Free Movie Review About The Marva Collins Story

Type of paper: Movie Review

Topic: Students, Education, Teaching, Family, School, Cinema, Literature, Movies

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/09/27

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Talking about this very movie or book it is essential to say that it is a biographical story, so it is important to observe just few basic facts about the main character – Marva Collins. She was born in Alabama in 1936. She attended Clark College, studying secretarial science. In 1957 she graduated with a degree. Nevertheless, Collins never thought that she would be a pedagogue. However, she taught in school for 2 years in Alabama, and, in 1961 Marva went back to profession of a teacher in a school of Chicago.
The reason was she missed helping children discover the beauty of studying. She was very upset and annoyed about other teachers as they wasn’t so inspired and enthusiastic as she was. Coupled with her husband Marva managed to open the Westside Preparatory School. She created her budgetary private school particularly for the people, especially African American, with low income. These children were labeled as “learning disabled” and all schools in Chicago didn’t want to teach them. Throughout her teaching career she received a lot of prizes and awards: starting with Jefferson Award for Benefiting the Disadvantaged and ending with Award for being legendary woman of the world and etc.
In this heart-warming story, a devoted African-American teacher in an inner-city school in Chicago facing tough challenges, tries to help children from the ghetto to learn something. The Marva Collins Story shows us Westside Preparatory School’s first year after the creation, during which, in spite of hardships and spokes in the wheels from the teaching establishment and from her students' own parents, Marva is able not only to give her kids knowledge in how to read, write and speak up, but also she helps them to get to know such authors as Shakespeare and Chaucer. With the help of oral presentations, she manages to boost student’s confidence in their own strength and powers. Nevertheless, she used very controversial technique to teach her students, so called the Socratic Method. This technique was divided into several simple yet very effective steps as we can see throughout the whole movie. It was seen that Ms. Collins chose data with abstract entry to challenge logic of students, and that will thus have distinct meaning to various students, to create discussion among them. It was done particularly to teach students to reason. During one of the lessons, Marva read the material, because as she told “. . . unknown data can not be taught . . .”. New words are listed, and explained, for speaking and usage before the material is read. Marva Collins claims that without these actions, the reading is senseless. As it was already mentioned, her technique was accounted as controversial. She believed that direct teaching requires new behavior by both the teacher and the students, thus it requires some degree of behavior modification.
As Marva Collins developed into more of a wide her conceptual skills let her to observe not only her organization as a whole yet its influence on educational process. Her capability of developing innovative concepts in implementing a strict curriculum, and seeing the connection between motivation and achievement made Marva well sought after consultant to other institutions in the United States. She claims that dedication and motivational leadership is the main things for a successful pedagogue.
In her movie, Collins likes to start a lesson, even of the very young, with the help of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.” She says that “Life is a straggle”. Every child’s future is in his or her own hand. Everyone will make mistakes and errors, but an individual who does not make mistakes will not succeed in anything. Marva tries to find how to give confidence for students with the help of saying simple nice words every day. Moreover, she ensures them again and again that they can learn.
Marva Collins traveled the road of motivating students to perform and achieve at a higher level. The basic tenet of transformational leadership is that followers will follow leaders who can inspire them. It is well observed in the movie – the student’s seeing how confident their teacher, how strong and independent she is, are inspired and also became more confident. Marva modeled a set of strong values and convictions toward education that were duplicated among her students. Students were insipid by their teacher and leader to reach the aims of increased academic achievement. Marva Collins challenged the normal beliefs about the kinds of student who enrolled in Westside Preparatory Academy. Her main goal was to reform her neighborhood and give a chance for the students to learn. One may be very touched with social responsibility that she had, which could not be suppressed by any difficulties.
Throughout the course of history there have been many women that have exemplified the features of balanced woman, and Marva Collins would without fail be treated as one of them. Although Marva Collins was wedded to her career as a teacher, she succeeded to withstand the balance between her career and her family. She shows a strong feeling of stability in both family and career, proving that she is capable to teach and be a wife.
It is important to mention that she wanted to rebuild her own house into a school. It is safe to say that her workplace and home were automatically mixed. The main character combined her profession into her household, making it almost impossible to absolutely ignore one of them. Initially Collins’ family was very supporting with Marva’s decision to create her own school. The creation of the institution was in fact built with the help of her family. There is an example in the movie when Mr. Collins, Marva’s husband and her children helped to knock down the walls for Marva to transform this part of her house into what would later become Westside Preparatory School. This demonstrates the sense of solidarity that her career and family life was from the very beginning. Actually, it is important to mention that with the help of her son that became so involved with the creation and support of the school, Marva’s Westside Preparatory school received a very good helper in providing books for the school.
Hence, one can come to the conclusion that this movie is an exceptionally heartwarming story. With the help of this film not only teachers would be able to see that with great afford everything is achievable and doable, but also people with different professions may find inner strength to overcome some problem or to solve it. Interestingly, that the methods that were used by Marva Collins were perfectly reproduced in the movie. I strongly recommend this film to my friends, family and to my teachers, and anyone else who is somehow connected with the educational process. This film is truly heart wrenching, interesting, film, that leaves you with strength, will, hope and the belief that you can do anything you want – you just need to want in hard enough. I totally believe that there would be many teachers like Marva Collins and it would be great if there will be more teachers like her. Pedagogues, that would endow education to transform the individual into a good human being that has decent morals, intellectual knowledge, ethical principles and social responsibilities.


IMDb,. (2015). The Marva Collins Story (TV Movie 1981). Retrieved 16 January 2015, from,. (2015). Marva Collins Biography - life, childhood, children, parents, story, school, book, old, information, born, college. Retrieved 16 January 2015, from
The Marva Collins Story (1981 Full Movie). (1981). Retrieved from

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Free Movie Review About The Marva Collins Story. Free Essay Examples - Published Sep 27, 2020. Accessed November 29, 2021.

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