The Movie Dangerous Minds For Classroom Management Strategies | Happy Student Education ™

The Movie Dangerous Minds for classroom management strategies

Published April 28, 2021

The Movie Dangerous Minds for classroom management strategies is an effective way to approach your classroom. The modern classroom is filled with cultural diversity, different socioeconomic statues, at risk youth, among other. Therefore, as effective educators we must adapt in order to meet the needs of all students.

13 minutes into the movie Dangerous Minds, 1995, Ms. Johnson is planning and developing a strategy for her class filled with possible at risk youth.

Dangerous Minds
Ms. Johnson

Planning is key to success in any educational setting. Through planning, educators may develop strategies to promote student  engagement. While promoting cognitive growth, teaching goes beyond the four walls of a classroom. Therefore, persistence is one of the most key characteristic of any effective and passionate teacher.

Relying on differentiated instruction, Ms. Johnson developed an effective strategy for student engagement. In a classroom where student engagement is extremely low, educators should rely on topics of interest to the students as a foundation.

16 minutes into the movie, student engagement was epitomized in this this line, “… student’s willingness, need, desire and compulsion to participate in, and be successful in, the learning process” was evident (Flecher, 2015).

Student Motivation 

Motivators, as illustrated by Ms. Johnson, plays an important role in classroom management. As well as cognitive development. Motivation and encouragement as an external action by students it is internalized as energy to complete a task (Ryan & Deci, 2000, pp. 54-55).

Lack of motivation leads to passive, avoidance of goals, disaffected processes, distracted perception, and disinterest behavior. The entire idea involves directed energy to accomplish a planned outcome. Using Ms. Johnson motivational strategies promote progress.

Dangerous Minds
Dangerous Minds

The influences of motivation are described as internal constructs or external factors that consistently drive the students tactfully, strategically, emotionally, cognitively, and physically to an objective, or in an attempt to control a situation or process (pp. 341-342). Motivation is influenced by feedback that defines the status of skill sets, objectives, experience acquired, failures, and successes.

Therefore, Ms. Johnson’s approach to the students’ allowing them to feel a strong sense of self-efficacy by giving them an A, and candy during the first days of class. This exemplifies intrinsic motivational strategies. As part of an effective classroom management plan, educators may rely on motivators to promote discipline while promoting effective  student teacher relationship.

Student teacher relationship 

As part of the education, and differentiated process, effective educators develop a balanced student-teacher relationship. This was exemplified 42 minutes into the movie. Ms. Johnson showed Emilio that she cared about him, that she believed in him. Oftentimes that is all at risk youth need to succeed in the classroom, as well as in life.

Hence, one of the most important and often crucial characteristics of an effective teacher is an effective student-teacher relationship O’Donnell, Smith, 2012. A high quality student teacher relationship contributes to the overall development of every student.

In addition, a good relationship with a student helps deviate from potential conflict, and distractions. For instance, a disorderly high school student maybe really angry; yet, there is always that teacher who can manage to calm that student down.

Effective collaboration goes beyond the student and the teacher, it requires parental involvement. The scene 45 minutes into the movie, in which Ms. Johnson visits one of her student’s home, epitomizes a persistent approach to include everyone in the process teaching character traits.


The learning process requires determination, as well as various strategies. Students need to be challenged.

Otherwise they may lose interest and focus. Ms. Johnson, 57 minutes into the movie, developed the ‘Dylan Dylan” challenge. This strategy effectively promoted cognitive growth, and student engagement.

Ultimately, I feel this movie has a strong message of school community, persistence, caring, and collaboration. This mirrors my classroom environment in NYC, and many other classrooms. The message this movie sent when Emilio one of the students was trying to speak to the principal but he was turned away, makes all teachers reflect on effective teacher practices.

As educators we must strive to adhere to the needs of the students, even when we are tired, stressed out, or sick, because in the end, we do not know the effect our behavior may have on our students.


Flecher, A. (2015). Defining Student Engagement: A Literature Review. Retrieved from
O’Donnell, A., Reeve, J., & Smith, J. (2012). School Educational Psychology: Reflection for Action. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Nocera, J. (2012). Addressing Poverty in Schools. Retrieved from NYTImes:
Resmovits, J. (2011). School Districts Shortchange Low-Income Schools: Report. Retrieved from huffingtonpost:
Resmovits, J. (2012, 07 10). School Easy, Failing To Challenge Students, Survey Says. Retrieved from Huffinton Post:
Dangerous Minds 1995, Movie.

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