Philosophy of Education at the Movies

I’ve always enjoyed teaching this module – Philosophy of Education, during my years educating teachers. Part of the module consisting of watching scenes from movies and discussing, debating what philosophy of education they represented.

Here is a nice powerpoint outlining the major philosophies of education. Also includes links to the movies to show students or watch yourself to quiz. Get this full ppt on HERE.


I’ve written lots about philosophies of education. How important they are to develop and sustain.  A lot of what is “stress” in today’s teaching world, derives from teachers working in settings that conflict with their own underlying philosophy of education – often, the teacher not really even knowing that this conflict exists!

I’m teaching philosophy of education with my students and one thing I had them do was to watch some film clips and try and match the “stylized Hollywood teacher” with a particular teaching philosophy. A great activity and I offer a simplified version here, to challenge you.

There are many labels and “types” of educational philosophies. Here are 5 main ones.

The challenge is – view the film clips below and match them to the philosophy of education. The films clips are from: Dead Poet’s Society | Stand and Deliver | Dangerous Minds | School of Rock | The Emperor’s Club . Match them to the correct philosophy of education: Perennialism | Essentialism | Progressivism | Existentialism | Social Reconstructivism

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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4 Responses

  1. ddeubel says:

    William Hare is a big star in the field of education and preservice training of teachers. Here he talks of the necessity to have a philosophy of education.

  2. Jane says:

    Are you still looking for answers?
    How about…
    Emperor’s Club – perennialism
    Dead Poet’s Society – Progressivism
    Stand and Deliver – essentialism
    School of Rock – existentialism
    Dangerous Minds – social reconstruction

    Appreciate your feedback and THE answers!:)

  3. ddeubel says:

    Hi Jane,

    Dangerous Minds is actually more along the lines of existentialism and School of Rock about “the man” and social reconstructivism. Answers and full presentation here.

    But I will honor your answers and thoughts and you probably have your own reasons for which is which. So go here – and on checkout use the code TOTALLYFREE you’ll get my book. Share, code is valid for others to use until the end of the month!

  4. Gideon Agware says:

    Hello, i just wanted to say, i love your blog.

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