SU hosts film, panel on education

Shenandoah University will be hosting a discussion on education methods with a showing of “Most Likely To Succeed” on Sunday.

“Most Likely To Succeed” is a documentary about the American education system and was an official selection at many 2015 film festivals. The university is collaborating with Winchester City, Frederick County and Clarke County schools for the screening and post-film forum.

Dennis Kellison, the interim director of SU’s School of Education & Human Development, will be facilitating a panel discussion after the film. He said the event gives schools the opportunity to talk about issues facing education without some of the pressure of taking action.

“We have had a system of education that has developed over the last 100 years or so,” he said. “The questions that are being posed are, ‘Are we really ready for a different model or a different approach?'”

“I think the film’s position is more that we need to become more innovative or think differently in the way that we present knowledge and skills to students,” he continued.

Karen Schultz, director of the Center for Public Service & Scholarship at the university, said she knew she wanted to bring the film to campus after seeing it toward the end of 2015.

“This film is a fabulous topic,” she said. “In today’s time … we have so many students that are taking college level courses in high school… We need a school system that is certainly structured but flexible to meet individual needs and strengths.”

Schultz said she’ll be looking for teachers, students, public officials and parents alike in Sunday’s audience. She said “Most Likely To Succeed” is sparking discussions all over.

“I see this as an all-inclusive community gathering,” she said. “This film is available to be shown with a licensing agreement, so I hope that this film will be shown elsewhere.”

Kellison said the screening is continuing the university’s trend of community discussion on education. In September 2015, he coordinated a “Teaching, Learning and Poverty” conference at the university that was attended by teachers and administrators across the state.

“For us, it’s not about taking a position on something, but it’s more of being able to facilitate the discussion,” he said. “We’d like to continue to do more of this in some fashion.”

IF YOU GO: Shenandoah University will screen “Most Likely To Succeed” at Handley High School’s Patsy Cline Theater at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free. Find out more at http://tinyurl.com/jz34hhv.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com