On-screen representations of teachers have far-reaching and significant implications. As narratives of schools on screen grow increasingly negative and news outlets scapegoat teachers, unions, and teacher educators as the cause for failing public schools, all Americans should be concerned about the threat these portrayals pose to civic life. Unchecked, negative public perceptions of educators contribute to the loss of faith in the ability of public schools to effectively educate the nation’s students, but critical, interdisciplinary conversations are a way to stem this tide. To that end, this two-day symposium features a research talk by Dr. Mary Dalton of Wake Forest University, who will share her insights on the troubling downward trend in public perceptions of education.
This keynote will be followed by a reception.
MARY DALTON is Professor of Communication and Film and Media Studies at Wake Forest University. She is the author of The Hollywood Curriculum: Teachers in the Movies, co-author of Teacher TV: Sixty Years of Teachers on Television, and co-editor of both Screen Lessons: What We Have Learned from Teachers on Television and in the Movies and The Sitcom Reader: America Re-viewed, Still Skewed.
Schools on Screen Symposium
The Symposium will also feature a “coffee talk” book panel, in which Dr. Dalton will highlight her latest work (Screen Lessons: What We Have Learned from Teachers on Television and in the Movies) alongside UF historian Sevan Terzian, who will discuss his recent edited volume (American Education in Popular Media: From the Blackboard to the Silver Screen); and a workshop in which Dr. Dalton will offer a mini tutorial on media studies for any and all disciplines.
Thursday, 21 Sept., Terrace Room, Norman Hall:
10-10:30am: Book Panel: Dr. Mary Dalton & Dr. Sevan Terzian
SEVAN TERZIAN is Professor of Schools, Society, and Culture in the School of Teaching & Learning at the University of Florida whose scholarship has focused on the history of the American high school; the history of science, gender, and education in the postwar era; and conflicts among different governing bodies in education in the latter half of the twentieth century. He is the author of Science Education and Citizenship: Fairs, Clubs, and Talent Searches for American Youth and recently co-edited American Education in Popular Media: From the Blackboard to the Silver Screen.
CHAD E. HARRIS is a Ph.D. student and graduate teaching assistant in Cultural Foundations of Education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research interests include gender and education and representations of teachers and schools in popular media, specifically film and television. His essay, “Race Up the Down Staircase: Teacher as Savior and Other Identities” is published in Screen Lessons: What We Have Learned from Teachers on Television and in the Movies, and he has presented papers on television shows on this topic of the cultural impact of what we see on the screen.
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
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University of Florida
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