Books and Movies Reviews

Education in Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society is a film set in 1959 at Welton Academy, a private all boys prep school in the United Sates of America. It is a moving story that explores one of the most confronting issues faced by young adults in everyday life, conformity, and how a group of young boys, with the encouragement from their teacher Mr. Keating, learn to "Seize the day!" and become free thinkers. Today's society is definitely one of conformity, especially among those from younger generations. Look around any playground in America, or Australia, and it is instantly recognizable what the current trends are. If someone is not conforming to the trends chances are that they are rebelling because that also is seen as "cool" by their peers. The need for free and independent thinking in the 21st Century is not necessary.
Dead Poets Society challenges this conformity within society and looks at the role of education in forming and shaping individuals for the future. Bill Beattie once said "The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think." Welton Academy, like society, tries to teach its students what to think rather than giving them the freedom to learn how to think, in the words of Mr. Nolan, "Tradition, John. Discipline. Prepare them for college, and the rest will take care of itself."
Traditionally education was a foundation that could not be broken or altered. Students were force fed information, the greatness of a poem was measured on a scale with perfection plotted on the horizontal and importance plotted on the vertical, the overall area of the poem representing its greatness.
Education today is more in line with Mr. Keating's views on education, "I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself." Students today are not asked to rate a poem on a graph, instead they are asked how the poem appeals to them, what are their own though…


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