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& Deliver Essay, Research Paper INTRODUCTION Stand and Deliver centres on a maths teacher at a tough high school who persuades his class of violent pupils that education is an asset.

& Deliver Essay, Research Paper

INTRODUCTION

Stand and Deliver centres on a maths teacher at a tough high school who persuades his class of violent pupils that education is an asset.

East Los Angeles Garfield High is the setting for this inspirational true story about a teacher who refuses to discard his inner city students as losers. It is an exhilarating story of hope, trepidation, trust and above all else desire.

Stand and Deliver was my choice because it was the only movie from the selection I hadn t seen. I knew this would make my analysis more difficult, but I enjoy a challenge and once I viewed the video many organisational behaviour theories stood out.

The three topics I ve decided to critically analyse are as follows;

I) Individual differences: personality, attitudes, abilities, emotions

II) Perception and attributions

III) Managing change in learning organisations

There were numerous topics covered throughout the duration of the film. However, I believe these three provide the greatest insight with regards to models and practical theories. Furthermore, when applying our learning in Organisational Behaviour to a real-life situation.

ANALYSIS

I) Individual differences: personality, attitudes, abilities, emotions

From the outset Mr Escalante (the maths teacher) is faced with a frightening predicament. Arriving for his first day of school, he is confronted with a set of rebellious students intent on making his life hell.

I ve seen people like you before, you ll be hurting soon The negative attitude of students towards learning was clearly evident, as was their low self-esteem.

Self-esteem is a belief about one s own self-worth based on an overall self-evaluation . If they try and don t succeed, you ll shatter what little confidence they did have Through a history of poor facilitators the students believe that their opinions and contributions are not taken seriously, and to exert influence on the class and teachers they must incite physical violence. These traits indicate a very low level of organisational-based self-esteem and provide incentive for Mr Escalante to improve his pupils, not only as students, but also as human beings .

He begins this arduous task by being supportive and showing concern for personal problems. He actively restrains a pupil from partaking in a fight and attempts to convince a father of his daughter s academic potential.

This stuff don t make no sense unless you show us how it works in the real world As such variety and challenges that suit the students values, skills and abilities are used to aid the learning process and assist in building self-esteem .

Sex is often called to gain everybody s attention and practical examples like apples and sand at the beach are used to help perform fractions.

Mr Escalante also strives for teacher-student cohesiveness . He builds trust through showing faith in his students, by challenging them to be better and being prepared to perform extra sessions, even if they are at his house. His faith in his students, and there trust in him is eventually rewarded with their ultimate success.

Notwithstanding, the student s level of self-efficacy rises. Self-Efficacy is a person s belief about his or her chances of successfully completing a specific task . When the students were confronted with a new teacher, they resorted back to prior experiences regarding learning with negative credence. As Mr Escalante was able to build trust and raise the level of self-esteem, the level of self-efficacy also rose and with it brought the positive beliefs of learning.

Their individual personalities encapsulate the essence of Stand and Deliver. From a bold and assertive beginning, they became dependable, responsible, achievement oriented and persistent. This personality is commonly call conscientiousness and not surprisingly has the strongest positive correlation with job performance and training performance . A personality is defined as the combination of stable physical and mental characteristics that give the individual his or her identity .

Mr Escalante states You re going to work harder than you ve ever worked before and the only thing I ask from you is desire If you don t have it, I will give you it because I m an expert . The students embrace the concept of desire and envelop the traits of a conscientious person.

Moreover, as the student s progress through their senior year and their levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy increase, their locus of control shifts. Individuals vary in terms of how much personal responsibility they take for their behaviour and its consequences. For the students at east Los Angeles Garfield High their locus of control shifts from external to internal. Specifically, people who hold an internal locus of control believe they control the events and consequences that affect their lives . Through the medium of weekend sessions, night sessions and summer school the students brandish greater work motivation and have stronger expectations that effort leads to performance.

Emotions are complex human reactions to personal achievements and setbacks . Needless to say, they play a large part in the student s psyche. Pride, happiness and relief have replaced negative emotions of anger, anxiety and disgust. Emotional behaviour is seldom considered, yet Mr Escalante s ability to recognise the differing negative emotions and harness the enthusiasm is to be applauded.

The betterment of student abilities and the positive switch experienced by their attitudes and emotions highlight the effect a successful facilitator can have on individuals. Inturn, the results achieved show that anything is possible if a strong foundation is layed, trust is built and effective management principles are identified and implemented.

II) Perception and attributions

Perception is a cognitive process that enables us to interpret and understand our surroundings . Since organisational behaviours principle focus is people, in this instance, perception relates to the way the students view the teacher and each other. This concept is commonly known as social perception .

The students initially perceived Mr Escalante as an ogre , not as someone who could inspire them to become better. They broke his car window and stole his stereo, rigged the school bell and generally treated him with distain.

The four-stage sequence of social perception accentuates this point ;

Stage 1- Selective attention/comprehension

Attention is the process of becoming consciously aware of something or someone . The student s attention seems focused on memory and in particular the memory of previous teachers and figures of authority.

Stage 2- Encoding and simplification

Encoding is when new information is interpreted or translated into mental representations . For example All students who don t speak English move to the front of the class Many students would perceive Mr Escalante s comments to be racist or favouring a group, instead of being constructive and helpful. A schema represents a person s mental picture or summary of a particular event or type of stimulus . This may prgress with a student s classroom schema being: entering the classroom, sitting down, hearing (but not necessarily listening) the teacher, writing notes and eventually leaving. A rather boring concept of school and teaching.

Stage 3- Storage and retention

Only the negative information is stored and retained, creating a situation where the positives are blocked out and completely overshadowed by bad memories.

Stage 4- Retrieval and response

When judgements and decisions are made information retrieved comes from the memory. As such, if information is negative, then actions and perceptions will follow suit. Comments such as the school has a problem with accreditation But nobody has ever taught calculus at this school before , exemplify the pessimistic outlook, and the culmination of negative thoughts in the final stage of the social perception sequence.

With perceptions, stereotypes are created. A stereotype is an individual s set of beliefs about the characteristics or attributes of a group . The most prevalent in Stand and Deliver are race stereotypes.

There are some people in the world who assume you know less than you do because of your name and your complexion, but maths is the great equaliser

Mr Escalante s observations prove correct on both accounts. Detrimental racial stereotypes are to blame when the school comes under suspicion for cheating in the National Advanced Placement Calculus Exam and maths does become the great equaliser. When asked to re-sit the exam, the entire class pass again!!!

The students gradually gained the knowledge and acquired the ability to believe in themselves and to believe that they could reach their goals. The self-fulfilling prophecy states that people s expectations determine behaviour and performance .

Where seniors this is our year to slack off , were the sentiments echoed through the classroom from the beginning. Conversely, as expectations developed and more conscientious behaviour was assumed, performance improved and the self-fulfilling prophecy was demonstrated.

III) Managing change in learning organisations

Organisations and schools alike encounter many different forces for change. These forces come from external sources outside the organisation and from internal sources .

Internal forces for change come from inside the organisation/school. These forces may be subtle, such as low job satisfaction, or can manifest in outward signs, such as low productivity and conflict. Within a school environment, these forces for change come from both teaching/administration problems and student problems .

The problems identified at Garfield High School are as follows; unmotivated students, inadequate learning equipment and uncommitted staff.

Mr Escalante seeks to break this mould by pursuing extra responsibility and through introducing innovative change by teaching calculus. Innovative change falls midway on the continuum of complexity, cost and uncertainty and basically refers to introducing a new practised to the organisation.

When Mr Escalante requests to teach calculus for the first time, his proposal is greeted with criticism and uncertainty. Mr Escalante, many of the teachers in this room would struggle to pass the NAP Calculus exam- how do you think the students will Yet, teaching has become his passion and his wish is granted with trepidation.

Lewins change model of unfreezing, changing and refreezing is applicable in this situation ;

Unfreezing- The teacher attempts to initiate change by replacing old behaviours and attitudes (coming late, no participation, fighting) with those desired (class involvement, mutual learning etc )

Changing- Providing the students with the new information, new behavioural models or new ways of looking at things. Examples can be seen through a short quiz at the beginning of each class and for not participating a seat in front of the class making them the show .

Refreezing- The stabilising period where students integrate the changed behaviour or attitude into their normal way of doing things . This is exhibited through extra classes and summer school, all greeted with positive reinforcement.

Nonetheless, we are very habitual and it is generally difficult for people to try new ways of doing things. This is the case when Mr Escalante begins teaching his class maths and in particular calculus.

There are many antecedents of change; the biggest in this case is fear of failure. The students in essence doubt their own capabilities to perform the task. This statement is insinuated by comments like I can t do it, everybody knows I m the dumbest here Peer pressure also plays a substantial role and as the old adage goes its not cool to be in school , further examples are witnessed when class members leave early to be join their gang member buddies. Other serious factors are the fear of the unknown and predisposition toward change .

Mr Escalante adopts a very personal approach to overcoming and managing his student s fear of change. He is able to recognise the diverse upbringings and family lives his student s lead and deal with every individual accordingly. He communicates effectively, offers support when needed and through his high level of involvement is able to earn the respect and trust of his students.

From beginning to end his direct and thoughtful approach is able to transform his class of violent, disrespectful youths into a well oiled learning organisation. A learning organisation is one that proactively creates, acquires and transfers knowledge that changes its behaviour on the basis of new knowledge and insights .

Mr Escalante s predilection for analytic, interactive and structural learning modes represents the various ways in which he attempts to create and eventually succeeds in maximising their learning .

Through enhancing his students learning capabilities, he has been able to form a commitment to learning.

Furthermore, 18/18 students passed the AP Calculus exam the first year he taught the subject, this number has since elevated radically for all preceding years.

QUESTION AND ANSWER

I) Which factors determine the level of self-efficacy on the student s ability to learn and their general performance? From which beliefs can these be derived?

Self-Efficacy is the belief on one s ability to perform a task. As a specific dimension of self-esteem, its level has a cyclical relationship with performance cycles. They can both spiral upward toward success or downward toward failure.

Major sources of self-efficacy beliefs are prior experiences, behaviour models, persuasion from others and assessment of physical/emotional state.

Our knowledge of Stand and Deliver allows us an insight into the beliefs that affect the students at Garfield High School.

Prior experience is the most potent source, and as explained earlier these students have encountered terrible experiences through learning. These detrimental experiences would foster low self-efficacy. Behaviour models relate to the success or failure of your classmates. As failure is an ingrained belief within the students, their behaviour and level of positive persuasion from others is poor. Finally, physical and emotional factors may also affect your self-confidence. The student s lives away from school are riddles with violence and onerous responsibilities, only causing their self-efficacy expectations to plunge even further.

Needless to say, with such negative beliefs their low level of self-efficacy impacts profoundly on their ability to learn.

It is not until Mr Escalante is able to personalise classes and gain the respect and trust of the pupils that performance begins to rise. This rise allows us to witness the strong positive correlation between high self-efficacy and performance. Thus, indicating that the student s ability to learn had risen dramatically.

II) How does Mr Escalante use the self-fulfilling prophecy to improve individual and group productivity?

The self-fulfilling prophecy, also known as the Pygmalion effect, describes how people behave so their expectations come true.

Mr Escalante strives to instil a strong self-fulfilling prophecy upon his students, because he realises positive self-expectations improve interpersonal expectations by encouraging people to work towards a common goal. In this case, the common goal is passing the NAP Calculus exam.

From humble and rather gloomy beginnings, where the student s goal was to basically survive. Mr Escalante was able to enhance group-level productivity and promote positive performance expectations within the classroom.

He was able to achieve such fantastic results and create higher positive performance expectations by using a number of techniques. Through careful recognition he realised that every student had the potential to increase his or her performance. His ability to instil confidence, set goals and offer positive reinforcement were also critical components to improved productivity within the classroom.

Moreover, whilst gradually improving his student s level of self-esteem, Mr Escalante was effectively able to use the self-fulfilling prophecy to positively improve everyone s productivity. He was able to harness the Pygmalion effect by building a framework within the classroom that reinforces positive performance expectations and ultimately gains the desired results.

III) Learning capabilities are the fuel for organisational success. How do the students of Garfield High School acquire and use them?

Learning capabilities are the set of core competencies and internal processes that enable an organisation to adapt to its environment. They represent a set of interior proficiencies, which are defines as special knowledge, skills, and technological know-how that differentiate an organisation/school from its competitors, and processes that enable an organisation to adapt to its environment.

Mr Escalante is able to develop, nurture, and reinforce his students learning capabilities. With thanks to innovative teaching techniques and analytical, interactive and structural learning modes the students acquire the learning capabilities required to tackle the NAP Calculus exam.

These capabilities are acquired through effective communication, support and active involvement. They are sustained by completing required work, including night sessions and summer school and are used throughout life, not just in the exam.

CONCLUSION

Stand and Deliver is a film that offers a multitude of organisational behaviour theories to critically analysis and relate to a real-life situation. Through serious examination, the topics of individual differences, perception and attribution, and managing change in learning organisations were prevalent.

These topics equipped us to take an in depth look at what made Mr Escalante s teaching methods so successful, and how he managed to relate and extract the most out of every individual.

With their backs against the wall, the concept of desire shone through, and with this useful tool, Mr Escalante and his class was able to achieve unimaginable results.

REFERENCE LIST

Books:

Leatherman. D., 1990, The Training Trilogy: facilitation skills, Human Resource Department Press Inc., Amherst, Massachusetts, p 72.

Knowles. M.C., 1990, Organisational Behaviour: Changing Concepts and Applications, Harper & Row, NSW, p 351.

Kreitner. R., and Kinicki, A., 1998, Organisational Behaviour, 4th edition (international edition), Irwin/McGraw-Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, p 125.

Vecchio, R.P., Hearn, G. and Southey, G., 1996, Organisational Behaviour, 2nd edition, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, NSW, p 236.

Journals:

Brown. A.D. and Starkey. K., 2000, Organisational identity and learning: A Psychodynamic Perspective , The Academy of Management Journal, January.

Farrell. M.A., 2000, Developing a Market-Oriented Learning Organisation , The Australian Journal of Management, September.

Hardingham. A., 2000, Charged with intent , People Management, March.

Lam. S.K., and Schaubroeck. J., 2000, The role of locus of control in reactions to being promoted and to being passed over , Academy of Management Journal, February.

Managing Emotions and Needs , 2000, Henley Manager Update, volume 12 No. 2.

Weiss. R.P., 2000, Brain-based learning , Training & Development Journal, July.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books:

Daniels. C.A, 2000, Bringing out the best in people, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Leatherman. D., 1990, The Training Trilogy: facilitation skills, Human Resource Department Press Inc., Amherst, Massachusetts.

Knowles. M.C., 1990, Organisational Behaviour: Changing Concepts and Applications, Harper & Row, NSW.

Kreitner. R., and Kinicki, A., 1998, Organisational Behaviour, 4th edition (international edition), Irwin/McGraw-Hill, Boston, Massachusetts.

Toropov. B., 1997, Managers guide to dealing with difficult people, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Vecchio, R.P., Hearn, G. and Southey, G., 1996, Organisational Behaviour, 2nd edition, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, NSW.

Journals:

Brown. A.D. and Starkey. K., 2000, Organisational identity and learning: A Psychodynamic Perspective , The Academy of Management Journal, January.

Farrell. M.A., 2000, Developing a Market-Oriented Learning Organisation , The Australian Journal of Management, September.

Hardingham. A., 2000, Charged with intent , People Management, March.

Lam. S.K., and Schaubroeck. J., 2000, The role of locus of control in reactions to being promoted and to being passed over , Academy of Management Journal, February.

Managing Emotions and Needs , 2000, Henley Manager Update, volume 12 No. 2.

Weiss. R.P., 2000, Brain-based learning , Training & Development Journal, July.

Video:

Stand and Deliver.

Teams and Leaders.

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