical perspective PE Teacher Idealism Human growth is a process of spiritual unfolding of innate power Goal: to seek higher ideals Failure of the fat students disappointment of himself as well as god
What is Mrs. Lintotts belief? Raise an example from this clip (Play)Boys having Lintotts History Class
Profile – Mrs. Lintott The only female teacher Motherly caring – For their knowledge – For their future Knowledgeable & Respectful – Of her students background
Her role in education To impose knowledge – Students will be able to master history when they recite it Know all facts – Even backwards Fact,fact,fact.
Her aim of education What do you think about Mrs. Lintott? – Only subject matter? – Or also future path? She is a teacher cares: – Academic success – Career future – How the students feel
What is her philosophical perspective? Realism Emphasises on the subject matter of the world Content based – With criteria Mastery of facts through recitation Character developed – through training in the rules of conduct
Irwin – What is his focus? Boys and Irwin discussing The First World War
Profile – Irwin Hired for exam Well-educated (?) Non-conservative
His role in education For exam – Equip students with skills to take the exam Facilitator – Seldom teaches knowledge. Instead urges students to think
His aim of education What do you think about Irwin? – Is knowledge important? – Or just the exam? He cares: – Essay skills – Exam results
What is his philosophical perspective? Pragmatic Emphasises essay skills Skills based Exam-oriented
Hector – What and how does he teach? (Play)Hector having Poetry discussion with Boys
In Hectors classroom Good use of teaching strategy: role playing Encourage students Creativity Learning via playing a part vicarious feeling with the poet Students comments : enrich their lives
In Irwins classroom Exam oriented Deny the use of role playing to learn Facts and description as the exam strategy in History examination Student comments: useful (as the A-level is coming)
Hector Postmodernism Learn from past intellectuals Human constructions based on experience Question the rules Irwin Pragmatism Knowledge is not certain Truth is not important Cater for exam – Their answers styles Philosophical beliefs
Hector Drama, Poetry, French NOT related to exam syllabus Learn knowledge for life Irwin Essays discussion Open-ended Nothing is absolutely correct Encourage students to think reversely – for impressing the interviewer
Irwin VS Hector From the treatment of the teachers, – e.g. the conflicts between teachers' philosophies, the ending of some dominant teachers The films sending a message: for life passing exams – Whether learning is for life or passing exams?
Irwin VS Hector understand life Hector understand life better humanism serve the interest of examiner Irwin serve the interest of examiner Society: exam-oriented Irwin is preferred Discussion: Which one do you PREFFER? Discussion: Which one do you PREFFER? Which philosophy should be adopted in education field? Which philosophy should be adopted in education field?
Furthermore An extra semester training Oxford/ Cambridge Principal: exam brings successreputation, better occupation, etc
Discussion Oxford/Cambridge = success? Different interests Dry cleaner, teacher, builder….. What is success/happiness?
Meritocratic society? Boys attended an interview Meritocracy: – students are selected according to their performance in interviews Rudge: – has a place due to a family connection Merit-base? Connection-base? Implication?
Implication Academic excellence is not the only path for people to be successful Connection matters Only one way to be success? Prestigious career? All of them succeed – in gaining a place in Ox/bridge entering a variety of careers
As a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge, does it mean that your future career must be some very prestigious jobs? – (deemed prestigious by your society) StudentJob Aktharheadmaster Crowthermagistrate Timmsowner of a dry cleaning chain Dakintax lawyer Lockwoodentered the army, died at the age of 28 Rudgebuilder Scrippsjournalist Posnerteacher
Sexual Orientation Frequently mentioned: Homosexuality Homosexual: – Hector, Irwin, 2 of the teachers – Dakin, Posner, 2 of the students
Discussion Do you think there is any message behind the fact that Hector and Irwin, two of the teachers, are homosexual in the movie? Think about: Accept/ Reject? Only the teenagers being homosexual: teenage phrase But teachers as well something else?
Discussion How students see homosexual teachers? – Got used to them How the principal sees homosexual teachers? – NO WAY! How Hector and Irwin end up in the movie? – Hector died – Irwin lost his memory Implications?
Relating to HK situation 1.Do the students in The History Boys share anything common with us? 2.What are the possible problems for students just to memorize all the facts for exam? 3.In Hong Kong, any subject(s) does not merely require students to memorize facts for exam? 4.Should we change anything? Question it?
Conclusion Learn for life or Learn how to pass a test? HectorThe headmaster and Irwin - To equip and guide the boys for life Example: He uses various forms of arts to back up his points and notes. - How to pass the entrance examination Example: Not to follow the historical facts but to polish the answer to fit for the examination.
Conclusion – message in film Learn for life Encourage students to think out of the box. Turn the short term memory to be life-long. Learn how to pass the test Get the chance to receive tertiary education A way to obtain upward mobility
What truly is most practical in our own educational system?
Conclusion – our opinion Strike a balance between learn for life and learn how to pass the examination. There is not definite right and wrong approach of educational philosophy.
Deepen the well of the students Prepare the students for exams