Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' Mona Lisa Smile '

Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' Mona Lisa Smile '

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Mona Lisa Smile is a movie about an art history teacher named Kathrine Watson and her struggle to be accepted as a teacher at a very traditional, conservative school. The movie takes place in 1953 at Wellesley College. It is Watson’s first year as a teacher at Wellesley and on the very first day she quickly learns that all of her students have already learned all of the information in their textbook. She felt very discouraged by every student already knowing everything she has to teach; Watson then takes a new approach. She starts introducing modern art to her students. Her students aren’t very accepting of this interpretation of art; however, it promotes discussion of what art actually is. Throughout the school year Watson goes through many different struggles. She gets in trouble with the president of the college for her unconventional way of teaching. She suffers backlash from her students, especially Betty. Betty continually argues that there are set rules for what makes a work of art good. Watson is a believer in women having careers while also having a family. Betty questions why Watson is not married and disagrees with the fact that she doesn’t really want to get married. Betty writes an article in the school newspaper attacking Watson for not believing that women have to be homemakers. Betty gets married and misses several classes, assignments, and even an exam. The school usually pardons this when a woman gets married, but Watson threatens to fail Betty because of her lack of attendance. Joan, another student of Watson’s, wants to go to Yale for law school. Watson assists Joan by giving her an application and helping her fill it out; Joan is accepted, but because of a marriage Joan changes her mind. Watson doesn’t give up...


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...e are just a few of the ways she motivated her students. These strategies are some of the most effective ways to motivate students. Since Watson focused on intrinsically motivating her students, they wanted to do the work because it was rewarding for them just to complete a task. If she had used extrinsically motivating strategies they would have only done to work to get a reward out of it. This could be an effective way to get a student to do work; however, it will not be as fulfilling for the student. I believe that self-fulfillment is a major component of motivation because it allows a student to find a subject they are passionate about and work towards being successful. Like Watson, as a teacher, I want to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. Even if it is only one student, I will be satisfied knowing that I was able to motivate them to be successful.

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