« Go 'Dores! | Main | These People are Going to Transform Education »

Pop Culture Finally Notices There Are Lots of Teachers

Alyssa Rosenberg reports on a forthcoming wave of school- and teacher-focused TV shows and movies, attributing the new pop culture focus on education to increased awareness in the wake of Waiting for Superman, Race to Nowhere, and other education-focused documentaries.

My question is: What took so long? In fairness, pop culture is no stranger to education--the saintly teacher movie is a well-worn cliche, and some of our most cherished movies and TV shows have draw gold from high school drama (and comedy!). But given the prevalence of both dramas and comedies organized around the workplaces of doctors, lawyers, and police detectives, I've always wondered why there have been so few notable TV shows oriented around schools as workplaces. Or why young female TV and rom-com characters are roughly 200x as likely to be employed as publicists, journalists, or chefs as they are teachers (given that the reality is much the opposite).

After all, there are 3.5 million elementary and secondary teachers in the United States--more than the number of doctors, lawyers, and police and detectives combined. And that's not even counting other education professionals. Clearly, the profession deserves a bit more pop culture love.

That said, pop culture has not always done the greatest job when it does deal with education. The sainted teacher pic is a much derided cliche for a reason, and almost inevitably does a disservice to the real difficulty of being a good teacher. In teen-focused TV and movies, teachers and adults are often notably absent or total idiots (which may well reflect the perceptions of teen protagonists but is also not accurate). Even the Wire, brilliant as it was, was notably ham-fisted and preachy in some elements of its treatment of education--although others rang true.

So it wouldn't be surprising if education types view the news of a forthcoming slate of school-focused TV shows and movies with a bit of trepidation. We've all sat with lawyers, doctors, or forensic scientists as they flinched through an episode of Law and Order or CSI. Here's hoping the forthcoming slate of school shows don't have the same effect on you and me.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login |  Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Tags

AFT
Alex Grodd
Ana Menezes
Andrew Kelly
appropriations
ARRA
Aspire Public Schools
authorizing
Better Lesson
Bill Ferguson
certification
charter schools
child care
children's literature
choice
civil rights
CLASS
Core Knowledge
curriculum
D.C.
democracy
early childhood
Early Learning Challenge Grant
economics
elections
English language learners
entrepreneurship
equity
Evan Stone
fathers
finance
fix poverty first
Hailly Korman
harlem children's zone
HEA
Head Start
head start
health care
Higher Education
home-based child care
homeschooling
housing
How we think and talk about pre-k evidence
i3
IDEA
income inequality
instruction
international
Jason Chaffetz
Jen Medbery
just for fun
Justin Cohen
Kaya Henderson
Kenya
kindergarten
KIPP
Kirabo Jackson
Kwame Brown
land use
LearnBoost
libertarians
LIFO
literacy
Los Angeles
Louise Stoney
Mark Zuckerberg
Maryland
Massachusetts
Memphis
Michelle Rhee
Michigan
Mickey Muldoon
Neerav Kingsland
New Jersey
New Orleans
NewtownReaction
Next Gen Leaders
Next Gen leaders
nonsense
NSVF Summit
NYT
organizing
parent engagement
parenting
parking
pell grants
politics
poverty
PreK-3rd
presidents
principals
productivity
QRIS
Race to the Top
Rafael Corrales
redshirting
regulation
religion
rick hess
Roxanna Elden
RTT
san francisco
school choice
social services
SOTU
special education
Stephanie Wilson
stimulus
story
Sydney Morris
tax credits
Teacher Prep
teachers
technology
Title I
unions
urban issues
Vincent Gray
vouchers
Waiting for Superman
Washington
West Virginia
zoning