Copyright

Stand and Deliver Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Stand and Deliver' is a 1988 movie by director Ramon Menendez about a teacher who inspires students in a low-performing school to learn calculus. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this film.

Stand and Deliver

Ramon Menendez's Stand and Deliver is a film based on the true story of Jaime Escalante, a teacher who inspired his underperforming students to master calculus. The questions in this asset will guide classroom discussions about this movie.

0:00-0:35

The questions in this section review the characters, setting, and challenges.

  • What are some ways the filmmaker describes the setting? Why is the setting important?
  • Describe the initial interactions between Mr. Escalante and his students. What are some of the challenges he faces? How does his response to them characterize this teacher?
  • Chuco and Mr. Escalante engage in a power struggle for control of the class. Why is control important to Chuco? How does Mr. Escalante bait Angel and his associates into participating? Do you agree with his methods? Explain your answer.
  • The school is facing problems with accreditation. How does the response of the faculty contribute to the problem? Compare Mr. Escalante's attitude to the other teachers. Why is attitude important?
  • What are some factors outside of school that affect the performance of Mr. Escalante's students? How does Mr. Escalante support these students? What are some solutions to these societal issues?

0:36-1:10

The questions in this section are about the class decision to sacrifice their summer and weekends to prepare for the advanced placement test.

  • Mr. Escalante proposes adding calculus to the curriculum. What opposition does he face? Do you agree with Mr. Escalante or his critics? Why? Would you be willing to take summer school and attend class extra hours if you were one of his students? Explain your answer.
  • Why do you think so many students sign the contract? How does Mr. Escalante convince his students to sacrifice their plans to devote extra time to math? Think about a time when you had to give up something you wanted in the present for a future pay-off. Was it worth it? What did you learn from the experience?
  • Mr. Escalante sacrifices his own family and his health for his students. Do you think it is worth the sacrifice? Why?

1:11-1:40

This section contains questions about the test results, cheating accusations, and the decision to prove themselves.

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