Like Stars on Earth happens to be my all time favorite of a film. The film captures all the pain of children who struggle as well as the passion of a teacher who truly cares. The role of the teacher encapsulates more fully what a real teacher needs to be and do than any other movie I have seen. You will see him systematically challenge not only the child, but his parents, the other teachers and the principal. Standing up for a child and who he can become is a complex process and this teacher shows us how it’s done.
This film was made in India and distributed in the US by Disney. It was later available on Netflix and other venues. Public libraries often have a good selection of films. A short preview is included at the end of this post.
Like Stars on Earth tells the story of a child in modern day India, eight-year-old Ishaan. Ishaan is literally losing his soul in a harsh, uncaring school system with parents and teachers who do not understand his dilemma. He cannot read. He is dyslexic, but no one recognizes the problem. They see the symptoms, but entirely miss identifying the cause. He becomes withdrawn and deeply depressed after repeated failures in academic settings that neither meet his individual needs nor acknowledge what they are. Although this film depicts a fictional character, Ishaan’s story is all too real.
The film depicts dyslexia and its horrific pain, as well as solutions based on Montessori educational principles. One teacher who truly understands and cares finally arrives on the scene. The love of a substitute art teacher becomes the bridge for Ishaan to find the hidden and repressed creativity that lives so richly within him. His teacher, portrayed by actor, director and producer Aamir Khan, sees the child who is not yet there.
If untreated, dyslexia can cause a child to fail academically because reading is such a core skill in learning everything else. What parents are relieved to understand is that it is a problem with neurological wiring and is no reflection on their child’s intelligence. In fact, most dyslexics are above average in intelligence.
The even better news is that dyslexia can be remedied and even overcome.
This movie is my all-time favorite movie. What about you. Leave your comments below.
source: age of montessori.org
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