Home > Education, Intelligence, Intrinsic motivation > Is “Waiting for Superman” worth seeing?

Is “Waiting for Superman” worth seeing?


Pediment showing name of Mearns Street Public ...

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This Monday, “Waiting for Superman” came out in my local, independent theater and I jumped at the chance to see it. If you have not heard about it, the movie traces the failings of the public education from the perspective of a number of families in the system. To be honest, I went into the movie knowing that some things had been left out of the movie (although I chose to find out what after seeing the movie) and I was somewhat bothered that the movie appeared to only cover education from the view of inner city families while appearing to address public education as a whole.

After seeing the movie, however, I was impressed with its ability to move me. While no ideas are provided in the movie on how to make a difference (in fact, it leaves you a little hopeless with respect to public education), I felt my mind reeling on what I could do personally to make a difference.  I keep thinking about how we could try to connect inner city children near our community with resources,  since (which the movie leaves out) it is often resources that are missing for the inner city children that other, more affluent communities do have. Even connecting children with a mentor, much like the Big Brother/Big Sister program, might help some? Anyway, the movie is worth seeing in that sense – it makes you want to do something (which I think is of course is its intention!). And of course, you can make a huge difference in your own school system.

The movie has had me thinking about this topic every day – as there is so much to consider. Today I read this article about it – which bring up even more topics for discussion:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/nov/11/myth-charter-schools/

So I think I am going to use my blog for a while to discuss the issues raised by this movie and get my ideas on paper.

Have any of you seen the movie and what did you think of it?

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  1. January 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I also felt a bit helpless after seeing the film Waiting for Superman, but am so thankful that I went to the movie. It helped me to become more aware of the troubles teachers, principals, school districts and those in education reform face everyday. In addition, it opened my eyes to the struggles that inner-city families face. I feel so fortunate to be able to have a choice as to where my child will go to school. I agree with your thoughts on mentoring and additional resources. School should be a place that children love going to where they feel safe and nurtured. And schools should also be a place that encourages teachers to make connections with students, to learn more about their craft and to be creative in their teaching. It’s wonderful to hear about such great leaders in education like Bill Strickland and Geoffrey Canada. There are great charter schools out there, but there are also great public schools. I hope to see more changes occur in the public school system so that all students will benefit and not just a few. Thank you for getting this discussion started and I look forward to your follow up posts.

  2. January 14, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Yes, we are lucky to have choices. I think that is one of the challenges and one of the things that the movies does point out (Bill Gates mentions it). It is an issue of the increasing divide between the have and have nots in America…..I am curious to see what I find as I delve further into the topic!

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