I am going to compare and contrast ‘Teechers’ by John Godber with ‘Educating Rita by Willy Russell.
I think the most obvious likeness between the two plays is the theme of education. In Teechers the teaching is dreadful both the teacher and children are not motivated to learn. The teachers hate working at the school because the children are so baldly behaved ‘everyone’s trying to get out’ The tragic teaching also applies to Educating Rita where Frank himself describes his teaching as 'appalling but good enough for his appalling students'. The dreary approach to teaching concerns the teachers in both plays and in both plays the boredom is due to being stuck in the same tiresome system for such a long time. In Teechers Mr. Nixon comes along and inspires Gail, Salty and Hobby to take their teaching more seriously and to improve on the teaching at Whitewall. The character Nixon is based on Mr Harrison who is said to have turned the ‘kids’ lives around ‘before Mr Harrison came here, the teachers had given us up for dead… we were average’. This inspiration also happens in Educating Rita, Frank has been teaching students for years and when Rita walks into his office he is taken back by her rawness and her opinions.
Both plays are set inn the 1980s at the time of Margret Thatcher. One of the policies of ‘Thatcherism’ included a huge amount of government money being spent on high accomplished schools this then left the poor schools very poor. It then came apparent that there were chasms between the schools thriving and the schools struggling. This is shown in Teechers by obvious differences described by the children of the schools St Georges and Whitewall ‘in an old drama ...
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...ves the play to do they feel motivated ‘I don’t feel average today, I feel top of the class…thanks to sir.’ In ‘Educating Rita’ she has never been to the theatre and an amateur to her is just brilliant this just shows how at first she is so uneducated and how Frank who is very well educated takes going to the theatre and having had an education for granted.
The plays focuses on ‘the failing educational system’. The young teenagers have no aspirations or targets for leaving school all they want to do is leave, its likely that none of them would stay on for sixth form or get a high income jobs. Rita is the product of a failing system because she goes to the university with no qualifications but after her degree she is more positive about theatre and this is an appealing note to finish on for the audience because Rita is able to move forward a more educated woman.
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