Teaching Methods and Attitudes in Willie Russell's Our Day Out Essay

Teaching Methods and Attitudes in Willie Russell's Our Day Out Essay

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Willie Russell the author of the play “Our Day out” had a very similar life to the children in the play. Russell comes from a working class background. Russell left school at the age of fifteen with no formal qualifications. When he left school he became a ladies hairdresser for five years, then a labourer for a further year. After this he enrolled on a one year ‘A’ level course this enabled him to go to ST. Katherine’s college of higher education in order to train as a teacher. Soon after this Russell decided that he would like to become a playwright after he attended a play at the Liverpool’s ‘everyman theatre’. He attended night classes specialising in drama. This is when he began writing plays.
“Our Day Out” is based around a school trip from the inner cities of Liverpool to Conway Castle in Wales. This play focuses on the Progress class and their first outing on a trip with two teachers called Mr. Briggs and Mrs. Kay. They are special needs children with learning difficulties, and are taught by Mrs. Kay who is in charge of the trip. The teachers, Mr. Briggs and Mrs. Kay are best suited for the needs of the children in the Progress class. The main pupil in whom this play focuses on is a girl named Carol. Carol is a poor young girl who is eager to attend the trip, she rushes to school with enthusiasm.
The deeper issues that you draw your attention are different teaching methods, attitudes towards the children, special needs education and the possibility of escaping a poor a background for both the teachers and the children. An example of the different teaching methods is Mrs. Kay is a very calm, kind, soft and gentle character and lets the children ‘get away with murder’ whereas Mr. Briggs is very abrupt, loud and shouts a lo...

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...nk we should be inside, looking after them.” I think Mr. Briggs was right as the children could have been doing anything in the shop. ‘Scene twenty-one’ shows us Mr. Briggs’s views on teaching the children. Mr. Briggs wants the children to have a planned teaching method, he doesn’t like Mrs. Kay’s way of teaching as he thinks it is unorganised. I think this tells us about his character, that he knows that is the children are taught properly they can succeed. On the top of the cliff when Carol says that Briggs is just scared he’ll get into trouble if she jumps, I don’t think this is true as I really think that Mr. Briggs was caring about Carol and didn’t want her to hurt herself. I think Mr. Briggs took the kids to the fair as he was feeling very sorry for them also he had let out some deep feelings throughout the day, it just shows that every one has a nice side.

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