Analysis of The Film To Sir With Love

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Psychology is a discipline that studies human behavior and mind. It attempts to ask questions about the reason behind an individual’s behavior and thinking. Teaching is a process that facilitates learning and it is the enthusiastic application of knowledge, skills and attributes designed to provide unique service to meet the educational needs of the individual and the society. In addition to providing students with learning opportunities to meet curriculum outcomes, teaching stresses the development of values and guides students in their social relationships. Teachers employ practices that develop positive self-concept in students. Although the work of teachers naturally takes place in a classroom setting, the direct interaction between teacher and student is the single most important element in teaching.

The educational interests of students are best obliged by teachers who practice under conditions that enable them to exercise professional judgment. Teachers have a right to participate in all the decisions that affect them or their work, and have a corresponding accountability to provide informed leadership in matters related to their professional practice.  Each teacher can recount plentiful highs and lows in their teaching career. Personally, I experienced many great moments while teaching.

These were days when I ended so happy and enthusiastic that I knew I had selected the right profession. On the other hand, I had days where I questioned teaching as a career. These were days where the students seemed uninterested, too talkative, or even worse a blow up occurred and nothing got accomplished. Thankfully the average combined with the positive days outshines my negative days. In this assignment, I am going to share “to sir with love” film analyzing how teacher is changing the behavior of the classroom. This movie gave new insights to the method of teaching and learning in educational institutions and the issues related to it. This discussion is based on detailed movie review of this epic movie.

Film review

This movie begins with the story of a novice teacher, who is given a class of some very rowdy and ill-mannered students. Behind the rowdiness and misbehavior of these children come the basic themes of the movie. In this film the teacher faced with disrespectful teenagers who play pranks, and who are leaving school to find jobs and establish adult lives. Every day the teacher faces different situations. When he entered the classroom all the students were in their world they do whatever they want. The teacher is teaching the class very quietly and calmly. The next day the teacher entered the class students were break the teacher table and the teacher was fell on the ground. Instead of helping him they were laughing. teacher took the table leg on his hand and quietly tell them sit down everyone.

One fine day he came to college in front of main gate a water balloon was dropped out his classroom window bursting at his feet. Hurrying in and up the stair case he enters the room to see students gathered around a fire in the wood burning stove.He is dis disgusted by what he sees ( sanitary napkins) amnd sends the boys out the room and scolds the girls. “ I am sick of your disrespectful language, your crude behavior and your sluttish manner!” the teacher said not one but all are responsible for the act because such things have been disrespectful. The teacher said them that the item be removed from the stove while he leaves the classroom.

Teacher told his students that they will not work from the assigned curriculuim, but instead there will be classroom discussion about anything : life , marriage their work, sex etc. the ground rules also he mentioned the girls were to be reffered to as “miss” and the boys by their sir names. On the other hand you all should to clean up your appearrence and language. To increase the class’s cultural exposure, Teacher takes them on field trips to museums and theatres, to which many of the students have never been. His student used various tactics to break him emotionally and spiritually. They tried to ridicule him by giving him disrespectful comments at every point. As a response, he always handled them as students, who can be improved and tamed through love, care, strictness, and authority.

Although his students frequently disappoint him, Braithwaite learns to forgive them, and they in turn regularly surprise him with their maturity, empathy, and knowledge. Behavioral theory Behaviourism theory was developed by skinner in 1974.The theory of behaviourism demonstrates a perspective on educating the highlights the alterations in the observable behaviours of any learner. According to the theory, the subject or the learner have a tendency to repeat the action or behavior when they are offered positive reinforcement. On the other hand, in case of negative reinforcement or negative feedback, the student will stop the action as soon as possible. In the movie, the teacher teacher has used the concept to educate his students. He introduced his students to the positive reinforcement such as expressing friendly behavior to them.

On the other hand, the humble behaviour and liberty to discuss any topic in the classroom acted as a reinforcement. Using behaviorist theory in the classroom can be rewarding for both students and teachers. Behavioral change occurs for a reason; students work for things that bring them positive feelings, and for approval from people they admire. They change behaviors to satisfy the desires they have learned to value. They generally avoid behaviors they associate with unpleasantness and develop habitual behaviors from those that are repeated often (Parkay & Hass, 2000).

The entire rationale of behavior modification is that most behavior is learned. If behaviors can be learned, then they can also be unlearned or relearned. Learning can occur through associations. The classical conditioning process works by developing an association between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus. In physiologist Ivan Pavlov’s classic experiments, dogs associated the presentation of food (something that naturally and automatically triggers a salivation response) with the sound of a bell, at first, and then the sight of a lab assistant’s white coat. Eventually, the lab coat alone elicited a salivation response from the dogs.

Different factors can influence the classical conditioning process: During the first part of the classical conditioning process, known as as acquisition, a response is recognized and supported. Factors such as the importance of the stimuli and the timing of presentation can play an important role in how quickly an association is formed. When an association disappears, this is known as extinction, causing the behavior to weaken gradually or vanish. Factors such as the strength of the original response can play a role in how quickly extinction occurs.

The longer a response has been conditioned, for example, the longer it may take for it to become extinct Learning can also occur through reward and punishment: Behaviorist B.F. Skinner described operant conditioning  as the process in which learning can occur through reinforcement and punishment. More specifically, by forming an association between a certain behavior and the consequences of that behavior, you learn. For example, if a parent rewards their child with praise every time they pick up their toys, the desired behavior is consistently reinforced. As a result, the child will become more likely to clean up messes.

According to Gordon (1974) he believed that the most important thing in teaching is teacher and student relationship. It’s more important than what the teacher is teaching who the teacher is trying to teach. In this film also the teacher did that, first he built a good relationship with students, in the class students are talking freely about their life. He managed the class very quietly and calmly. Giving leaderships to students by providing opportunities and responsibilities for each of them diminish the number of misbehaviours. Teacher told his students that they will not work from the assigned curriculums, but instead there will be classroom discussion about anything: life, marriage their work, sex etc. the ground rules also he mentioned the girls were to be referred to as “miss” and the boys by their sir names.

On the other hand, you all should to clean up your appearance and language. In my view, I believed that Gordons 6 steps of problem solving is very effective method to follow in future to solve any type of problem.  The 6 steps are:

  1. Defining the problem: this means understand the problem or situation.
  2. Generating possible solutions (brainstorming): this means list down the possible solutions to solve the problems.
  3.  Evaluating the solution: this means collecting information about the solution. (have to discuss benefits and disadvantages of solutions)
  4.  Deciding on a solution: this means selecting best solution from the list.
  5. Implementing: this means practically applying on the decision.
  6.  Reevaluating the solution: this means having a follow up or re-checking.

Social Development Theory (Lev Vygotsky)

The major theme of Vygotsky’s theory is than social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. Vygotsky’s theory is the idea that the potential for cognitive development depend upon the “Zone of proximal development” (ZPD). It is depends upon the level of development reached when children engage in social behavior. Full development of the ZPD depends upon full social interaction.in this the teacher take them to museum they all were happy, they accept the teacher and follow the rules. The range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration will exceeds and what can be achieved alone.

My teaching Experience Shuraih is an 8year old boy who is very active in his class. He is not interested in his studies. Whenever the teacher gave him a work he runs around the class making different noises. So, teacher punishes him by sending him out of the class. So, after some days whenever he wants to go out he goes immediately without getting the permission. After observing his behavior leading teacher decided to change his class to see whether there is any possible improvement. The new teacher treated Shuraih differently. The first thing she did was build a close relationship with the child. When the session starts, the teacher asks Shuraih what he likes to do on that particular day. According to his likes teacher provides different works for him like coloring, making somethings with clay, cutting the pictures and pasting etc… And give positive reinforcements to him like stickers, badges and small tokens like a marble, a piece of magnet etc. Shuraih’s favorite time is recess time. During that time, he wants to go to his friends and shares his interval with them. So, the teacher allows him to go to his friend if he complete at least one work per day. So, by giving negative reinforcement also we can change a child’s behavior.

How to solve the problem

In this case the first teacher punishes him whenever he makes a mistakes. On the other hand the second teacher gave him different consequences and gave time for him to change his behavior. She gave him different task and responsibilities to overcome his behavioral problem. Positive reinforces are favorable events or outcomes that are given to the individual after the desired behavior. This may come in the form of praise, rewards, etc. Negative reinforces typically are characterized by the removal of an undesired or unpleasant outcome after the desired behavior. A response is strengthened as something considered negative is removed. The goal in both of these cases of reinforcement is for the behavior to increase. Punishment, in contrast, is when the increase of something undesirable attempts to cause a decrease in the behavior that follows.

Positive punishment is when unfavorable events or outcomes are given in order to weaken the response that follows. Negative punishment is characterized by when a favorable event or outcome is removed after an undesired behavior occurs. The goal in both of these cases of punishment is for a behavior to decrease. In my own teaching, I have found that a behavior that goes unrewarded will be extinguished. Consistently ignoring an undesirable behavior will go far toward eliminating it. When the teacher does not respond angrily, the problem is forced back to its source-the student. I have chosen this theory as it is one of the aspects important to human behavior, though, is the feelings associated with behavior that is controlled by conditioning.

When previous behaviors have been rewarded, children are likely to repeat those behaviors happily and willingly, feeling that they are doing what they ‘want’ to be doing. If, on the other hand, children choose behaviors in order to avoid a repeat of negative reinforcement, they may behave appropriately, but will be inclined to feel that their freedoms are being suppressed. The actual freedom still exists, of course. Children, like the rest of us, are free to behave in any manner that they choose, as long as they are willing to accept the consequences of their actions.


The school years are the grounding years of one’s education. Schools are institutions that lay the foundation of a child’s development. They play a key role in developing children into responsible citizens and good human beings. It’s a school where young talent is recognized and nurtured. We teachers plays an important role after parents in molding the students. Students are to be handled with affection and courtesy. Student success is hard to achieve if the students’ environment is not conducive to learning, but if a teacher has great classroom management skills and an encouraging and motivating spirit, student success is much easier to achieve.

Achievement is what every teacher strives for his or her students to experience, and having a heart to teach makes student success possible. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. “Maimonides The career of teaching should not be taken up just for a job but instead for self-satisfaction and social development.


  1. Albert Bandura | Social Learning Theory | Simply Psychology. Available at: https://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html. [Accessed 02 March 2019]. March 2019].
  2. Gordon, T. (2019). Teacher Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) – Gordon Training International. [online] Gordontraining.com. Available at: http://www.gordontraining.com/school-programs/teacher-effectiveness-training-t-e-t/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2019]. How to Create a Positive Learning Environment Retrieved 17th February 2019 from: http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/pages/578.shtml
  3. M. Wilson, S. (2016). [online] Available at: hhttps://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED495823.pdf [Accessed 1 Mar. 2019].
  4. Morrison, D. (2014). Why Educators Need to Know Learning Theory. [online] Online: Available at: https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/why-educators-need-to-know-learning-theor [Accessed 1 Mar. 2019].
  5. Nadine Kerstetter, M. (2019). To Sir, With Love. Assessment of An Effectual Teacher. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/NadineKerstetter/to-sir-with-love-assessment-of-an-effectual-teacher [Accessed 2 Mar. 2019].
  6. Skinner, B.F (1974). About behaviorism. Oxford, England:. [online] Fitelson.org. Available at: http://fitelson.org/prosem/skinner_2.pdf [Accessed 2 Mar. 2019].
  7. Vygotsky, L. (2019). [online] instructionaldesign.org. Available at: https://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/social-development/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2019].
  8. Vygotsky, L.s. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. www.learnning-theories.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/operant-conditioning-skinner.html www.psychologistworld.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.psychologistworld.com/treatments/rational-emotive-theraphy

Cite this paper

Analysis of The Film To Sir With Love. (2020, Sep 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/analysis-of-the-film-to-sir-with-love/



How does the movie To Sir With Love End?
In the end, the students show their appreciation for their teacher, Mark Thackeray (played by Sidney Poitier), by giving him a heartfelt farewell gift and singing the title song To Sir With Love. The film ends with Thackeray leaving the school, but not before he turns around one last time to look at his students with a smile.
Is To Sir With Love a good movie?
I think Is To Sir With Love is a good movie because it is a classic film that deals with important issues in a relatable way.
What was the disgusting thing in To Sir, With Love?
In fact, both symbolically and literally, the entire story turns on a used menstrual pad Disposable menstrual pads grew from a Benjamin Franklin invention created to help stop wounded soldiers from bleeding, but appear to have been first commercially available from around 1880 with Thomas and William Southall's pad. Menstrual pad . The teacher was having a hard time gaining control of his classroom and one day after a recess he entered the room to find a haze of smoke in the air and a foul stench .
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