Evaluating Educating Rita
Educating Rita tells a story of a 26-year-old married hairdresser, Rita, who decided to get education by taking a course in English literature from the Open University. Through the development of the relationship between Rita and her alcoholic and cynical tutor, Frank, this story brings up many concepts in adult development and education. After watching the movie, I have a further understanding of the concepts of changes, motivation to learn, freedom, and stability. Rita is a woman who is longing for change. Change is an inevitable concept during adult development that is influenced by different factors, such as age, culture, and certain life events. Rita comes from a working class society and has been undergoing stress from her family and cultural environment. This film demonstrates some conflicts between her normative age-graded influences and nonnormative life events. Under the influence from her working-class environment, Rita has to leave school at a young age, gets a job, and then become married. At the same time, her age-cohorts (contemporaries) were still receiving education from school and gaining knowledge. Ironically, when she reaches the normal age that everyone is expecting her to have a baby, she starts trying to extricate herself from her local environmental influence by getting an education and raise her self-esteem. I have a similar experience with Rita; I had to return to school at middle age to get a foothold in a different country as a new immigrant. Change results from different types of influences, and also may advance our adult development. An important concept which is discussed in this movie is the motivation of learning. When Frank asks Rita what makes her decide to return to school, Rita answers that she wants to “discover” herself, and raise her confidence by talking to people with knowledge. Motivation, which is one of the learning principles, plays an important role in adult education. Nobody can force an...
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