Teachers on TV

July 15, 2016

Two of my current book projects are drawing to a close, the fourth edition of The Hollywood Curriculum:  Teachers in the Movies and an anthology I’ve co-edited, Screen Lessons:  What We’ve Learned from Teachers on Television and in the Movies.

I spend a lot of time thinking about representations of teachers in popular culture and am disheartened by recent trends that undermine the professionalization of teachers.

It used to be that good teachers were idealized and bad teachers were presented as a contrast to them to reinforce the idealization.  Increasingly, as I noted in a recent interview with a journalist from The Washington Post, representations in mainstream media, especially television, have begun to depict educators as incompetent, corrupt, disengaged, crude, and worse.

The latest example is the HBO comedy Vice Principals.  Public education is undermined by the ubiquity of these narratives, and we as a culture suffer for it.

Vice Principals

I don’t long for a return to the most formulaic of the sappy stories but to something that celebrates humanity and gives us a path forward to something better.

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Catching Up…

July 6, 2016

I’ve had tunnel vision the last few months to focus on book indexing, editing, and revisions on three projects and have not been posting much.  My viewing and blogging have suffered, but I’m about to catch a breath and start catching up.

While I’ve not been out to the movies as much as I would like, I am indulging in some TV on lunch breaks and before I go to bed — one recent series that dropped a new season and three to catch up on!

Following, find brief takes on Season Four of Orange is the New Black, one of my favorite recent series, and my belated attraction to JustifiedThe Americans, and Bosch.

Orange

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