The Chorus (Les Choristes)

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The Chorus
Les Choristes
Dina Au, Cedric Cheng, Johnson Chu, Doris Chung,
Edmond Kar, Ken Lau, Charisse Mok, Ahmood Tsang
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Plot Summary
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Background
Post
WWII
Financially
Psychologically
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The School: Bottom of the Pond
Fond de L’Etang
Aged
~8 - 16
Underprivileged
Orphans
Juvenile Delinquencies
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Students
 Protagonist
 Single-parent
 Angel face; Devil
mind
Pierre Morhange
/pi:'ɛʀ 'mɔ:ʀɔ:ʒ/
Parents died
in WWII
Pépinot
/'peɪpɪnɒ/
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Students
Mondain /mɔ'̃ dɑ/̃
•Wrecker
Corbin /'kɔ:ʀbɑ/̃
•Kind-hearted score
stand
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Teachers & Staff
 Protagonist
 Music teacher
Mr Clément Mathieu
/'kleɪmɔ ̃ mɑ'tjœ/
Principal Rachin
/'ʀæʃɑ/̃
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Teachers & Staff
Uncle La Père Maxence
/lɑ pɛʀ mæ'kʃɔs̃ /
•Kind-hearted Janitor
Mr Chabert /'ʃɑbɛʀ/
•Patriotic PE teacher
Mr Langlois /lɔ'̃ glwɑ/
• Piano-playing mathsteacher
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Principal Rachin
 Principal @ Fond
de L’Etang
 “Action –
Reaction”
 A real educator?
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Activity 1
 Ahmood  Principal  Rachin
 Doris  Miss Teacher Nice  Mathieu
 Johnson  Mr Teacher Bad Cop  Chabert
 writes something bad about the headmaster Rachin
on the white board
 When Rachin comes into the classroom….
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Activity 1
 How do you feel when Rachin asks Mathieu to pick
someone as scapegoat and punish the whole class?
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Activity 1 (video)
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Activity 1
 Discuss with your groupmates, what philosophical
perspectives are observed?
 Hints :try to think of some Chinese philosophical
perspectives 
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Rachin – A Legalist?
Legalism 法家
Han Fei Zi 韓非子
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Rachin & Legalism
 Legalism
Believes that human are inherently bad
Merely education is not adequate to rectify the bad nature of
human
Clear rules/laws have to be set on people have to obey the
rules/laws in order to maintain a stable society
People have to obey what the head says
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 Rachin
Legalism
in the movie
Emphasize strict obedience the rules
Students must obey and follow the rules
Always requires students to keep silent
‘action-reaction’
punishment, rather than teaching or inspiring students, is a better way to make
students obey the rules
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Principal Rachin’s Educational
Philosophy?
Desperate
Realist
Rotten
Idealist
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Rachin’s Educational Philosophy?
Selfish
Fortune
Fame
Profit
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Rachin’s Educational Philosophy?
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~ A Realist
Reasoning
Corporal
punishment
Discipline
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~ A Realist
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Mondain: A victim of Realistic
Principal
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Mr Clément Mathieu
 Employed as school
teacher
 Was a composer,
but didn’t went very
successful
 Inventory teacher?
 A teacher of love?
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Activity 2
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Activity 2
 Uncle Maxence was seriously hurt by Le Querrec
 If you were Mathieu, what would you do? Would you punish
Le Querrec and take him to the principal?
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Activity 2 : Any alternative way?
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Activity 2
 Discuss with your groupmates, what philosophical
perspective is evident?
 Hints : try to think from the Chinese philosophical
perspective 
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Mathieu
 great believer of student's potential
 promote personal expression
 thrive hard to arrange environment that encourages
them to find areas of interest
 Example:
 setting up of a choir → stimulates children to use
their potentiality
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Idealists
 Idealists’ Perspective:
 believes developing perspective only be attained in :
a deliberate, slow, gradual, maturing process.
 → simply use humanistic, warm, sensitive approach
as a wake-up call to their inner heart.
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Pragmatist




Both Dewey & Mathieu believe :
→ music, voices as a tool can transcend minds.
the role of a teacher (Dewey) :
→ to orient learners toward experiences that lead to
growth
 → to provide continuity to those experiences.
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Postmodernist
 raise the kids that is underrepresented, marginalized.
 this school seemed to be the last resort for 'hopeless
kids'. And unlike his principal, he treated them with
heart.
 e.g. orphaned boys, or boys whose parents don't
have means to support them (financially and/or
socially)
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Why not Realist ?
 X basic skills
 X scientific
 X prepare for world of work
 X Realist usually feel conforming to the school order /
administration would be wise.
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Confucianism
 What is Confucianism in educational
perspectives?
Believes people are teachable,
 improvable and perfectible
 through personal and communal
 endeavor.
•
•




Emphasizes self-cultivation,
emulation of moral exemplars,
and the attainment of skilled
judgement rather than
knowledge of rules.
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Confucianism
What is Confucianism in educational perspectives?
 Requires a teacher be one
who has developed their
own character.
 Does not use structured
classes but encourages the
strengths of students and
improves their weaknesses.
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Confucianism and Mathieu
Teaching methods from Confucianism
Application of Mathieu in the film
 To develop students’ interests in  Mathieu asked their students what
learning
they wanted to do when they grew up.
 To observe students’ behaviors and  Mathieu found that the students had a
to communicate with them in order
good voice for singing so he composed
to
have
a
comprehensive
for them every day.
understanding of them.
 Mathieu has positively recognized the
students’ incentives so as to maintain
their self-esteem.
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Confucianism and Mathieu
Teaching methods from Confucianism
Application of Mathieu in the film
 Uses music as a tool for teaching and
cultivating “li” (propriety ; 禮).
 Believes people possessing the same
potential, and that education is the
corrective means to stray from ethical
behaviors.
 Establishes a harmonious relation
between teachers and students.
 Mathieu has tried to use music to
cultivate his students.
 Mathieu believes different students
have the same potentials to be
explored.
 Before teaching the music
• Students were naughty and did not
follow the rules.
 After teaching the music
• Students became obedient and
established a sense of trust to
Mathieu.
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Mencius and Mathieu
Teaching methods derived from Mencius
Application of Mathieu in the film
 Believes people at birth are naturally  Le Querrec has hurt Maxence but
good (kind-hearted).
Mathieu has not punished him or taken
 Recognizes the importance of human
him to the principal.
education and cultivation.
 On the other hand, Mathieu requires
him to help look after Maxence every
day after class by working at the
infirmary.
 Rather than punishment, Mathieu
gives the opportunity for Le Querrec to
compensate his fault.
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Music (choir) in the eyes of Rachin
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Music (choir) in the eyes of Mathieu
 “Music has helped with discipline”
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Music in Confucianism :





a device for self-cultivation
a vehicle of self-expression
a force of social stability
a political tool
a medium of communion between man, nature and
supernatural powers
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Music in Confucianism :
“Personal cultivation begins with poetry, is made firm by rules of
ceremonials, and is perfected by music.”
(Lunyu, in the chapter “Tai Po”
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Music in Confucianism :
one’s ethical
values are
cultivated and
one becomes the
ideal Confucian
gentleman
capable of
completing the
personal
development of
the individual
Moral integrity =
Confucian idea of
humaneness (ren
仁)
an honourable
person, a
paragon of moral
integrity.
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Music in Confucianism :
 the essence of music is humaneness
 A man who is not virtuous cannot claim to be a
musician nor have anything to do with music
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Conclusion
唐。韓愈《師說》
HAN Yu, Tang
Dynasty, “What is a
Teacher?”
傳道
To Preach the Ethics
授業
To Teach the
Knowledge
解惑
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To Solve the
Confusion
Reflection
Why do you think
music is chosen as a
vital subject to
change the kid’s life
and not math or
physics instead?
What does music
mean to you?
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