Theme Of Psychology In Mean Girls

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Educational Psychology in Mean Girls Mean Girls may very well be a movie that defines a generation. Although it was released ten years ago, the film is still constantly quoted throughout much of pop culture. Taking a closer look at this queen bee vs. worker bee movie, it exposes some signs of deeper issues in the world of educational psychology. The film focuses mostly on the social hierarchy of high school, but it also looks at different educational issues that researchers have been looking into. It is a very enlightening movie to study due to the different aspects and views into the world of high school that seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. Four of the biggest issues that run the course of the movie are how homeschooling effects …show more content…
Cady, the main character, was homeschooled in another country. This changed in the beginning of the movie which starts around her Junior year of high school. Cady seems to be an intelligent student, especially in math. This is evidenced by the fact that she is placed in a Senior math class, above the rest of her classmates. There have been studies that show that homeschooled students break the preconceived notion that homeschooled children are socially and academically behind their peers. According to Ed Collom, there are a few different studies that have been done that suggest that students such as Cady were academically ahead of her peers specifically because she was homeschooled. One such study found that “female homeschooled students had higher language and math scores than their male counterparts” (Collom 314). This holds true with Cady’s character as she excels in math, even though later in the movie we find that she dumbs herself down to impress a boy in her class. Outside of math, Cady has been able to experience more of the world and different cultures than it seems her peers have. Cady’s parents make references to different broadway shows, cultures, and presumably other types of educational learning that they would have exposed Cady to while they homeschooled her. Collom discusses that there implications regarding parental education and homeschooling. Cady’s parents were researchers in Africa, …show more content…
Even though Cady’s homeschool education set her apart academically from her peers and she may have been on at least the same level socially, moving to a new culture and a new school may have set her back some. In the film, Cady has a hard time making friends in the beginning of the movie. She is seen looking for a spot at lunch where she believes she sees students that may have identified with the African culture she was brought up in, only to embarrass herself in front of them. Ultimately, Cady ends up going to eat her lunch in the bathroom. This is a common trope used in movies, television, and books: the new student has to make friends and ultimately realize who their true friends really are. Mean Girls is no exception. But does this commonplace storyline have any basis in reality? Not necessarily, says Gregory Arief D. Liem in Academic and social achievement goals: Their additive, interactive, and specialized effects on school functioning. According to Liem, because Cady is smart and sets high goals for herself in her math class, it would not necessarily mean much to her academically to have friends or a social group. “Students tend to adjust well at school as long as they have a strong mastery goal focus and the presence or absence of social achievement goals did not make substantial differences, [however] for the students who show moderate levels of academic achievement goals, having social achievement goals

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