The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DIFF2015: Most Likely to Succeed

Have you ever freaked out if you didn’t pass a test in school? And what if all the tests you take at that school were the only thing that mattered at the end of the year? For some schools, it’s all about passing a certain test at the end of the school year. Why? All the students do is try to memorize the answers, take the test and move on. They don’t absorb anything. What if there was a school that could challenge your kids in a way to actually be prepared for real life. I got some news for you, life isn’t memorizing answers and taking tests to only forget the information you just regurgitated, it’s about teamwork, communication, confidence and social skills. That’s what this documentary showcases for us.

Director Greg Whiteley let’s us explore another possibility of learning for future generations. I went through school with the old school method (pun intended) of having quizzes, tests and homework assignments that resulted in me just memorizing answers to questions and not really learning anything. When I got out in the real world after college, I realized I wasn’t prepared as I thought. The first job I got was like entering a different world. I didn’t have the social skills needed to talk to certain people because everyone was different. Even the work ethic was different and on their terms and high school didn’t prepare me for anything like what they did. I adapted and that’s what’s most important, but most kids won’t expect that. It truly is a jungle. We see this school called High Tech High and they take a different approach to learning and teaching. These teachers teach them skills they will need for the real world. They teach them to be a team and work together and communicate with classmates as they complete class projects.

At the beginning we learn that we have been in the same education method for over 100 years. Is it time to change? This is the question raised because the method of education we are on is when the economy was growing during the industrial revolution and jobs were a lot easier to obtain with a bachelors degree from an accredited college. Now, in 2015, even with a college degree it is harder to get a job and this society is changing rapidly to where that doesn’t really apply anymore. Information can be spread as fast as a millisecond and technology is growing. We need more people hands on and can think on a creative level, not industrial based. So this documentary focuses on this experimental school as they try something different to train kids for today’s time.
At first parents are hesitant to take them because they grew up on textbooks and classroom learning. They were scared and rightfully so, but what’s to say it won’t work for the better? We don’t know if it will or not. It needs time to grow as a method of learning and actually have the same or better results as the current way in order for people to be onboard. But isn’t worth to at least try it out? The children in the movie have a great arc and you can tell it changed them for the better and made them more prepared for real life. That’s ultimately what Greg is asking us, “Should there be a change in the way we educate the youth?” It’s a question to definitely ponder in this wonderful documentary.

The cinematography is ok. There is nothing special. Some of the establishing shots were well lit and well framed but ultimately it shaky cam for the majority of it and it serves this documentary well. The film is about an hour and half and the subject is interesting to hold your attention, but it does kind of drag in the middle just a tad for me as it kept showing the same things over and over again.

Overall, this is an interesting documentary on our education system and raises curiosities to maybe change it. It’s well done. If you are a teacher or student you will enjoy this. 7.5/10
(Review by Chase Lee)

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