The view from Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter) on a bad, very bad day

The word’s aflutter with the release of the new Harry Potter movie, which made my kids take the opportunity to watch a previous version, specifically the Order of the Phoenix.  We were all snuggled up in bed watching when it occurred to me that the character Dolores Umbridge is a great example of a worldview, specifically a view of an educator, gone very wrong.

Her perspective is all about:

  • unquestioned authority
  • top down approach
  • “I’m the teacher and I know everything”
  • “you’re the student and you know nothing” (and I’ll do everything in my power to put you in your place)
  • use of coercion and force

It’s a Head Life Lens™ on a very bad day: paying attention to concrete, tangible things in the extreme  with no sensitivity (her use of punishment is down right abusive)

It’s a Destination Life Lens™ on a very bad day: Delores is only concerned with pleasing the Ministry of Magic and getting the school in shape.   She’ll do anything to achieve that goal.  In her mind the end justifies the means.

It’s a Carrot Life Lens™ on a very bad day: attention to minuscule, unimportant details

It’s a Stop Life Lens™ on a very bad day: adherence to tradition for the sake of tradition, no willingness to try anything new

Check out the clip below to see her in action.  If you’ve already had a trainer with this worldview you have my empathy.  Whether or not you have, may you never have one again.


Tags: , , , , ,

4 Responses to “The view from Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter) on a bad, very bad day”

  1. Dyana Valentine Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I had a BIG ole wrassling match with my Stop Lens today (which is not my lead preference, btw) which spoke for me and said, NO, this is the way we always do it and I’m the teacher, so. . .then I caught myself and said (aloud), wait, that’s not fun OR cool. How do you guys want to run class today. They had much more fun and cool ideas, so we ran with them and had a blast! Thank you, Lee-Anne for helping me be more aware and I’m sure my students thank you, too!

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Hey ‘wrassler’- hard to believe your Stop Life Lens could have commandeered you temporarily (as I see you as such a strong Go Lens).

    I think we can all learn a lot from your example (especially Ms. Umbridge) of sharing the responsibility for learning and for teaching. Any particular idea the class came up with that you’d care to share?

  3. Ragu Says:
    December 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I completely agree with you Lee-Anne. I hate this Dolores as bad and much as I can.. If I was an one of the character in that movie, I would have used all the worst and cunning spells that I can use against her..I would have made her to become mad and replaced her from magical world to muggle world.

    Nice post!!

  4. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    December 4th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks Ragu for your comment. Speaking of spell casting, I’d cast a spell that would have her see the error of her teaching/training ways and have her magically become one of the best ever teachers.

Leave a Reply