Miss Brodie and Miss Mackay’s Ideas of Education Essay (Movie Review)

The outstanding difference between Miss Brodie and Miss Mackay’s idea of education is the approach that should be used to teach students. In Miss Brodie’s idea, education should bring out what is already in the students. She posits, “To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul” (Spark 36). Therefore, in this context, teachers should only assist students to realize what is within them, nurture it, and bring it out.

This aspect includes ensuring that the students are aware of their prime time in addition to enjoying their lives to the fullest at any given time. Miss Brodie advises, “You little girls when you grow up must be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must then live it to the full” (Spark 8). In this kind of education, students should not be given external materials, which may not even address their needs.

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From Miss Brodie’s perspective, students have disparate talents and strengths. Therefore, educators should monitor each student individually and come up with the right input to bring out the best from each one of them. When confronted by the headmistress who insists that the conventional system of education is the best, Miss Brodie notes that putting in “would not be education, but intrusion” (Spark 36). According to Miss Brodie, this kind of education can only be realized by letting students discover themselves by discovering life and doing all that pertains to it.

This perspective involves allowing students to go clubbing, dancing, and even engaging in sexual escapades. This form of education requires an educator to start bringing out the best of students at their tender age and stay with them for life, and to this effect Miss Brodie says, “Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life” (Spark 6).

On the other side, Miss Mackay’s definition of education is the process by which an educator pumps information into the student’s mind. In a rebuttal to Miss Brodie’s definition of education, Miss Mackay says, “I had hoped there might also be a certain amount of putting in” (Spark 36). In addition, Miss Brodie notes that according to Miss Mackay, “education is putting in something that is not there” (Spark 36).

In this context, Miss Mackay belongs to the conventional education system whereby educators come up with a syllabus to be followed by all students regardless of their strengths and talents. In this form of education, students are assessed using a common exam. In addition, the students that cannot achieve the pass mark are branded as failures.

Of the two forms of education, I agree with Miss Brodie’s version. Every student is unique, and thus s/he has different talents and strengths. Therefore, the best way to teach students is to reach for their souls and nurture their talents and strengths to become people of purpose in this life.

It amounts to injustice to force a student talented in music to spend long hours in class trying to understand mathematics and science subjects, yet such information is useless to such a student in the world outside the classroom. This assertion holds as most successful people or self-made millionaires in the contemporary society are school dropouts like Bill Gates. Others like Richard Branson struggled in school, but they have emerged as influential businesspersons. Therefore, Miss Brodie’s version of education is the best in my opinion.

Works Cited

Spark, Muriel. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, New York: Harper Collins, 1994. Print.

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