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Pay it Forward

Movie Review Assessment

Holly Graeme

on 25 August 2013

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Transcript of Pay it Forward

ERIK ERIKSON (1902-1994) believes children must build a sense of trust with adults, adults need to provide regularity of events, in this movie Trevor’s hope increases because of the social support provided by Mr. Simonet. Mr. Simonet challenged Trevor to think outside the box and provided him encouragement for the movement of pay it forward. ERIKSON believes children need to be seen as individuals, Mr simonet pays special attention to Trevor’s project, saying it is unique from other projects he has seen before. This all provides Trevor with the motivation and hope needed to continue with pay it forward, changing his life and the world.
Highlights significant moments of learning and understanding for characters and discuss the change that occurred for them, if any? (5-8mins)
Reflection and discussion include teaching theories that support the teaching and learning styles evident in the story
how does this research and understanding of theorists influence you as a teacher?
Pay it Forward
Holly, Shabana, Fiona
Trevor McKinney
Arlene McKinney
Mr Eugene Simonet
Jerry ( the homeless man)
Think of an idea to change our world - and put it into ACTION!!
BARBARA ROGOFF (1950-) uses lenses to look at the child, first the individual child, then the interpersonal plane of analysis, then the third lens, the community institutional plane of analysis, looking at the whole cultural context. This is how I see the movie, the child, Trevor, quiet, wise, thirsty for knowledge, the family and teacher, his alcoholic mother, abusive father, and caring teacher and how these three factors mold him to who he is, then the community, he lives in the poorer part of town, he doesn't get to see his grandmother because of her addictions, he rides past addicts on the way to and from school, his community also molds who he is as a person and why he
wants the world to be a better
place. If he came from a middle
class family with first world
problems he would not have come
up with the idea of Pay it Forward.
URIE BRONFENBRENNER'S (1917-2005) theory is based on the Microsystem, the Mesosystem, the Exosystem and the Macrosystem. This makes us who we are, and what we become, the interactions we have with life shape us to be the people we are today, I believe this is very true of Trevor with his family situation pushing him to want the world to be a better place. I also find this to be true of Mr Simonet, in the beginning of the movie, he is content with his life, he was dealt a bad hand when his father burned him, and he is just going through the motions, but when he meets Trevor and then Arlene, he wants more. He takes the chance because of what a child says to him and what that child shows him about trusting people.
BRONFENBRENNER also believed in Parents taking an active role in children's education and that time spent together is more important than what they were doing. These are also shown in the movie when Mr Simonet asks Arlene how much time she spends with Trevor and by asking why she hasn't asked Trevor about his assignment.
Chris Chandler
(the Reporter)
Chris is a reporter that is down on his luck, one night he is given a car, a brand new Jaguar from a complete stranger, this also gives him a story. Pay it forward. He tracks back the story to this amazing 11 year old boy. He begins the story as a skeptical person, not believing that someone would just give a complete stranger a car, so to realize that the original idea was from an 11 year old, is remarkable to him. Chris was a very proactive person, only needing his own approval to take a certain action. His curiosity drove him to commit a good deed.
Trevor thinks his project is not working, Mr Simonet tells him that he is being graded on his effort, not his result, but that is not what Trevor wants. He really just wants the project to work, not to just get a good grade. He genuinely wants to make the world a better place. Mr Simonet is a little taken aback by this, as most children Trevors age would just want to the good grade.
Mr Simonet realizes that Trevor is not like other the other children. He is genuine and only asks questions for his own sake not to fit in or be 'cool'. Again this is not like most children at Trevor's age and Mr Simonet changes his view of Trevor, he brushed him off thinking he was asking questions to fit in or be cool, but then saw that this was not the case, Trevor was genuine.
Mr Simonet opens up to Arlene about his past, how his dad used to beat his mum and one day he stood up to him, his dad knocked him unconscious and poured gasoline on him and set him on fire. How does she know that this wont happen to Trevor. Trevor's dad gets drunk and turns on Arlene then Trevor, they hide in Trevor's room and Arlene tells him to leave. Lucky for them he does. Arlene realizes that Mr Simonet is right, how can she protect Trevor if she cannot protect herself.
JEAN PIAGET (1896-1980) believes the teacher supports the child's development, this is evident when Mr simonet supports and extends the children's vocab everyday by using more obscure words
that they then have to research their meanings.
Piaget encourages active exploration of
environment. The child learns by doing. This
is evident when Mr Simonet sets the assignment.
The assignment is designed for the students to interact with their environment, to try to make the world a better place,
they have to actively engage with the
world in some way to improve it.
Piaget believes that children learn best by
putting things into action, this is evident
when Trevor wanted to change the world for better,
and by doing this he went out and helped the people of need.
LEV VYGOTSKY (1896-1933) believes that the child learns through interactions with the environment and interactions with others, that adults are important in assisting the child to learn. They scaffold a child's understanding, bridging the gap between what they already know and what they learn. This is shown on the movie when Mr Simonet scaffolds the children's
vocab, also when he scaffolds Arlene's knowledge on
what can happen when a drunk father just doesn't
love his son.
VYGOTSKY'S theory involved cultural importance known as internalization, it is shown by the cultural background you are from and how you see society. This is evident in the movie when Trevor connects to Jerry because he knows how Jerry feels and Trevor wants to help him out.
MARIA MONTESSORI (1870-1952) believed that the emphasis should be on the process of doing not the end product, this is how Mr Simonet marks his assignments. She also says that natural social development and spirituality occur or that children absorb their culture. This is depicted in the movie with Arlene following in her mothers footsteps with alcoholism, Trevor shows this with his longing for a better life or he will too follow in his mothers footsteps into alcoholism and
Mr Simonet shows this
through his not wanting to
rock the boat, the last time
he stood up for something
he was badly burned and
The research I have done for this assignment has cemented for me the importance of the child's home life. If you know what is happening at home you can understand a lot more of what is happening with the child's development and psychological well being. It has also made me look at how I respect and build relationships with children and their families based on their emotional safety and their interests and ensure that I have genuine interactions with them, not judge them or make assumptions. I believe that I would ensure that I would follow the child's interests as I feel that this is the best way for them to learn, if they are active participants in their own learning then they are going to have a much more meaningful learning experience.
I also found that while doing the research on theorists I developed a connection with some that we have not outlined in this movie review. I found that I liked the theory that Gardner has about the different types of intelligence, as a mother of three boys that are all very different, I can see how all three boys learn differently. I also identify with Maslow and his Hierarchy of needs. I can understand how if you are not feeling safe or if you are hungry you can not move on to the next level and learn anything new. Some other theorists that I identified with are Steiner with the use of natural materials and Malaguzzi where the child learns by doing and and that learning should be based on the child's interests and experiences. I also identified with Montessori with her theory on the process of doing and not the end product. I have great respect for Rogoff, Vygotsky and Bronfennbrenner and their view on how socio cultural impacts on a child and their development. I already use this theory in my practices and believe every child's cultural background molds them into who they are and what they are interested in. I believe it is extremely important to know as much as we can about a child and their life outside the center so that we can scaffold the child's learning as much as we can inside the center.
Mr Simonet learns that he does not want to be one of the people Trevor is talking about in his interview. He does not want to be too scared to live, too scared to take risks, and too scared to be happy. He wants the better life. So after all of this learning from Trevor he forgives Arlene.
Arlene learns that her alcoholism is affecting Trevor far more than she ever thought. She thought she was hiding it from him and that it didn't affect him until he ran away, in a close call where she nearly loses him for good, she realizes that she needs to make some changes in her life. She makes these changes when Mr Simonet comes into her life and helps her realize that she is worthy of a good relationship. She deserves to be happy.
Arlene is an alcoholic mum that is trying her best, She worked 2 “informal” jobs, just to support Trevor and herself after her ex husband Ricky left her. she is hoping for a better future. She tries really hard to stop drinking, for Trevor. When Trevor goes missing she calls Mr Simonet to ask for help, this brings them
closer and she begins a
relationship with Mr Simonet, she begins to turn her life around.
Trevor is a kind trusting 11 year old boy who is living with his alcoholic mother in Las Vegas. His father is also an alcoholic and Trevor doesn't want him to return back home. Trevor took on an assignment from his social studies teacher and believes that things can be better. He tried to help others in the world and make it a better place for them all. Trevor is not interested in the grades from his teacher, he is more focused on the change in the world.
My Simonet is a new social studies teacher that is disfigured with burns from head to toe. He figures out that Trevor isn't like the other children in the class. He was invited over to Trevor's house as part of Trevor's assignment and he finds himself attracted to Trevor's mother. This then starts off a new relationship with Arlene.
When Trevor's father returns, he is very hurt and in a moment of vulnerability he opens up to Arlene about his past, where he too was the victim of an abusive father, and how can you guarantee that she could protect Trevor. When Trevor is being interviewed, he realizes that he does not want to be a person that will not change for the better.
When Jerry gets offered a second chance by Trevor he finds it hard to take on. Jerry tries to follow the rules of pay it forward but succumbs to his addiction and relapses into the dark world of drug addiction. It is not until he is on the road trying to find his next fix when he comes across a lady that is standing on the edge of a bridge, preparing to jump, he tries to help the lady but she thinks he is after her money, and previously he probably would have taken it to get his next hit, but something in him has changed, he genuinely wants to pay it forward and help her, and therefore help himself. If he can save her life it may just save his.
Pay it Forward is about an 11 year old boy called Trevor, who is given a project in his Social Studies class by his teacher Mr Simonet to "Think of an idea to change our world and put it into ACTION!" Trevor takes on this task to help troubled people out, even strangers,
Trevor lives in Las Vegas, he is troubled by his alcoholic mother, and fears his abusive father.
While riding home through some of the poorest parts of Vegas he rides past a homeless community, where he comes up with the idea to change the world. He invites one of the homeless men, Jerry to come home with him and helps him get back on his feet without his mum knowing about it. This is the start of Paying it forward.
Jerry gets offered a second chance in life because of Trevor. He realises that people see him as a 'bum' or a "junkie" that only needs money. When he finds a woman on a bridge trying to kill herself, Jerry tries to stop her and pull herself away from it all. But the woman only saw Jerry as a 'bum.' Jerry then realizes that he needs to change himself to make a better life. By saving her, it just might save him.
Arlene learns that her son has taken
in a junkie and that he has spoken to
him about his project. She learns that
Trevor can open up to a complete stranger but not to her. She also learns to open up her heart through learning what Trevor has done. When Jerry offers never to talk to Trevor again, she tells him not to do that, instead of throwing Jerry out she offers him a coffee. Arlene changes her view of Jerry
from that of someone who could
endanger her to that of someone
who tried to help her and has
become an important person to
Watching this movie it has changed my way of looking at things through the children. If we communicate with the child's family, and look at where they come from. We get a better understanding of who that child is. It is important for me now to take a step back and remember how their life is back home. It is important to have respect and to build on my relationship with the children and to build on their interests.
I now believe that children learn better by putting their values on life into action. If a child is interacting with what they are assigned with and is enjoying it, then they will get a better success out of it then the ones who are not interested.
Researching more on the theorists I have understood a more open minded on how children learn. Rogoff I believe has a strong connection with this movie. The way that the theory looks at the child and their cultural context really reflects back onto how Mr Sioment looks at Trevor,.
CARL ROGERS (1902-1987) believes every child is the center of their changing world. They are strategist working towards becoming self actualized. The cognitive process is important, this is the evidence of Trevor's assignment which is given by his Social Studies teacher Mr Eugene Simonet. The assignment his class is given, is to think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor takes the assignment to heart and begins a cycle of good deeds that may really change the world in "Pay It Forward."
During this assignment I learn how the family and home life is important for a child's physical, social, psychological and emotional development. During this assignment I also researched about theorist and their beliefs. I really inspire with CARL and ERIK ERIKSON theory's because on their theory they said how parents and adults intention is important in children's life and how to association between parents children's and teacher.
In general I also inspire with that movie because the movie has a lot of believable tools used to build culture, logos, and suffering. The movie clearly states its believable goals, that is to get people to think how such a simple idea can make a big difference, to get people to not be afraid to help others, and tell those people to help other like they were helped. These goals were skilled easily with the great acting, and through the use of establishing trustworthiness, providing evidence, convincing with reason, and using emotional appeal to capture the audience.
Mr Simonet gives his class and especially Trevor the idea that anything is possible? When he sets the assignment of changing the world, the class all begin to complain, he asks their thoughts on why? What is it about this assignment, the children tell him it is too hard, too weird, he suggests that it is Possible? It is possible to change the world. They stop to think about this, especially Trevor who doesn't have such a great life, he would like to believe that it is possible to
change as his future, if he follows in his
parents footsteps, does not look to great
to him as both of his parents are
LORIS MALAGUZZI (1920-1994) believes children learn by doing investigating and exploring. MALAGUZZI also believes the child learns by doing and that learning should be based on the child's interests and experiences. In this movie Trevor gets his motivation. The first persuasive purpose was to get people to think how such a simple idea can make a big difference. Trevor’s idea of “paying it forward” to change the world is an example of logos. It says if we pay it forward to three people, those three pay it forward, and so on, then theoretically it could change the world.
MALAGUZZI'S theory is shown in the movie through Trevor's learning, when Trevor learns that his project is failing because Jerry went back to drugs, and when he couldn't help his friend Adam. Trevor is learning through his actions, through a project that is his idea and therefore he wants to succeed in. This motivates Trevor to keep trying, no matter how hard or difficult things may become.
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