Exploring Teachers in Fiction and Film : Saviors, Scapegoats and Schoolmarms book cover
1st Edition

Exploring Teachers in Fiction and Film
Saviors, Scapegoats and Schoolmarms

Edited By

Melanie Shoffner

ISBN 9781138944411
Published April 12, 2016 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

This book about teachers as characters in popular media examines what can be learned from fictional teachers for the purposes of educating real teachers. Its aim is twofold: to examine the constructed figure of the teacher in film, television and text and to apply that examination in the context of teacher education. By exploring the teacher construct, readers are able to consider how popular fiction and film have influenced society’s understandings and views of classroom teachers.

Organized around four main themes—Identifying with the Teacher Image; Constructing the Teacher with Content; Imaging the Teacher as Savior; The Teacher Construct as Commentary—the chapters examine the complicated mixture of fact, stereotype and misrepresentation that create the image of the teacher in the public eye today. This examination, in turn, allows teacher educators to use popular culture as curriculum. Using the fictional teacher as a text, preservice—and practicing—teachers can examine positive and negative (and often misleading) representations of teachers in order to develop as teachers themselves.

Table of Contents




Robert Bulman


Part I: Introduction

Melanie Shoffner


Part II: Identifying with the Teacher Image

1. Looking into the mirror of erised: Transacting with Representations of Hogwarts’ Teachers and Pedagogy

Dawan Coombs

Jonathan Ostenson

2. Playing the role of teacher: Using film to explore teacher identities

Sheryl Long

Carol A. Pope

3. The Role of the Teacher, Real and Imagined

Jason Whitney

4. Coming of age in the classroom: Representations of teachers in the short fiction of Toni Cade Bambara and Sandra Cisneros

Rodrigo Joseph Rodríguez

5. From content literate to pedagogically content literate: Teachers as tools for social justice

Nalova Westbrook

6. (Re)Imagining life in the classroom: Inciting dialogue through an examination of teacher- student relationships in film

Mark A. Lewis

Ian Parker Renga


Part III: Constructing the Teacher with Content

7. Teacher images in Young Adult literature: Pedagogical implications for English preservice teachers

Benjamin Boche

8. Why Teach Mathematics?: Values Underlying Mathematics Teaching in Feature Films

Amanda Jansen

Charles Hohensee

9. I teach Jim and Jane; I don't teach gym

Carol A. Smith

10. What does it mean to be literate? Examining school film teachers and their literacy values with preservice teachers

Shelbie Witte

11. The hidden curriculum in Room 10: School mythology and professional identity negotiation in the Miss Malarkey picture book series

Sarah Fischer


Part IV: Imaging the Teacher as Savior

12. Moving beyond the teacher savior: Education films, teacher identity and public discourse

Carey Applegate

13. Revisionist films: Detaching from teacher as hero/savior

Chea Parton

14. Deconstructing a new teacher savior: Paladins and politics in Won’t Back Down

Ashley Boyd

15. Chalk: Overwriting the savior narrative

Walter E. Squire

Part V: The Teacher Construct as Commentary

16. Films, governmentality and agency in the struggle over reading education

Patrick Shannon

17. Why Bad Teacher is a bad movie and where the real crisis is: Implications for teachers and teacher education

J. Patrick McGrail

Ewa McGrail

18. Preparing Teachers in the Time of Superman: The Accountability Narrative of Education Documentaries

Christian Z. Goering

Jen S. Dean

Brandon Flammang

19. No human left behind:Falling Skies and the role of the pedagogue in the post-apocalypse

Jeff Spanke

List of Contributors

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Melanie Shoffner is Associate Professor of English Education, Purdue University, USA.