It was an early release day today, one of two built into the calendar for professional development for teachers. That meant that the kids left at noon. For the second year in a row, our school showed a foreign film during this shortened academic day. We are an IB school and the objective of the activity is to expand the international sensibility of our students. Last year we showed the Tibetan movie The Cup, and this year it was Whale Rider.
Before the movie, I split the students into two groups, boys and girls, for a discussion on gender, traditional gender roles, and leadership, which are major themes of Whale Rider. Independently of one and other, both groups listed the following three qualities as important in a leader: committed to the people, trustworthy, and smart or wise. In addition, they also agreed that none of those things were gender specific, and they were truly puzzled as to why people in the past did not often consider women fit to be good leaders.
Golly. Do you think they might be on to something?