Has anyone been to a screening for this movie? I'm in the process of seeing if my kids small private school will be interested in hosting a screening. If you have seen this movie, a few q's for you:
Was it free?
Did a good amount of parents come? (i.e. less than 10, or more than)
What do you think it showed you your kids school was doing or was not doing?
Was there a discussion afterwards? If so was it facilitated, was there a panel or even 1 person who is an educational professional there to talk or answer q's, etc?
Do you think any change came from the showing?
Thanks so much. I'm asking for this info b/c when I bring it up to the school staff and principle, I'd like to have information on what the screenings are like; the school my kids are at is really, really tiny, and while they are doing a fabulous job of keeping stress very low and the environment very supportive, the principle isn't exceptionally progressive and I'm wondering what his thoughts will be on hosting something like this. We actually switched from the local, large and typical public school (in an affluent area) to this school recently, because of what the trailer of this movie purports about the school system.
My son's small k-12 experiential learning (public) school is showing it as a fundraiser for the HS on 1/28/12. Tickets are limeted to a little over 200, I think. They are selling well. There are about 400 students in the whole school; when you compare it to the other area schools, it's pretty small. His older sister and brother go to one of the 4 traditional HSs in town with 1600 of their closest friends ;-)
Was it free? Yes
Did a good amount of parents come? (i.e. less than 10, or more than) Maybe 150? A pretty full auditorium at the local high school
What do you think it showed you your kids school was doing or was not doing? Mixed - I feel like in our elementary district, this issue varies by teacher and school. My DD1's teacher, for instance, feels like most work should get done during the day & doesn't give a lot of homework. It did give me a heads up about the high school, where apparently the pressures can be high. I went to the same high school & didn't feel that, but it's been a while (and it's a huge school, so it depends on what sort of academics and activities you end up doing).
Was there a discussion afterwards? Yes
If so was it facilitated, was there a panel or even 1 person who is an educational professional there to talk or answer q's, etc? Yes, a teacher moderated, but mostly people got up to speak at microphones. Some were parents affected by the issue, while others were child psychologists or in some professional capacity dealt with this issue. Anyone could speak, though.
Do you think any change came from the showing? Not sure yet, because it was a general community showing & not limited to a single school. However, they are apparently trying to show it several times so all the high school staff gets to see it.
Hope that helps!
Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (15) and DD2 "I" (12) DH "M"
I teach at a private school and we screened it during inservice a year ago. I absolutely loved it and it changed my philosophy as a teacher regarding homework loads, necessary work, etc, and I teach 12th grade! I would agree that your parents organization or association could host it if the school wouldn't. I think its a very important documentary that ALL teachers, administrators, and parents MUST see.
Yes. I heard talk of showing it to our Parents Association, but I don't know if that ever happened. One of our concerns as teachers, based on our clientele, is how our parents would take the film. Our base is very much driven academically to get ahead.
I understand--my oldest was in a school like that for 2.5 yrs. My issue is the principle doesn't want to endorse it (he considers the screening an unspoken endorsement) unless he sees it first, however there is a difference in fee between showing it only to faculty/staff vs a public showing.
So I saw the movie myself last night. It was very well done. I really hope this can actually result in change, and not just stay limited to some screenings that get people motivated but ends when the screening does. In case any others are following this, and are either interested in hearing about it or are thinking about proposing their school show it, I thought I'd answer my own q's:
Was it free? Yes
Did a good amount of parents come? (i.e. less than 10, or more than) About 150 at an expensive well regarded private school K-12
What do you think it showed you your kids school was doing or was not doing? It reassured me in our decision to pay to send our kids to a small private school here, since its quite a sacrifice financially to do it. It also made me realize I too want to be a bigger advocate for no homework. Luckily my kids school only ever has 1 thing to do for homework that often takes just 10 min, but I am thinking since even that is a struggle, I will ask the teacher if we can opt out. The school the screening was held at is a very pricey well known and regarded private school, and most of the conversation there was in support of what the school was already doing. I did hear comments about homework in high school taking kids until 1 in the morning, but from the discussion it sounded as if it was centered on kids in AP classes, which was another conversation in and of itself (that of the AP classes becoming a business). This school also reiterated that because it was an independent school, they are not confined to teach to the test, which is also how I feel about my children's school.
Was there a discussion afterwards? Yes, a long one ;)
If so was it facilitated, was there a panel or even 1 person who is an educational professional there to talk or answer q's, etc? There was a panel made up entirely of their school officials. Which obviously means it was slanted towards a positive view of the school, since the school honestly is doing a pretty good job already. Someone in the audience had been to 2 other screenings before this one though and mentioned that others have a panel with students from the school on it, and she said it was fabulous to be able to hear their direct thoughts on all of it.
Do you think any change came from the showing? I do think, from hearing the panel, they are trying to take a "no homework" approach more seriously, as well as ways to lower stress, but I'm not sure if it will happen. They did go out of their way to say it takes the parents coming up to the school to tell the teacher/administrator/etc if their child is showing signs of too much stress and pressure. When that happens, they will work together as a team to figure out ways to change it. However I don't think that was what the movie was trying to say. I felt like the movie was saying the entire approach to how we educate out kids needs to change period, not just putting band-aids on the kids who actually react to the system. The panel also seemed to be aware like I mentioned earlier of the driving forces behind the AP classes and don't want the AP approach to rule the school, and said the movie will help strengthen that resolve to not make every student feel as if AP classes are the only way to get into top tier schools. The discussion surrounding AP classes was a good one for me to hear, even if my eldest is only in 2nd grade. Many of the parents of kids who were in college already said they regretted allowing (or encouraging) their child to take too many AP courses. They wish retrospectively they had encouraged them to focus on taking AP classes in their interest area only for what they would eventually major in in college, because the workload and pressure in those classes is tremendous (even for very bright kids) compared to the standard level classes.