We all hate the rules at times, but understand that they are a necessary part of society. The School Rules & Spirit DVD includes some priceless films, some imaginative and some surprisingly progressive. Issues and questions addressed in this collection are discipline, importance of rules, why we have rules, and the fun of school spirit, because after all, You couldnt be proud of a noisy classroom could you?
Holiday From Rules
Length: 10 Minutes
This social guidance film has been described as Lord of the Flies from the adults perspective. Four children complain about all the rules they have to follow until an omniscient narrator comes along and transports them to a deserted island, where there are no rules. At first, the kids enjoy their freedom, but soon, disaster strikes. One boy falls out of a palm tree and breaks his arm. Another girl decides to go swimming in what we hear are man-eating shark-infested waters. The kids decide after these and other crises that maybe it is better to live safely with rules than dangerously without them, If were going to have any fun, weve got to make some rules! This film is made even more bizarre and surreal by the fact that it is shot on a dark, minimalist soundstage complete with cardboard palm trees.
How Quiet Helps At School
Length: 10 Minutes
This bizarre social guidance film focuses on the problem of discipline in the classroom, and also is a splendid example of conformity in 1950s America. First disruptive classroom behavior is explored in detail. A naughty classroom is shown as an example of public education with no classroom rules. The creepy narrator asks rhetorical questions such as You couldnt be proud to be part of such a noisy room, could you? Then the film gets really weird as the viewer is shown a room full of children that is as quiet as a library, and the teacher, Mrs. Bradley, comments that this works better because it is like an office. Eerily silent, the class proceeds with no cause to manage disruptive behavior. Oddly, classroom management tips are never discussed, its simply asserted that student conformity and obedience is the only way a classroom can function. This film is a rich wrinkle in the history of education when teachers strove for a uniformity and discipline that, for better or for worse, is absurd to consider today.
Maintaining Classroom Discipline
Length: 14 Minutes
In Maintaining Classroom Discipline, a struggling teacher learns how to control his recalcitrant students. Mr. Grimes is disappointed with his students low test scores so he takes it out on them by insulting and disrespecting them. Not surprisingly, they respond with more bad behavior and soon he is handing out detention slips to all of them. The film calls Mr. Grimes tactics into question and explains that his kids arent bad, its just that he has created undesirable learning situations. The narrator explains that most infractions are minor, originate in the classroom situation itself, and can be controlled by the teacher. He gives tips on proper methods of punishment, and soon Grimes is respected and liked by his students.
School Rules: How They Help Us
Length: 10 Minutes
Idyllic and peaceful 1950s schools, neighborhoods, and streets set School Rules: How They Help Us, a social guidance film for kids that explores rules and how they make the world a better and safer place. The only problem here is that the only kids shown breaking the rules are boys! Alvin doesnt bring his gym shoes to school for physical education and gets in big trouble, and John gets a dressing down from Betty when he tries to borrow a new library book without returning his overdue one. Traffic cops and cars following traffic light signals at a quiet intersection are used as an illustration of how following rules keep each other safe.
What About School Spirit
Length: 25 Minutes
What About School Spirit shows kids the right kind of school spirit and how it helps the educational institution, the sports program, and the community. The fictional Lawrence High is used to illustrate the importance of school spirit. The basketball team captain, Bob Corby, stands up at a pep rally one day and rouses his classmates to a new, more respectable kind of school spirit. No more snake dances snarling up traffic after basketball games, no more racing up and down streets blaring car horns and yelling, and especially no more painting the school initials in places they had no business to be. Bob Corby inspires all the kids to take an interest in the classroom, in taking care of the school itself, and volunteering in the community. When Bob gets sick and cant play in the championship game, school spirit prevails and his team mates win the game in his honor. As well as an amusing melodrama, What About School Spirit is a vivid example of 1950s youth culture. Social conformity was never more stressed than in high school spirit activities. This film exposes what social development for teens meant in the mid 20th century, and the history of school in America.