what can transpire when teachers and parents bond together. For
instance, this movie occurs with younger children, exposing their
impressionable minds immediately. This proves to be a problem
because many of the children lack confidence in their talents due to the
fact that their parents are sending them an entirely different message
from their teacher and trying to force them into a bubble of excelling
academically at the expense of everything else. Had the parents and
Finn worked together in this film to send the same message to the
children, it could have been an inspiring movie that encourages children
to pursue their diverse dreams and passions.
This conflict between Finn and the parents also, as in High School
Musical, brings up the problem of presenting parents as opposing the
arts. Where in High School Musical the parent-teacher conflict exposes
the divide between the arts and sports, School of Rock exposes the divide
between arts and academics. By portraying a teacher taking over a
classroom and only teaching the children music, the film works to
perpetuate the idea that “serious” education is on one side while music
is on the other. Had the film portrayed Finn living up to his
expectations of creating a band yet also teaching the children academics
to appease the parents’ expectations or more clearly conveyed how
the rock and roll curriculum actually provided a context for teaching
the other subjects in an arts-based curriculum the film could be one
of the few to present that the arts can work with other talents to create
a whole-rounded individual.
Despite the numerous conflicts between Finn and the parents,
one of the most interesting parent conflicts occurs not with a teacher
but actually with the principal, Rosanne Mullins (Joan Cusack). As the
principal is constantly pushed under a microscope by the intense
parents throughout the film, it is clear she has changed her persona
under the constant pressure to perform. Taking into account Mary M.
Dalton’s insights on principals in The Hollywood Curriculum, it is clear
School of Rock is just another film placing a principal into one of the
distinct categories of principals in Hollywood movies: buffoons,
autocrats, bureaucrats, or caring pragmatists (Dalton 180-189). At the
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