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1 IMAGE OF THE TEACHER IN THE POSTWAR UNITED STATES By PATRICK ANDREW RYAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008
2 2008 Patrick Andrew Ryan
3 To my mom, Vernance B. Ryan, and my brother, Miles, and to deceased family members, who supported me along the way but never saw the realiz ation of my goal of a doctoral degree: Helen and Andrew Beste (my maternal grandparents), Miles F. Ryan, Jr. (my dad), Raymond E. Converse, Jr. (uncle), L. Dolores Ryan (aunt ), and Dr. Celestine B. Converse (aunt). A lot of love nurtured me to this moment.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I appreciate very m uch the counsel, encour agement, and friendship of my advisor and committee chair, Dr. Jane S. Townsend, a nd of my doctoral committee members: Dr. Sevan G. Terzian, Dr. Danling Fu, and Dr. John O. Cech. I thank them for always listening and helping. I value Dr. Townsends knowledge about i nquiry, classroom discourse, and narrative analysis and her support for my interdisciplinary approach in this study. She and I hold similar scholarly perspectives, including about the importance of integr ating literacy and the arts. During my doctoral program, Dr. Townsend has gene rously shared her time with me to discuss course papers, research processes, independent projects, teaching methods, and my professional plans, and she has offered practical suggestions in a thoughtful manner and with a warm sense of humor. Because of Dr. Townsends dedicati on, not only have my doctoral studies been productive and intellectually rewarding, but they have also been enjoyable. Dr. Terzian welcomed me as an English educat or into the disciplines of history and the social foundations of education. Through worki ng with him on the history of radio and the history of the teaching profession in the Unite d States, Dr. Terzians guidance furthered my explorations of the Our Miss Brooks radio program, which proved to be the catalyst for this studys research. As a professor, he empowers students to ask di fficult questions and enables the quest for answers by recommending scholarship and c onnecting issues related to analysis. I am grateful for Dr. Terzians support for my professional growth. Dr. Fus scholarship heightened my awarene ss of the potential disjuncture between home and school cultures regarding educational abili ties, methods and goals, so that understanding different social contexts allows for bridges between cultures. Popular media representations of teachers can serve as bridges between sc hools and their communities by allowing for
5 communication from different perspectives about expectations for teachers roles and educational purposes. In foster ing a congenial atmosphere fo r intellectual inquiry in her seminars, Dr. Fu helped students relate litera cy, language learning, and social and political structures to personal experi ences, and she promoted advocac y for the disadvantaged. Dr. Cechs research and work in literature, cr eative writing, broadcas t media, and cultural studies provided me perspectives on how to inte rpret the teacher image in relation to perceived audiences. In our engaging seminar conversati ons, Dr. Cech explored the multiple ways we experience, negotiate, and contribut e to cultures through different t ypes of texts. Because of Dr. Cechs scholarship, I appreciate further the intertextuality of various media, and I value his insights about how we project archetypes through the media. I am additionally grateful for all the kind assistance I received in my research from Head Librarian Patrick Reakes in the Allen H. Neuharth Journalism Library at the University of Florida and from librarians Rosemary Hanes and Jennifer Ormson in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. For technical expertise in formatting this study, I am also indebted to Ken Booth at the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Lab, University of Florida.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................10 The Media, the Message, and the Schoolmaster..................................................................... 10 Statement of the Problem....................................................................................................... .12 Purpose of this Study.......................................................................................................... ....14 Limits of Scope.......................................................................................................................16 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................18 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........18 The Teacher Image in the Media............................................................................................ 18 The Teacher in Literature................................................................................................ 18 The Teacher in Film........................................................................................................ 27 The Teacher in Television............................................................................................... 41 Cross-Cultural Comparisons of the Teacher Media Image............................................. 45 Historical and Cultural Cont ext of the Postwar Era ............................................................... 46 History of Education in the Postwar Era ................................................................................ 47 The Representation of Teachers as Moral Role Models......................................................... 50 Understanding Gender Roles in the Postwar Era................................................................... 53 3 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................. 59 Data Collection.......................................................................................................................59 The Teacher Image in Radio........................................................................................... 59 Representations of Classroom Learning.......................................................................... 60 Further Postwar Film Images.......................................................................................... 61 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................63 4 REPRESENTATIONS OF CLASSROOM LEARNING IN POSTWA R TELEVISION AND FILM....................................................................................................................... ......78 Role of the Teacher............................................................................................................ .....80 Pretender Inquiry: Behavioral Managem ent and Testing................................................80 Information-Seeking and Sense-Making.........................................................................83 Wondering.......................................................................................................................85
7 Role of the Student.................................................................................................................88 Information-Seeking........................................................................................................ 88 Wondering.......................................................................................................................90 Progressivism, Essentialism, and Constrained Student Inquiry .............................................95 5 THE TEACHER AS A MORAL ROLE MODEL............................................................... 103 Motherhood and the Ethic of Care.................................................................................... 104 Teaching Entails Sacrifice....................................................................................................110 Promoting a Moral Code...................................................................................................... 116 6 DEFINING THE IDENTITIES OF FEMALE AND MALE TEACHERS ......................... 123 Female Educators and Gender Role Expectations................................................................ 123 Expectations for Male Educators.......................................................................................... 129 7 CONCLUSION..................................................................................................................... 140 Summary of Findings........................................................................................................... 140 Teachers Roles.............................................................................................................140 Depictions of Classroom Learning................................................................................ 143 Gender Role Expectations and Stereotypes................................................................... 144 The Teacher Image and Socio-cultural-political Contexts............................................ 145 The Media Narrative and Construction of Teacher Identity................................................. 147 Professional Education Journals: Th e Moral Identity of Teach ers............................... 148 Professional Education Journals: Responses to Criticism s of Public Schooling.......... 150 Considerations for Assessing Competing T eacher Narratives in the Postwar Era ............... 153 Constructing Meaning Through Narrative.................................................................... 153 Responding to the Media Narratives of Teachers......................................................... 155 Using Media Narratives in Teacher Education............................................................. 157 Limitations of Current Study a nd Venues for Future Research ...........................................160 Media Sources...............................................................................................................160 Genres............................................................................................................................161 Cultural Contexts........................................................................................................... 163 Audience Reception.......................................................................................................163 Final Thoughts......................................................................................................................165 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................167 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................193
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Data sources: film......................................................................................................... .....72 3-2 Data sources: ra dio and television ..................................................................................... 74 3-3 Data analysis.............................................................................................................. ........75
9 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy IMAGE OF THE TEACHER IN THE POSTWAR UNITED STATES By Patrick Andrew Ryan August 2008 Chair: Jane S. Townsend Major: Curriculum and Instruction In the 1950s, United States educational pol icy seemed to shift from endorsing a progressive, student-centered para digm to favoring a more essen tialist, transmission model of instruction. By examining popular fictional repr esentations of classroom instruction and the impact on students learning from the elementary through the coll ege levels in radio, television, and film from 1945 to 1959, this study assesses th ese postwar media models and the consequent possible public perceptions of the roles of t eachers and students in schools. Using Judith Lindforss (1999) definitions of information-seeking, sense-making, and wondering inquiry for analysis of instruction, this study argues that bot h progressive and essentia list approaches existed simultaneously within the depicted classrooms, thus suggesting perhaps contradictory purposes for schools, without revealing a ny discernible shift from progre ssivism to essentialism. In addition, because the media rarely portrayed teache rs in the act of teach ing and the opportunities for student-initiated inquiry were rare, teachers and schooling were defined more through moral character than pedagogical methods. These im ages of teachers further embody gender role expectations for the postwar era that constr ain professional identi ties for men and women.
10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Media, the Message, and the Schoolmaster Ever since I was a young child, I enjoyed wa tching in syndication popular television program s from another era. I Love Lucy, Dennis the Menace, Father Knows Best, The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It To Beaver, Th e Beverly Hillbillies, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mister Ed, Bewitched, Batman, That Girl, Gill igans Island, Get Smart, Hogans Heroes, Green Acres, Family Affair, The Brady Bunch, and Hawaii Five-0 were among my favorites, although I could add a considerable number of other programs as part of the many hours I enjoyed watching. This was time well spent. As a child, I remember creating with my brother a viewing schedule for a fictional te levision station that would air all my favorites. Now as an adult, I get to re-live my childhood through many of the programs on the cable channel TV Land. With the success of TV Land, clearly I am not the only one with a fondness for vintage television. Why are such programs attractive? These sc ripts are intelligently written; the memorable characters are portrayed with se nsitivity, and the timelessness of their messages transcends the time-capsule quality of the clothing fashions a nd classic cars. Lucy Ricardo, Robert Petrie, Samantha Stephens, and Maxwell Smart are like one s best friends, who get better with age. After repeated viewings, the plots and the dialogue are so familiar to me, and yet the shows never fail to satisfy. How many of us would have wanted to live in the to wn of Mayberry of The Andy Griffith Show or wished we could have date d Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas) in That Girl ? I would not be surprised if some of us know the lyrics of the opening ballad (both versions) of Gilligans Island better than the words of our nationa l anthem. Our intimacy with these programs is further expressed through how the te levision set competes w ith and often surpasses
11 the fireplace as the focal point for the arrangemen t of our living room furn iture. We invite the programs into our homes, and the characters with their joys and problems become part of our lives. From Leave It To Beaver we might develop models for parenting, and from The Beverly Hillbillies we may internalize and perpetuate ster eotypes of the rural Southern poor. Media representations powerfully reflect and project social values and att itudes, and thus it is important to situate such programs within hist orical and cultural contexts. Although for me television was the primary medium shaping my understanding of rela tionships and social situations, the mass media of radi o and film also embody and influence our expectations and help to construct our identities. As a middle school and high school English teach er, I have used vintage radio, television, and film to provide context and to further an interdisciplinary appr oach to facilitate my students engagement and understanding of literature. In th is study, I am incorporating my media interest to further understand my own profession and the identity of teachers. By examining popular fictional representations of the teacher in 1950s radio, television, and film, I want to learn more about the public perceptions of the roles teacher s were expected to play and the methods of instruction valued in the postwar United States. In my previous scholarship, I have analyzed teacher images in the Our Miss Brooks (1948-1957) radio and television program, in the Mister Peepers (1952-1955) and Leave It To Beaver (1957-1963) television programs, and in the films Blackboard Jungle (1955) and Teachers Pet (1958). These media depictions focused on the personal lives, extracurricula r activities, and moral characters of these teachers rather than the instructional methods in their classrooms. The image of high school English teacher Miss Connie Brooks emphasized her maternal, ca re-giving role and he r quest to marry the biology teacher, Mr. Philip Boynton. Overworked and underpaid, Miss Brooks was ruled by her
12 male principal, Mr. Osgood Conklin. Similarly, elementary school teachers Miss Canfield and Miss Landers, middle school general science teacher Mr. Peepers, high school English teacher Mr. Dadier, and university jour nalism instructor Miss Stone, sacrificed personally and/or financially as educators. In the rare moments when listening and viewing audiences witnessed their instruction, these teacher s employed both progressive, stude nt-centered strategies and essentialist, transmission model approaches to learning. To some ex tent, their pedagogical expertise was assumed, and these images instead defined teachers professional identities as moral role models guiding their students. For my doctoral study, I expanded my data samp le of radio, television, and film images from 1945 to 1959 to examine the perceived roles a nd responsibilities of teachers and to use the postwar historical, social, and cu ltural contexts to e xplain compatibilities and contradictions about expectations for teachers in postwar America. Although I anticipated similar themes emerging about teachers as have in my previous research, I believe this study has allowed me to investigate further the nuances of these images, to develop more definitive assertions about the postwar identities of teachers, and to discu ss the impact of these images on the public perceptions and teachers self-perceptions toda y. My additional data analysis has also corroborated previous findings. Statement of the Problem Why do 1950s im ages of teachers persist to shape our notions of what it is to be a teacher? Much of the public continues to envi sion dedicated, self-sacrificing educators with apples on their desks facing rows of students. Citing Fischer and Kiefer (1994), Vicky Newman (2001) notes that teachers often accept as their destiny or as requirements of the role the medias definitions of teachers identities (p. 416). Although there has been scholarship on the media image of teachers in film and televi sion (Beyerbach, 2005; Bulman, 2005; Dalton, 2004;
13 Tan, 1999; Kantor, 1994; Crume 19 88; Schwartz 1963), no one has explored the image of the teacher across the media through an in-depth exam ination of the instructional methods depicted within the context of the post-World War Two er a. Generally scholars have concentrated on teacher images in either film or television, but I will be considering both these media, along with radio, to note any comparisons and contrasts. There have been separate analyses focused on gender roles and stereotypes (Newman, 2001; Kero es, 1999; Ayers, 1994), social and political trends (Doherty, 2003; Toplin, 1993) the cultural construction of meaning of audience reception (Selnow & Gilbert, 1993; Mo rley, 1992; Lichter, Lichte r & Rothman, 1991; Carey, 1988; R. Berman, 1987; Adler & Cater, 1976), and medi a literacy approaches (Adams & Hamm, 2006; W. R. Jacobs, 2005), but in my study I am co mbining these approaches to focus on the construction of the professional identity of teachers as depicted through the 1950s popular broadcast media and film. These iconographic images of teachers are im portant because they influence our purposes and goals in public education. In the Cold War, the media projected a generally positive image of the teacher that connected the teachers role to the postwar definition of what it means to be an American. With criticisms of progressive and life adjustment education and concerns about Communist infiltration in schools, the identity of teachers became the subject of political and academic debates. The influence of the teacher among his/her students and the influence of the teacher image affect our self-definitions to such an extent that exploring the roles of teachers in the media has personal and national relevance. I believe that a better understanding of the 1950s teacher image will help to explain public at titudes and governmental policies towards schools today.
14 Purpose of this Study The following questions guide m y inquiry about the postwar image of the teacher: 1. In the postwar media images, what roles were teachers expected to play in and outside the classroom? 2. In the depictions of classroom learning, what types of instruction are exhibited and to what extent are there opport unities for students inquiry? 3. How do postwar gender role expectations and stereotypes impact the media representations of teachers? 4. What historical precedents as well as broad socio-cultural-political contexts account for these images and anticipated roles by teachers? To examine the roles of teachers in the media, I have tried to include different genres from 1945 to 1959 that showed male and female t eachers in a variety of educational contexts from the elementary through the college levels in both public and private institutions. The television program Leave It To Beaver (1957-1963) and the films Curley (1947), Navajo (1952), Bright Road (1953), Her Twelve Men (1954), Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955) and Merry Andrew (1958) depict elementary school teach ers, while the television program Mister Peepers (1952-1955) profiles a middle school general sc ience teacher. The radio and television program Our Miss Brooks (1948-1957) and the films Margie (1946), Blackboard Jungle (1955), and High School Confidential! (1958) offer high school contexts. In the film The Corn Is Green (1945) young children and adults are educ ated by Miss Moffat and two other teachers in her own home. Colleges and univers ities are represented through the radio program The Halls of Ivy (1950-1952), the television program Meet Mr. McNutley/The Ray Milland Show (1953-1955), and the films Good News (1947) Apartment for Peggy (1948), The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953) Teachers Pet (1958) and Monster on the Campus (1958). The King and I (1956) depicts the role of a private tutor for the King of Siams young children. These programs and films include the genres of comedy, drama, musical, and science fiction horror in the
15 representations of male and female private and public school teachers from various academic levels and subject areas. To assess depictions of classroom learning, Judith Lindforss (1999) model of inquiry was used to classify the verbal interactions between teachers and stude nts and among students to determine the extent of progressive and essentia list instructional approaches as articulated by John Dewey (1938/1997, 1916/1964) and William Bagley (1937, 1905), while acknowledging diverse philosophical an d methodical strands among progressive and essentialist proponents. Where learning was guided by students own in formation-seeking, sense-making, and wondering inquiries, the instructional appro aches aligned with a progressive approach in contrast to the more teacher-centered, transmission model of in struction in an essentialist paradigm. To explore gender role expectations and st ereotypes associated with teachers, the following scholarship informed my analysis Linda Eisenmann (2006), Neil Wynn (1996), Susan Hartmann (1994), Joanne Meyerowitz (1993), William Chafe (1991), Mary Ellen Brown (1990), Geraldine Clifford (1989), Elaine May (1988), and J. R. Dominick (1979) contextualized the role of women in the postwar era. Carol Gilligan (2002), Sandra Weber and Claudia Mitchell (1995), Sandra Bem (1993), Davi d Tyack and Myra Strober (1981) Betty Friedan (1963), and William Waller (1932) offered insights regarding gender identities and teacher stereotypes. To provide social, political, a nd cultural contexts for these media images, I learned more about the postwar era through cons ulting the following sources. I appreciated the analysis of Thomas Doherty (2003), Gerald Gutek (2000), Joel Spring (1992), Herbert Kliebard (1987), and Lawrence Cremin (1961), but I also consulted pr imary sources such as period newspapers ( The Washington Post, The New York Ti mes, The Christian Science Monitor Variety, etc.) and popular magazines ( Cosmopolitan, Colliers, McCalls, TV Guide, etc.). Postwar era articles
16 from leading scholarly journals, such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, The American Teacher, Educational Horizons, and The Journal of Teacher Education helped to situate the popular media representations of teachers within the contemporary academic perspectives and concerns. My theoretical perspective incorporated Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmanns (1966) social constructionist model of knowledge creatio n, Judith Lindforss (1999) definition of inquiry, the approaches of Jerome Bruner ( 1986, 1990), Michael Murray (2003), John Rury (1993), Andrew P. Norman (1991), and David Carr (1986a, 1986b) to narrative analysis, and Nel Noddingss (2000, 1993, 1992) articulation of the ethic of care. To understand better the media images of teachers in the 1950s entailed studying not only what is depicted but how it is depicted. This included the historical contex t of the postwar United States. Examples of students information-seeking, sense-making, wo ndering, and pretender inquiries in classroom depictions were used to assess th e extent of progressive and esse ntialist instructional methods. Narrative analysis provided a framework for constructing and understanding messages articulated by the media, and Nel Noddingss e thic of care illuminated depictions of teacherstudent relationships. Limits of Scope The following param eters limit the scope of this study: 1. Sources for media representations of teachers were restricted to films and episodes of radio and television programs produced fr om 1945 to 1959. Although the postwar era in the United States, and particularly th e Cold War, continued after 1959, this study aims to focus on the 1950s. 2. Although efforts were made to have a repres entative sample of popular media images from different genres depicting a variet y of teachers, academic levels, academic subjects, and settings, not every genre or l earning context is represented. Neither is the sample exhaustive in incorporating all the radio and television programs and films produced with teacher images from 1945 to 1959.
17 3. Because this study concentrates on teacher representations in radio, television, and film, other popular media, where teacher imag es might exist, are not included. For example, teacher representations in lite rature, newspapers, and magazines from 1945 to 1959 are not discussed in detail. 4. Although teacher images are framed by discussions of social, po litical and cultural contexts, this study does not provide a history of the cr eation and production of the radio and television programs and films. 5. In analyzing teacher images, this study does not significantly explore how audiences in the postwar era reacted to these images. Specifically of interest for future research would be an examination of how teachers responded to these images and to what extent teachers accepted or rej ected aspects of the representa tions as part of their own professional identities. Images of the teacher in the popular media intersect with our personal encounters with teachers and memories of life in school, and for teachers the media projec tions personally impact professional identities. In the Inglis Lecture for 1950, Margaret Me ad declares that ideas about the American teacher are: compounded from both stereotype and actual experience, from the teacher in the sentimental song and on the comic valentine, the teacher met on the tourist ship, as well as the teachers of ones own school days, and the teacher from whom ones children or grandchildren are learning. (Mead, 1964, p. 4) This study of radio, television, and film endea vors to understand further the meaning of the postwar American teacher in our public consci ousness through explorat ions of stereotypes, representations of classroom learning, and purposes for schools.
18 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This f irst section of the literature review discusses previous schol arly approaches to analyzing the fictional representations of teach ers in literature, television, and film. In examining literary images from childrens pi cture books to adult novels, scholars have noted teacher stereotypes and gender roles, relations hips between teachers, administrators, and students, and demographic patter ns in teacher depictions. Occasionally, these approaches consider the impact these teacher images have upon readers, but rarely are these images examined in historical and cultural contexts. Of the non-print media, most scholarship has addressed the film image of the teacher and to some extent the television representations, while the radio depictions have been largely ignor ed. Methodologies have included media studies approaches, sociological examinations, and thema tic analysis, but often ag ain without historical contexts. Whether in literature or in non-print media, these st udies of teacher images usually involve outlining patterns gleaned from a broad spectrum of sample s rather than an in-depth analysis of a particular novel, film, or radio/television program. To situate further the contributions of this study towards understanding the teacher image, subsequent sections of the literature review will introduce scholarship about historical and cultural contexts of the postw ar era, particularly regardi ng the history of education, the representation of teachers as role models, a nd gender roles in the postwar United States. The Teacher Image in the Media The Teacher in Literature Literary depictions of teachers have prim arily perpetuated negative stereotypes and have restricted the identity of teachers according to gender roles. For her masters thesis,
19 Fannie Ames (1930) observes that in literary images from 17 50 to 1930, teachers and schools generally serve as background for the plot. Te acher characters are al so at polar opposites: teachers tend to be monstrous in manner, dress, and dispos ition or, at the other extreme, sweet and attractive, in which case they are certain to be rescued from a fate worse than death, by marriage (summary by Enger, 1974, p. 39). Teachers also generally have oppositional relationships with their principals. In summarizi ng Don Charless 1950 article in The Educational Forum, Malcolm Enger (1974) reports that in American literature teachers were rarely presented as warm and sympathetic human beings and even more seldom as members of an honorable or respected profession (p. 44). Examining New York City plays produced and publishe d from 1920 to 1950, Andrew Erskine (1951 ) compares the characterizations of Am erican teachers to results of the Bernreuter Personality Inventory to classify teache rs traits and to determ ine perception s of their social status. Although representations of teachers were mainly sympathetic, the sympathy verged on pity with teachers portrayed as helpless and maladjusted (p. 151, p. 77). Thes e stage teachers also struggle financially and roma ntically and exhibit a neurotic tendency and a dominance that is misdirected in person al interactions (p. 142, p. 148). Erskine (1951) concludes that playwrights are doing little to enhance the status of the [teaching] profession (p. 147). In 85 American novels, Dorothy Deegan (1951) finds the single female teach er to be morally uprigh t, but not particularly pretty (Enger, 1974). In pa rt of a chapte r from his book Heroes, Highbrows a nd the Popular Mind, Leo Gurko (1953) no tes the American liter ary stereotypes of ma le teachers as the s tern taskmaster, the absent-minded peda gogue or the inept figure unable to earn a living at any of the respectable masculine professions (p. 95). Gurko adds that re presentations of female teachers range from the angular spinster to the pretty young school marm awaiting matrimony to the bluff battle-ax (p. 95). These overviews of literary representations do not display a flattering portrait of teachers.
20 Corroborating these gender st ereotypes, Arthur Foff (1953) categorizes depictions of elementary and secondary public school teachers in 62 American novels according to Personal Data (characters persona lity traits, appearan ce, background, teaching experience, role in the plot, etc.), The Teacher in School (interpersonal relationships, attitudes by and to wards the teacher, and teacher proficiency), and The Teacher in the Community (relationships, attitudes, socioeconomic status, and profi ciency, pp. 42-44). Foff (1953) finds that most of the depictions are of female teachers, usually at the el ementary level, who are pretty a nd young and likely to retire from the career upon marriage or are the homely or un attractive middle-aged or elderly schoolteacher who, if not already married, will prob ably remain a spinster (pp. 66 -67). Foff also addresses how the images reflect a public attitude of ambivalence toward the teac her through various dualities (p. 80). For example, the male te achers enter the professi on either because they enjoy it or because they are unable to do anything else (p. 79). Teachers ar e either authoritarian or democratic in their management style (p. 114). Also demonstrating public ambivalence, teac hers may be respected, but their social status is at best lower middle cl ass, and they are not fully integrated into the community: In order to become acceptable as a teacher, the individua l must become in acceptable as a man or a woman (p. 109). In his Ph.D. disser tation on teacher stereoty pes, Harry Jones (1957) similarly observes public ambivalence about favoring local control of sch ools yet desi ring more professional standa rds, respecting knowledge along with cr iticizing egghead[s], and having mixed attitudes towards the extent of a teachers influence over students (p. 48, p. 50). Fo ff concludes that the teacher stereotypes in literature are harmful to the community as well as the teacher (p. 287). In 1958, Foff summarizes much of the findings from his dissertation in an article for The English Journal.
21 Other studies of the l iterary image of the te acher address the audien ce and the historical contexts and reveal more positive representations. Edna Furness (1960), as reported by Enger (1974), is interested in how the st ereotypes of high school teachers in literature fr om 1925 to 1955 affect adolescent readers and correlate with the status of real teachers. Furne ss finds that the novel image of mainly negative stereotypes coincides w ith a past status of th e teacher that no longer applies. Frances Briggs (1962) looks at no vels and autobiographies fr om 1900 to 196 0 to discern chronological changes in the teache r image within social and cultural contexts. Brig gs demonstrates how through the decade s public school teachers ar e depicted as being bette r academically prepared, as shifting from textbook and recitation methods to more progressive, child-centered strategies (p. 99), as having closer interactions with studen ts, and as being more full y integrated into their communities. Briggs (1962) note s how in the 1950s, novelists re presented more male high school teachers, which appears to corres pond with the modern trend to ward attracting more men into teaching positions ( p. 146) and that the depicted teachers did not always have positive relations with their students, thus reflect[ing], to some degree, the tensions of modern living and the attitude of many adolescents who question author ity in any form (p. 149 ). In comparing teacher depictions in juvenile fiction (for grades si xth through ninth) from 1945 to 1956 to non-fic tion and sociological studies, Melva Kauffman (1 962) discovers that the actual status allowed teachers in society is found to lag behind the fi ctional picture (p. 242). Fictional teachers are shown to have generally agreeable physical appearances, to make l earning exciting (p. 33), and to be concerne d with the emotional and social as well as th e intellectual development of students (p. 188). In 50 short stories from 1900 to 1964, Albert Nissman (1965) sim ilarly notes favorable po rtrayals of K-12 pub lic school teachers, who are knowledgeable and relate well to their st udents, but some of these teachers struggle in their private lives. To demons trate how public expecta tions about teache rs roles have evolved, Ann Bass
22 (1970) writes a literature review of scholarship by Ames (1930), Waller (1932), Erskine (1951), Foff (1953), H. E. Jones (1 957), and Belok (1958), w ho reveal how literary fi ction has perpetuated a negative teacher stereotype Bass believes literature shapes the ways the gene ral public and teachers, themselves, view the profession. In examining the representation of public school teachers in 26 novels from 1965 to 1971 for his doctoral dissertation, Malcolm Enger ( 1974) uses Gerbners Character Analysis Instrument to calculate percentages of freque ncy of specific personal qualities and types of relationships among 37 teacher-characters, w ho tend to be young, single, middle-class men teaching in high school. These educators often hero ically challenge the system but usually fail despite their tenacity. Thus, apparently since Sc hwartzs (1960) comparison, teachers seem to be portrayed more sympathetically in late 1960s literature, and Enger attributes the teacher idealism to the reawakened social conscience of the times (p. 135). Other scholars concentrate on the representations of professionals in hi gher education. Richard Boys (1946) criticiz es early 20th-century novels before World War Two for th eir lack of realism in depicting colleg e life and for representing professors as dreary, depressing, and stifling, lovable but eccentric, v ain and highly contemptib le, a dry scholar or as an enemy (pp. 382383). In analyzing 50 novels from 1940 to 1957 Michael Belok (1958) fo cuses on the image of the college professor, us ually a man teaching English at a college in the East or Midwest. Professors are generally competent, but not extraordinary, in their teaching and scholarship, but characterizations concentrate on personal dilemmas and life outside the classr oom (Enger, 1974, pp. 68-69). According to Belok, the uncritical reader would be left with a negative impression of the college professor. In a 1961 article for the Journal of Educat ional Sociology Belok lists the attitudes towards male and female professors based on post-1940 novel representations. Men are
23 impractical, timid, repressed, unmanly, and unable to be successful in the really important affairs of life (p. 405). For the women, scholarship tends to unsex them. The unattractive women are perfectly credible as scholars, although lack of beauty often war ps her soul and makes her a spiteful creature (p. 405). A physically attractive female professor is an anomaly explained through an early psychol ogical experience that altered he r pursuit towards traditional gender appropriate activities (p. 405). Male professors unlike female professors are usually married in novels. Negative characterizati ons of women are manifested thro ugh ugliness, while this is not necessarily true for negativ e characterizations of me n. Intellectual work made or attracted hostile and aggressive women or nervous and timid men (p. 406). In a 1961 co-authored article, appearing in the Phi Delta Kappan journal, Belok provi des a brief literature review on the scholarship about teacher images in texts and conc ludes that the negative portrayals may in part account for the numbers of teache rs abandoning the profession. Like Boys, Frederic Carp enter (1960) is not impres sed by the quality of the writing of college novels, and he categorizes the novels negative att itudes towards higher educ ation according to five emerging themes. These novels criticize colleges fo r their lack of economic or pragmatic realism, lack of emotional and se nsuous realism, confusi on of values, in sufficient support for the freedom of speech, and inad equate acknowledgemen t for the personal struggles of college students as young adults (p. 445). As part of these themes, the read ers see professors contendi ng with low salaries and as emotionally introverted. In The College Novel in America, John Lyons (1962) de votes a chapter to the image of the professor, an d he similarly notes the largely negative depictions. The professor is either a pedant whose studies ha ve ill-equipped him to deal with life, or he is a person who has used his knowledge to co ntrol others (p. 10 6). Popular magazines and films also replicate the chalky-coated, absent-minded, in effectual, and even impotent professo r (p. 107). Occasionally
24 novels delineate the professor as a tweedy, pipe-smoking, sage, and romantic figure (p. 123), but he can also be characterize d by his uxoriousness and promiscuity (p. 113, p. 119). Mary Ann Davis (1987) declares that the most favorable lite rary depictions of prof essors occur in mystery novels in the roles of amateur sl euths, but the prevailing stereoty pes are as the absent-minded professor, the pedant, and the soulless academic automaton (p. 29). John Thelin and Barbara Townsend (1988) demonstrate how th e college novel can be studied through lite rary perspectives, genre studies, historical analysis and ethnography to le arn about public expectations for higher education and collegiate customs an d procedures not reflected in official reports (p. 202). Although the majority of novels focused on the extra-curricul a, such as athletics, dating, fraternities/sororities, and societies, when professo rs were depicted, Thelin and Townsend argue that the professors were in equally positive an d negative relationshi ps with students. More recent scholarship has further differenti ated teacher images according to urban and rural schools. In fict ion and biography from 190 0 to 1940, Rosalind Benj et (1994) also observes how the image of American urban teachers is one dimensiona l (p. 232). Teachers are either menacing sadists or idealized do-gooders (p. 2 31). Accounts include corporal punishment and racial, ethnic, and class prejudice exhibited by teac hers, who appeared to bring the biases of society into the classroom as schools Americanized immigran t children (p. 237). In examining the character, classroom management, curriculum, instru ctional methods, and prof essional trai ning of the rural teacher in novels, teacher memoirs, and teache r education texts, Mary Manke (1994) finds that the teachers are described as poorly prepared as struggling with disobedient students and as using strictly rote met hods to teach a limited and fact-bound curriculu m (p. 255). Ma nke postulates that the public still has a sentimental vision of rural schools because in the face of so many
25 challenges to schools today, it is psychologi cally comforting to think an ideal schoo l once existed and therefore can be realized again. Although most of the research on the literary teacher image has focused on novels for adolescent and adult audiences, recently schola rship has also addresse d impacts of teacher representations on the youngest of readers. In 46 fictiona l childrens picture books from 1960 to 1990, Ann Trousdale (19 94) finds mainly like able images of teachers as [a]lly and [c]omforter (p. 196), but there are a fe w less positive portrayals as [a]dv ersary or [b]uffoon (p. 198). Other books incorporat e power struggles betw een teachers and students or teachers and principals. Although female teachers are more often repr esented, Trousdale regards them to be less prone to stereotypes in appearance than the male teachers, who either are young, friend ly, and wearing casual attire or are older, sterner, and in more formal clothes. These female teachers however, tend to be more maternal and nu rturing than the male teachers. Both ma le and female teachers are primarily of white, Anglo-Saxon ethnicity. In an updated study of 62 pict ure books since 1965, Sarah Jo Sandefur and Leeann Moore (2004) add that among the prevailing negative images, teachers are never shown as learners themselves or as promoter s of students cr itical inquiry ( pp. 48-49). In some cases, teachers are even represented as in hibiting students learning. In also analyzing childrens literature, Diane Baro ne, Maria Meyerson, an d Maria Mallette (1995) discover that traditional teachers ar e depicted as exacting, narrow-minded, transmitte rs of knowledge and are less liked by st udents, while contemporary teachers are creative and rela te learning to students interests. These students appreciate being so va lidated and liked and resp ected by their teachers, while traditional teachers have more difficulties with discipli ne. In childr ens books the traditional teacher is represented more than twice as often. In 22 intermediate and early adolescent books from the 1970s and 1980s (p. 217) Gail Burnaford (1994) observes, along with
26 Trousdale (1994), that the teache rs are generally white, middle-class women, and she suggests that the public is uncomfortable with male teachers an d teachers of other ethnicities. Burnaford also explores how writers of these book s draw on their person al memories of teache rs. Many of these depictions are of teachers as surrogate moth ers (p. 223). Other teachers are creative nonconformist[s], who connect with their students as good teac hers, but are often removed from schools for failing to follow expect ations and regula tions (p. 226). Focusing on the teacher-student relationships depicted in childrens literature, Cheri Triplett and Gwynne Ash (2000) denote five types of representations. There are relational teachers, who concern th emselves with students affective lives and create friendshi ps with students and non-rel ational teachers, who either passively avoid relation ships with students or wh o are actively antagonisti c (p. 244, p. 246). The ethical rebels defy the ru les for the sake of their students, but unethical re bels do so for selfish reasons (pp. 247 -248). The final category is of teachers, who are in transition from selfish to selfless or from saint to sinner (p. 250). Teachers were also often expected to internalize certain images as part of their professional identities. In examini ng teacher education texts before 1940, Pamela Jose ph (1994) observes how teacher identities are cons tructed according to socially relevant meta phors, such as military engagements, democracy, and industrial capitalism. During wartime, textbook rhetoric urges teachers to serve the national in terest, and teaching is also regarded as a vehicle for social improvement. Sometimes in the te xts, education is compared to a business model, where the teacher is a producer (citi ng Bagley & Keith, 1932, p. 262) or a customer relations manager in an efficient organization. The teacher paragon (p. 264) is also delineated as a self-sac rificing, intellectual and moral role model, who suppo rts the success of students in a wellordered classroom. Literature could shape public perceptions of teachers, including how teachers view themselves.
27 The Teacher in Film Of the non-print m edia, film has been the most extensively analyzed regarding the teacher image, and one of the pioneering film st udies was also the most comprehensive in its survey. For his Ph.D. dissertation, Jack Schwartz (1963) examined films that included representations of teachers, students, schools, and education in general from 1931 to 1961 (p. 1). Through film reviews in Variety, Motion Picture Review Digest, Motion Picture Herald, The Green Sheet, Film Facts, Film Daily, and the British Bulletin Schwartz found 470 films. He then consulted additional print media to obtain 2, 999 reviews for these 470 films with a resulting average of at least six reviews for each motion pict ure. Fifteen trained associates with a viewing guide then screened 100 films produced between 1951 and 1961. In these films, education is primarily seen as a vehicle for maintaining existing social values. Thirteen percent of these films depict schools facing problems, such as comm unity dissatisfaction, in sufficient funding, and discrimination within the school but Schwartz does not find any motion picture incorporating racial desegregation (p. 38). Female teachers are more likely to be in primary and secondary schools than in higher education and are more often associated with romance than male teachers (p. 93). The most popular teaching subj ect is the humanities, but most of the film scenes do not involve classroom instruction. Schwartz discovers that [r]esearch and study by students was portrayed in a much more serious and positive way than when conducted by teachers (p. 68). Because teacher-initiated res earch is shown to either frighten or amuse others, it is at best impracti cal and at worst dangerous (p. 65 ). Although student and teacher relationships are predominantly pos itive, [t]he treatment of teac her-administrator relationships in films [is] favorable to e ducation about as often as it [i s] unfavorable (p. 69). Schools, however, are generally portrayed negatively.
28 Despite the great magnitude of the data samp le, Schwartz (1963) does not include films, where teachers are private tutors and governesse s. Although he convincingly demonstrates the reliability of film reviews as source materials, less than a quarter of his sample is actually screened, and I believe greater reliability and consistency of observation could be achieved if Schwartz alone viewed these films rather th an 15 observers with a viewing guide open to individual interpretation. Because Schwartzs study also encompasses films that ranged from depicting teachers in the title role to having teach ers as very minor characters, some patterns or themes may not have the same degree of promin ence within individual films, but a comparison across films could tend to falsely equalize the relative importance of the themes. Acknowledging Schwartzs scholarship in he r Ph.D. dissertation on the images of teachers in 29 novels and 28 films from 1980 to 1987, Mary Crume (1988) also questions his reliance on film reviews for data. For example, it is highly probable th at the reviews did not cover teacher-student relationships in enough de tail to justify conclu sions concerning these relationships (p. 56). In addition, Crume suggests that Schwartzs inclusion of teachers from all academic levels and from diverse contexts resu lts in a homogenization without differentiation. Whereas Schwartz (1963) is not emphasizing the impact of medi a representations, Crume wants to analyze how media shape adolescents opinion s of teachers. Crumes dissertation, however, concentrates more on categorizing the content of the images according to percentages rather than assessing the influence upon adol escent viewers. Moreover, in having a rubric of some predetermined categories for evaluating the films, Crume to some extent discovers what she expected to find, while potentially limiting categories arising from the data, although she acknowledges that other categories emerged from film viewing. In comparing novels and films, Crume finds that literary represen tations are more positive, and that although films do not show
29 overwhelming negative images, [f]ilmmakers [are] much more likely than novelists to depict teachers with negative, stereotypical images the most frequent bei ng adversary/villain and odd duck/buffoon (p. ix). Of the positive images she found in novels, the teacher as a friend/counselor occurs mos t frequently (p. 98), whereas in films the most frequently occurring positive image is that of a profession al (p. 164). In novel and film depictions of classroom learning, teachers are usually shown as enthusiastic, but in n ovels students [are] portrayed as involved and productive slightly more often than they [are] shown to be bored and unproductive, whereas in films the revers e is true (p. 130, p. 132, p. 191, p. 193). In both novels and films, the primary function of the school, however, is as a social setting (p. 229). Crume also addresses the stereo types conveyed by the films: Wh ile female teachers [are] not stereotyped as old ladies, there [is] a tendency for filmmakers to portray them as attractive, young women and for male teachers to be depict ed stereotypically as balding, older men (p. 179). In addition to examining images, Crume discusses the representa tions of relationships between teachers, administrators, students a nd the community. Crume then compares the fictional representations of teachers to current statistics and concludes that male teachers are overrepresented in the media, and that filmmakers dispropo rtionately show younger or older teachers (p. 247). Moreover, novelists and filmmakers downplayed student violence and vandalism (p. 248). In these instances, representa tion did not conform to realism, but such is often the case according to howev er one defines reality. Despite these added discussions of context and comparison of film s and novels, Crumes methodology is similar to Schwartzs pilot st udy for his dissertation and offers similar conclusions. In analyzing Hollywood films fr om 1950 to 1958 as a pilot study for his doctoral dissertation, Jack Schwartz (1960) compares and contrasts the ge nres and thematic content of
30 films with and without t eacher roles to the depict ions of teachers in lite rature. These 1950s films with teachers tend to be comedies, musicals, ro mantic love stories, and biographies and the themes include mental illness, alcoholism, scie nce, entertainment, roma ntic relationships, and home, family, and marital problems (p. 83). T eachers are most likely to be middle-aged, male, and unmarried (p. 84), and in romantic relationshi ps the teachers rarely begin the courtship. The prevalence of unmarried teachers in the films also coincides with the unmarried schoolmarm in literature (p. 89). Non-teacher films are more likely to be westerns or adventure films and have a greater proportion of superstition, minority group relationships, physical violence, crime, and nature themes (p. 83). Schwartz concludes that Hollywood perpetuat[es] the unsympathetic image of the educator in literature (p. 89). Subsequent scholars confirm the role of film s in furthering the lite rary stereotypes of teachers. Building upon Schwartzs scholarship in her masters thesis, Marsha Ehlers (1992) examines the film image of American public sch ool teachers, excluding co llege professors, from 1968 to 1983, and thus also provides a chronological transition to Crumes dissertation research. Compared to previous representations, the teach ers in this period seem to be more successful as adults, particularly in films appealing to general audiences, although female teachers are more liable to be revealed as inept (p. 121). In films catering to teenagers, teachers, however, are less prone to be positive role models. Unlike Schwartz and Crume, Ehlers more directly contextualizes the representations according to so cial and cultural trends and provides a history of the teaching profession for her assertions. Ehlers argues that the ambiguity felt towards womens place in society, the loss of trust in Amer ican institutions, and the national feeling of futility in the 1970s are reflected in these film depictions of e ducation (p. 136). In a broader discussion of the teacher film genre, Angela Ra imo, Roberta Devlin-Scherer, and Debra Zinicola
31 (2002) discern a variety of ofte n conflicting teacher roles as [g]uardian of [c]ulture and [l]iberator, [i]conoclast and [s] ubverter, [a]lien-[c]ulture [b] earer, [a]gent of [c]hange, [l]earner, and [c]ompa ssionate [m]entor (pp. 315-318). Further discussion of the historical contexts could explain these contradictory exp ectations for teachers. Through a historical perspective in her doctoral diss ertation, Ann Tan (1999) argues th at all film representations of teachers are stereotypes, and she wants to unde rstand the sources of the stereotypes and why Hollywood perpetuates them. In 35 films, mo stly dramas, released from 1939 to 1997, Tan categorizes stereotypes from the repressed spin ster (citing Edelman, 1983, p. 6) to the teacher as hero and outlines the history of teaching and of film production to discover the origins of such images. In The Cinema of Adolescence David Considine (1985) argu es that two images of teachers and schools prevail in popular film: the teacher as hero a nd the trials and tribulations of one youngster or group of youngsters in a scho ol (pp. 112-113). Considine believes that the film image of the teacher has become increasing ly negative and that the themes and attitudes portrayed about teachers and school s coincide with film depictions of other authority figures and institutions. Because of the unrea listic, sensationalistic films about teachers, Considine criticizes Hollywood for damaging the image of teachers: The teacher as hero, while dramatically inte resting, can only render a disservice to the teacher profession as a whole. Neither heroes nor villains, teachers are three-dimensional human beings with the same flaws and fau lts as others. While sex and violence may sell well at the box office, they are not the stap le components of a teachers day. (p. 141) Contrary to other scholars asse ssments of teacher images in the media as negative, freelance writer Rob Edelman argues in a 1983 essay that prim arily positive film images of teachers abide, and that of the idealized educators there are the films that are sentimental valentines to
32 teachers, who have impacted the lives of many students, and the films that portray teachers overcoming challenges to he lp their students (p. 28). In a thematic approach to film analysis Harold Burbach and Margo Figgins (1993) acknowledge the positive representations of teachers, but they find such por trayals to be too few and far between. Of the favorable images, ther e are the young idealistic new teachers (p. 66), the tough love teachers, who have high expect ations for themselves and their students (p. 68), and the [e]xceptional [t]eacher for an [e]xceptional [s]ituation (p. 69) as in The Miracle Worker. Unfortunately, negative teacher images predom inate. There are teachers as buffoons, who are the butts of jokes (pp. 69-70). David Hill (1995) sees Hollywood film as reducing teachers to just these two types, the noble heroes and the more prevailing comic effect images as letches, buffoons, and self-serving idiots ( p. 41), but Burbach and Figgins further delineate the representations. There are the anybody can t each teachers, who become successful without professional training or experien ce (p. 70). There is the them e of [p]owerlessness with teachers having little influence in determining policy over their own jobs (p. 71). The theme of teaching as a [m]oribund [c]areer (p. 71) depicts the profession as unfulfilling. Sometimes the teacher is confrontational towards students, a nd other film images are of the teacher as a [s]expot (p. 72). In examini ng films for adolescent audiences, Paul Farber and Gunilla Holm (1994b) corroborate these findings by noting ho w the negative images of the teacher as manager, drill sergeant, s expot or sleazeball, deranged or demented, and lame and boring surpass the depictions of dedicated teach ers connecting with thei r students (pp. 32-33). Burbach and Figgins also note absent elements from these profiles. Contrary to the film representations of novices in other professions beginning teachers must work through their problems on their own without any mentors and often with critical peers (p. 67). Teacher
33 characters are generally shown with circumscribed lives with little romance or excitement. Moreover, rarely are teachers se en in the act of instruction. Other scholars similarly allude to the polarities in these often one-dimensional portrayals of teachers. After examining 116 films, Mary Dalton (2004) observes how the good teacher gets involved with students on a personal level, learns from those student s, and does not usually fare very well with administrators (pp. 25-26). The bad teacher, however, is typically bored by students, afraid of students, or eager to dominate students and tends to follow the standardized curriculum (p. 61). Nicely comp lementing Daltons work, Robert C. Bulmans sociological approach, in Hollywood Goes to High School: Cinema, Schools, and American Culture, offers an insightful discussion of the teache r as an outsider, an urban school cowboy (Bulman, 2005, p. 43). Bulman discerns the disp arity between the middleclass values of the teacher, who espouses success through individual efforts, versus the poor, inner-city school context for many films, which however often do not address the structural obstacles to students success (p. 43). Sometimes substitute teachers as outsiders can be teacher heroes or guerilla educator[s] (Weems, 2003, p. 261). Th e teacher hero can have an oppositional role within the educational system and the resulti ng conflicts can impact societal contexts. When the teacher hero becomes further delineated as a savior, this good teacher image can grow ignoble, if the teachers role se rves to perpetuate hegemonic relationships. William Ayers (1994) proposes that male teachers in such films as Blackboard Jungle (1955), Conrack (1974), Teachers (1984), Lean on Me (1987), and Stand and Deliver (1988) are depicted as saviors, trying to rescue students from their problems, but such teachers often are inadequately equipped for the task. Ayers crit icizes these films for failing to address the relevance of the curriculum or the need for teach ers to forge relationships with the families and
34 communities of their students. Amy Wells a nd Todd Serman (1998) also note that Hollywood often depicts white teachers resc uing African-American and Latino students. This great White hope phenomenon suggests that these students cannot or will not be saved by people of color (p. 186). Because of the way Dangerous Minds (1995) portrays African-American adults and students, Robert Lowe (2001) enjo ins that this teacher-hero film is blatantly racist (p. 214). Seeing as how media stereotypes identify students of color as o ther, Xae Alicia Reyes and Diana I. Rios (2003) advocate critical media lite racy, so that teachers and students do not play out the roles of savior and victim in reality (p.9). Adam Farhi (1999), in addition, pronounces that this superteacher myth places an impossi ble burden on real teachers and undermines the profession because the superteacher is made ex ceptional by representing the other teachers as incompetent, bitter, or drab and boring (pp. 157-158). When little instruction is depicted, students succeed not because of expert pedagogy but because a teach er cares. Paul Farber and Gunilla Holm (1994a) use the term educator-her o (p. 153) to include administrators and coaches, who also overcome obstacles, believe in their students success, and are appreciated by their students. Wells and Serm an (1998), however, assess that mo st heroic teachers work in a sea of celluloid principals from hell, and as th e representations of schools have become steadily more violent, the teacher-heroes have transfor med into warriors (p. 187, p. 191). Like Ayers (1994), Farber and Holm (1994a) observe that these heroes do not make institutional or structural changes, yet such films are intended to make th e audiences feel satisfied and wish for more educator-heroes rather th an enact systemic transformation of schools. Just as scholars focused on the teacher image in novels about college life, they have also examined professorial portrayals in college-life films. In his Ph.D. dissertation, Howard Schuth (1972) uses four belief systems outlined by O. J. Harvey to analyze institutions and characters
35 through behavioral sciences. C oncentrating on a range of coll ege films from 1903 to 1972, with a special emphasis on films directed/produced by Mike Nichols, Schuth c ontends that up to 1942 college was a pleasant, non-thre atening place where students had fun (p. 94), but from 1942 through the 1960s the college grew more threatening (p. 95). Professors are absent-minded and, on the whole, ineffectual, and if there are sexual relationships, it is a male professor with a female student (p. 174, p. 173). In his book The Movies Go to College, Wiley Umphlett (1984) organizes his analysis of co llege-life films by decades from the 1920s through the 1970s and includes the changing images of pr ofessors. Just as Foff (1953) credits divergent portrayals of teachers in novels as a reflection of the public s ambivalent attitude toward the teaching profession and schools, Umphlett comments that having both an amiable professor and a crotchety professor depicted in Varsity Show (1937) indicates the ambivalence that existed in both the movies posture and the publics mind towa rd the image of the college professor at this time (p. 62). It is not until the 1930s college musicals and football dramas that the professor does start to show up with some frequency as either a congenial, personable type or, more often, as a crackpot (p. 62). By the 1940s, films show professors as brilliant but eccentric and impractical and often the subject of satire (p. 11 8). Negative stereotypes of professors persist on film through the 1960s, but by the end of the decade and into the 1970s, the professor is a more well-rounded character type as films more realistically a ddress previously taboo topics regarding social behavior and ch allenges to auth ority (p. 150). In films from 1960 to 1990, David Hinton (199 4) focuses on the representations of colleges and universities in a social-cultural co ntext, and thus extends the work of Umphlett (1984). Although professors are often not the cent ral characters, Hinton similarly appraises that in the 1960s negative stereotypes prevail in the depictions. By the late 1960s and early 1970s,
36 films show professors affected by the same currents of a lienation and rebellion experienced by students to the point of sometimes supporting the causes of the students (p. 103). With John Housemans portrayal of a Harvard Law School professor in The Paper Chase (1973), Hinton argues that a shift occurs in returning the professor to a traditi onal hierarchical position of authority (p. 106), and by the la te 1980s the film representations of professors seem to be more realistic. In discussing sp ecific films at length, Hinton reveals how the films interact with contemporary social movements on college campuses. Focusing less on the stereotypical nature of th e teacher images, some scholars prefer to emphasize even more the films educational represen tations within social a nd cultural contexts. Through the lenses of individual/communit y, community/society, nature/culture, and stability/change, Paul Weinstein (1998) in hi s Ph.D. dissertation thematically addresses the changing image of teachers and schools in film dramas from 1939 to 1989 according to the historical contexts of the De pression, World War Two, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, and the Wate rgate scandal. Offeri ng in-depth profiles of seven teacher films, one from each decade of the 1930s through the 1990s, Duane Grobman, II (2002), for his doctoral thesis, also incorporates historical contexts Grobman includes information on plot summaries, settings, protagon ists, situations, sequenc es, and origins of the individual films. In addition, for each decade, Grobman comments on historic developments in the film industry and in education. Such concen trated efforts to relate teacher images to historical contexts by Weinstein (1998) and Grob man (2002) are largely ab sent from most media analyses. Many scholars, however, assert that the film image of the teacher affects how teachers perceive their own professional identities. In analyzing 59 films from 1939 to 2003, Barbara
37 Beyerbach (2005) wants to assess the impact of teacher images according to race, class, and gender on pre-service teachers impressions of th e profession. Beyerbach finds that white male teachers are overrepresented. Teachers are genera lly from the middle class, but frequently without teacher education bac kgrounds (p. 277). Gender stereo types endure with female teachers often delineated as sacrificing a nd nurturing and more likely to teach younger children (p. 279) and male teachers exhibited as tough, protective, and active (p. 278). However, Beyerbachs characterization of high school English teacher Connie Brooks from the film Our Miss Brooks as a plotting, manipulativ e woman whose main role in life is to catch a husband (p. 278) is inaccurate, because Beyerbac h fails to account for the friendly, sacrificing and nurturing side of Miss Brooks identity emphasized in the CBS radio and television programs that gave rise to the film. Beyerbach classifies the films according to three themes: fast times, where the teacher saves student s in degeneration, dangerous minds, where teachers try to reform the system, and stand on me, where teachers are characteristically devalued and abused (pp. 282-283). Different fr om other analyses, Beyerbach presents lesson strategies for how to teach pre-service teachers about these films in a so cial foundations course. Rather than exploring the nuan ces of interpretations, Beyerb ach, like Schwartz (1963) and Crume (1988), concentrates on cate gorizing the images without addr essing historical and cultural contexts. Compared to other professions, teaching seem s to have less favorable media publicity. H. M. Lafferty (1945) comments that other profes sions, such as clergy, doctors and lawyers, are usually portrayed positively by Hollywood, but the school teacher in film is often a poor physical specimen and intellectually is nearly always in a blue funk (p. 93). Lafferty affirms that real teachers are more modern and up-to-date than their film depictions (p. 93), and that it
38 is time for Hollywood to transcend the antiquated teacher caricatures (p. 94). Donald Walhout (1961) similarly acknowledges that other professions in the United States enjoy a more positive public image than teachers, but Walhout does not address the role of mass media in reflecting and perpetuating these images. Instead he argu es historically that teachers, who were once respected members of aristocracy in Europe, no longer have this elevated position in America and that in a market economy, e ducation and schooling are seen as means to an end, a particular career, rather than the valui ng of knowledge for its own sake. In 1996, Cynthia Long offers similar historical explanations for the pervasiv ely negative media images of professors because of anti-intellectualism in American society and the lack of esteem for a liberal arts education because people do not see it leading to practical benefits (p. 32). Ultimately, Walhout (1961) recommends that because teachers do not mak e the teacher image an inspiring and luring symbol in the American mind (p. 34), the most vi able solution for the teacher image problem is for teachers themselves to change the image, although Walhout does not articulate how to enact this transformation. In addition to developing composites of teacher images in the media, scholars have also noted how teachers have been depicted according to the subjects of their academic disciplines. For example, Bryan McCullick, Don Belcher, Brent Hardin, and Marie Hardin (2003) have examined recent film depictions of physical educ ation teachers, who are of ten confused with the roles of coaches and are rarely seen teachi ng. When physical education teachers are seen teaching, it is usually in using inappropriate inst ructional methods. Negative portrayals include these teachers as a taskmaster and a bully (p 10). Stereotypes further bifurcate by gender with female physical education teachers as butch lesbians and men as hormone-raging heterosexuals and buffoons (p. 11). Because of these film representa tions, McCullick et al
39 are concerned about public support for physical ed ucation as a profession and as an important academic subject. Dana Polan (1996) has focused on the film repr esentations of history professors, how the films define historical truth, and the public perceptions of history teachers based on these images. Polan suggests that the relative absence of history professors on film indicates that the public does not understand the nature of their scholarsh ip nor its relevancy (p. 242). Unlike science professors, whose research is depicted as producing something tangible in a laboratory, one seldom sees images of the historian in the work of active researchon site, in the archives, conducting interviews, and so on (p. 244). Among the representations of humanities professors, at least English professors are s een spark[ing] inspiration in a student, even if by accident or outside the classroom (p. 243). In contrast, the history professors making of fact or truth is derivativ e a mere reportage both of historical events that are old and of the historical facts or truths that precedent figures have produced. At best, the historian is a skilled lecturer, at worst an irrelevant antiquarian. (p. 245) Polan even finds the depiction of English profe ssors seducing students as at least having an impact, while there is virtually no major embodi ment of the history professor as effective seducer (p. 249). Ultimately, Polan concludes th at because of the public assumption that historians dont do anything but repeat facts about the accomp lishments of others, there is something essentially uncinematic about the work of history (p. 255). History professors are just not sexy enough. The sexual identity of teachers in film a nd other media has been the subject of scholarship. Alison Jones (1996) considers how th e tension of sex/love and teaching has been explored in literature, and how teachers and literary critics have responded to such texts as: Shaws Pygmalion Braithwaites To Sir With Love Russells Educating Rita Mamets Oleanna,
40 and Schines Rameaus Niece (p. 103). Jones then analyzes the extent of erotic possibilities in university teaching situations. Dale Bauer (1998) argues that [ t]eaching, once represented as a profound calling is now represente d as a sexual proposition in films (p. 302). Sometimes the teacher is a model of managing sexuality in professional realms (p. 302). When a film does not overtly address sexual relationships between teachers and students, Bauer advocates that teachers desire for discipline (p. 303) is a sublimation of sexual desire through a more appropriate outlet. A teachers sexual identity or sublimation can also be expressed in film through the representati on of a lessons content, as in the literature being discussed in an English classroom. Comparing media depic tions of teachers sexual ident ity to the social and cultural contexts, Bauer declares that du ring George H. W. Bushs presid ency, sexuality was repressed, whereas in President William J. Clintons presidency the teachers eroticism is fully engaged (p. 306, p. 305). Considering such cultural contex ts as McCarthyism, Amer ican interpretations of Freud, and the Vietnam War, Vicky Newman ( 2001) examines films about teachers from the 1950s and 1960s. Using a largely psychoanalytic approach, Newman discusses the deviant sexuality of Blanche DuBois in Williamss Streetcar Named Desire (1951), the repressed longings of Miss Sidney, the self-proclaime d old maid schoolteacher (p. 427) in Picnic (1955), and the phallic mother image (p. 430) in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). Jo Keroes (1999) also notes the seductiv e power of Jean Brodies teac hing, which the film emphasizes with its multiple shots of uniformed little gi rls gazing yearningly at the romantically commanding figure of Miss B (p. 37). With th e teaching profession often gendered female, Daniel Perlstein (2000) explores how the masculinity of Mr Dadier, a first year high school English teacher, is compromised and constructed in Blackboard Jungle (1955). Explorations of
41 the sexual identities of teachers on film thus connect to ot her gender studies about the media images of teachers. The Teacher in Television In com parison to studies on the film images of teachers, much less scholarship has centered on the television image. Acknowledging the lack of scholarship on the television image of teachers, Judine Mayerle and David Rari ck (1989) quantitatively analyze 40 primetime programs from 1948 to 1988, where schools and/or teachers featured prominently. These programs, generally comedies, represented about two percent of all seri es on television, although since the 1950s the actual numbers of programs representing teachers and schools have almost doubled for every succeeding decade. Mostly white male educators are depicted in primarily urban middle-class high schools and colleges, thus under-representing the actual percentages of female teachers, the experiences of elementary schools, and the diverse educational settings in America. In addition, Mayerle and Rarick assert that television teachers are presented more favorably and more realistically than their counterparts in novels, magazine fiction, and movies as revealed by George Gerbners research (p. 154). Corroborating much of the findings of Ma yerle and Rarick (1989), Leslie Swetnam (1992) examines film and television images, but seems to discover an even greater disparity between fiction and reality without noting differences between film and television representations. Concerned about the public per ception of teachers and t eachers perceptions of themselves, Swetnam attributes the distortio n of the profession and the perpetuation of stereotypes to the failure of media productions to confer with actual teach ers. Again, secondary teachers are more often depicted, although in reality there are more elementary teachers. In television and film, the teachers are generally single and/or male and teach in inner city schools. These teachers often have poor relationships with their principals. Teacher s relationships with
42 students are then stereotyped as tough [a]utocrat s more allied to their disciplines than to helping students, [p]ied pipers who encourage students to challenge the status quo, jerk or clown teachers whose nega tive portrayals are for comic relief, and the superhuman teacher, who easily solves all student problems and runs every class effortlessly (Teacher Stereotypes Portrayed section, 2, 3, 4; Effects of Unrealistically Positive Portrayals section, 1). Because classroom instructi on paper grading, planning, meetings, and the extra duties are seldom shown, the media reinforce[s] the perception that teaching is an easy life (Subliminal Messages section, 2). What is not depicted can be as damaging to the profession as a negative portr ayal. In a 1956 article for The Atlantic Monthly magazine, Oscar Handlin credits the television images of teachers w ith lowering teachers status in comparison to other professions: But who can respect Our Miss Brooks, a female eager to be married, but unsuccessful and therefore condemned to remain in the classroom; or her male counterpart, the ineffectual, bumbling Mr. Peepers ? Such people, incapable of the real work of the world, deserve no more than amused tolerance. (p. 35) Whereas television viewers witness portrayals of lawyers in the courtroo m and of doctors in surgery, D. F. Gunderson and Nancy S. Haas (1987) a ffirm that the lack of depictions of teachers instructing in the classroom makes them appear as less-than-competent professionals who spend most of their time engaged in trivial non-te aching activities (p. 30). Although television courtroom scenes may be more dramatic than in reality and viewers ma y not witness the behindthe-scenes labor of legal case research, at le ast television affords lawyers a glamorous and powerful venue in the courtroom, while apparently the act of teaching is seen as so uninteresting as to be rarely represented at all. Little seems to have changed since Laffertys (1945) assessment of Hollywood film depictions of teachers compared with other professions.
43 From Our Miss Brooks to The White Shadow, Darlene Wilson (1986) discerns that television programs have portrayed teachers increasingly as counsel ors to students with less of an academic focus on curriculum content and with more of a lenient approach to discipline. While praising the Mr. Novak series (1963-1965) for showing a pr incipled teacher dedicated to his subject and committed to strong classroom management, Wilson criticizes the Miss Brooks character as a negative stereot ype of an unmarried and sexua lly frustrated female teacher, the Mr. Peepers character as a childlike man (p. 6), and the characters of Lucas Tanner, Gabe Kotter, and Ken Reeves as counselors rather than teachers. In a 1988 article for NEA Today, Vicky Lytle reports th at NEA members had script approval for Mr. Novak, and she similarly celebrates the series for its authentic classroom issues and the glamour and heroism it brought to teaching (p. 18). Lytle (1988) also berates Miss Brooks and Mr. Peepers as long on burlesque and short on reality (p. 18), but such is the nature of fiction in a situation comedy. In 1958, Arthur Foff was equally dismissive about tele vision that bludgeons us with the antics of a Miss Brooks or a Mr. Peepers, but Foff further supported his argument about ambivalent public attitudes towards educators because television alternately regale s us with programs deploring over-attended schools and underpaid teachers (p. 118). Thus, for some scholars the television image of teachers is primarily negative. Yet in focusing on the comedic genre, other scholars have observed more positive television images, and this aspect is not simply in achieving laught er from the viewing audience. In profiling the representations of teachers in si ngle episodes of televisi on situation comedies, Ken Kantor (1994) recommends the assertive a nd outspoken Miss Brooks and the timid and withdrawn Mr. Peepers as chal lenges to gender stereotypes, a nd Kantor finds these character depictions to be more praise worthy (p. 175). For example, Our Miss Brooks reveals the life of a
44 teacher beyond the school and shows her to be a th ree-dimensional character. Finding situation comedies inherently less realis tic than other genres and more likely to use exaggeration for humorous effect, Kantor argues that audiences tend to disregard inaccuracies and to embrace these programs if the tenor of the show is sincere, and people in schools are treated respectfully (p. 176). Kantors scholarship th us contributes to understanding how the demands of a genre affect the teacher image. For Kant or, television situation comedies, however, largely perpetuated middle-class values, including stereotypes and gender ro le prescriptions, and in her analysis of teacher sitcoms, Mary Dalton (2005) notes similar stereotypes and gender roles that she found in her film studies. There are the dichotomized good and bad teachers and the female teachers, who have divided lives con centrating on their students, while male teachers could be heroes at school and have full liv es outside of the classroom (pp. 100-101). Yet, Dalton perceives Miss Brooks as a more revolutionary breaker of gender roles by arguing that Connie appropriates male teacher freedom by p retending to be the unwilling spinster while living a life of relative independe nce that would not be available to her if she were, in fact, married to Mr. Boynton ( p. 107). To regard the Our Miss Brooks program as giving lip service to marriage, a home, and a family (p. 106) as Dalton proposes, however, is a misreading that de-contextualizes the program into the modern feminist movement, while ignoring the generally conservative gender role messages perv ading the postwar media. Because of the daily impact of television, in creased scholarship on the teacher image in this medium could provide significant analysis re garding public perceptions of teachers. Yet scholars are disposed still to focus on the film image of teachers perhaps because of easier access to these data sources for study. Re searchers, therefore, need to be careful not to presume that the same lenses of analysis used for examining the film image are appropriate for television, and
45 they should bracket their findings about the film image of teachers, so that these understandings do not dictate how they see the television depicti ons of teachers. Such can be the dangers in privileging one medium over another. Cross-Cultural Comparisons of the Teacher Media Image Som e scholarship on the teacher image outside of the United States can help to identify the specifically American charac teristics of the teacher. In a cross-cultural comparative study, George Gerbner (1966) examines teacher imag es from 1961 to 1963 in films, television and radio drama, and popular magazines in the United St ates, four countries in Western Europe, five countries in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. He finds a greater frequency of financial themes, violence, and personal inju ry in the West and of historical themes (especially of the recent past) in the East (p. 218). U.S., Britis h, and French media depicted teachers solving personal challenges, whereas in Eastern Europe teachers were shown h elping or enjoying (p. 219). In the U.S. more female teachers were portrayed, and the teachers appeared less professional and less likely either to advance or to slip on the so cial ladder (p. 221). There was also a high incidence of comedy in the U.S. teacher images (p. 222). The U.S. images of teachers were usually positive, and female teachers appeared in a generally better light than male teachers (p. 223). Western Europe was very similar in its portrayals to those of the United States. Top ranking qualities associated w ith teachers were purposefulness, morality, learnedness, and goodness (p. 226). Terry Warburton and Murray Saunders (1996) have examined teacher representations in cartoons in Britain in 1976. Taking a semiotic approach (p. 307) to an alyze the denotative and connotative meanings of political cartoons as a form of public opinion and as a distinct discourse genre (p. 308, p. 321), Warburton and Saunders contextualize the cartoons according to the contemporary news events and public de bates about progressive versus traditional
46 teachers, students scores on tests, government edu cational proposals, etc. They argue that in the politicisation of the image of the teaching profession t eachers are marginalize[d] and demonize[d] (pp. 320-321). Referencing Weber and Mitchell (1995), they point out that teachers are generally cognizant of the preconcepti ons and images others hold of them and that these inform their identit ies as educators (p. 322). Also refe rencing the pictoria l teacher image, for his Ph.D. dissertation on teacher stereotype s, Harry Jones (1957) briefly mentions how cartoons in issues of the Saturday Evening Post (1951-1952) generally depict ed the teacher as an unattractive female (p. 38). Further work co mparing and contrasting American teacher media images with those abroad could offer more insi ghts about what is unique ly American relevant to perceptions and expectat ions for teachers roles. Historical and Cultural Context of the Postwar Era Rarely do these previous studies address the historical and cultural contexts surrounding these popular m edia depictions of teachers, and historians generally do not look to the popular media of broadcast programming and Hollywood cinema for answers to their inquiries. Historians have been less inclined to analyze 20th-century mass media of film, radio, and television compared to study of written doc uments (Isenberg, 1973; Raack, 1983). Michael Isenberg (1973) discusses how commercial film was not initiall y regarded as art worthy of aesthetic criticism, much less as a medium and form of history. Dr iven by profit to appeal to a mass audience, the film industry focused less on historical accuracy, even in documentaries. Isenberg, however, urges historians to join other recent social scientists in analyzing film, and a decade later, R. C. Raack (1983) still encourages reluctant historians to examine critically the visual and sound media of film for representa tions of history, whether produced by news agencies, governments, film corporations or private individuals. Raack believes Hollywood films are appropriate for study because they may convey a great deal of historically useful
47 information, and the emotional power of reinforcemen t in its message may be as great as that of the actuality film document (p. 414). Much work lies ahead for historians: to learn to assess the media records as sour ces of information; to identify and catalogue these records; to lear n the forms of expression, or language of film and sound; to master the techniques of film an d sound production, and begin film reportage. (p. 419) According to Raack, historians can apply their skills for analyzing more traditional written records to the largely unexplored medium of film. Even if films are historica lly inaccurate, Vivian Sobchack (1997) contends that historians are nonetheless often moved by movi es (p. 6) and that motion pictures deserve critical attention precisely because of the competing discourses generate d about legitimate and illegitimate history (p. 8). Hi storical myths perpetuated by th e media and the development of collective memory through iconographic images make the visual a historiographic form with diverse narratives (p. 12). Hollywood films in form a historical consciousness and have validity with academic histories (p. 12, p. 19). Popular media of the postwar era not only cont ain history, but they ar e history in and of themselves, and understanding the co ntext of the era in which a ra dio/television program or film was produced facilitates analysis of the media. Socio-cultural histor y and the history of education of the post-World War Tw o era are relevant to this study. History of Education in the Postwar Era Historians of education can dem onstrate how educational policy and practice developed according to social, cultural, and political environments. In American Education, 1945-2000: A History and Commentary, Gerald Gutek (2000) furnishes a chronological and thematic account of how politics, the economy, legislation, judicial decisions, and societal trends affect and interact with public educations goals and pr actices in the postwar United States. Gutek discusses the educational policies of presidential administrations; educational approaches such as
48 progressivism, life adjustment, and open education; and how broader social movements such as anti-communism, racial integration, and Vietnam Wa r protests affected teachers and schools. In the postwar era, Diane Ravitch (1983) argues that the public largel y supported providing everyone with equal access to educ ation, but that because people had such faith in public schools to address so many social needs, the institutions were so overwhelmed that they could not live up to expectations. In The Troubled Crusade: American Education, 1945-1980 Ravitch discusses such issues as the influence of the G.I. Bill on opening access to higher education, the demise of progressivism for its failure to keep up with changing times, how national concerns with civil rights, President Johnsons War on Poverty and the Vietnam War cha nged educational goals from addressing Cold War rivalries to social inequities, and how local control of schools weakened with greater federal involvement. In the post-World War Two era, historians demonstrate how public policy regarding education seemed to shift from endorsing a progre ssive, student-centered a pproach to learning to a more back-to-basics essentialist, transmission model of instruction. Starting in the late 1940s, life adjustment education had been increa singly criticized, and so me were advocating a return to a more academic, college preparator y program in high schools (Gutek, 2000). Anticommunists, such as William F. Buckley, Jr., and educational leaders, such as historian Arthur Bestor, saw progressivism and life adjust ment education as weakening Americas moral and intellectual fibre (J. Brow n, 1988). With civil defense programs in the schools, JoAnne Brown (1988) argues that public ed ucation took on further importan ce for national preparedness. For Brown, President Trumans creation of the Federal Civil Defense Administration in 1951 signaled a change in the postwar to more fede ral government involvement in public educational content through federal aid money. In the interest of national defense, Admiral Hyman Rickover
49 recommended a rigorous academic curriculum to de velop an intellectual elite. The successful Soviet launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957, becam e a benchmark for more adamant expression of anxieties about the ability of American schools to prep are students adequately when the United States appeared to be falling behind in the Cold War. Well be fore Sputnik, however, legislators were working on the National Defe nse Education Act of 1958, which emphasized a back-to-basics approach by f unding math, science, and forei gn language programs and teacher training (Gutek, 2000). John Dewe ys progressive approach of learning through a continuum of experiences in social interaction lost ground to William Bagleys essentialist, transmission model supporting textbooks, drill, and examina tions (Dewey, 1938/1997; Bagley, 1905). Well before the 1950s, however, progressivism as an educational movement was so divided by different agendas that it lost philosophic cohe rence. Instructional methods so varied according to teachers divergent interpretations th at postwar progressivism was largely absorbed into traditional teaching as another methodol ogical tool. Because of the many strands and contradictions within progressive thought, Lawr ence Cremin (1961) believes the demise of progressivism was occurring of its own accord be fore World War Two. First controlled by the child-centered developmentalists and the ac tivity curriculum, the Progressive Education Association in the 1930s was th en dominated by reconstructioni sts (Kliebard, 1987, p. 227). Some progressivists, such as Franklin Bobbitt a nd W. W. Charters, emphasized social efficiency and preparation of students for specific roles, while George Counts argued that educators and schools should confront the injustices of capitalism and social stratific ation (Kliebard, 1987). David Sneeden and Charles Prosser endorsed industrial education, but John Dewey feared that students knowledge would be rele gated to the management of m achines at the expense of an industrial intelligence based on a science and a knowledge of social problems and conditions
50 (Kliebard, 1987, p. 147). Although William Kilpatricks project method became popular through various manifestations, Dewey questione d the value of the knowledge students gained (Kliebard, 1987). Although fa voring curriculum based on students interests, Dewey (1938/1997) criticized teachers, w ho in the name of progressivism abdicated all their authority when they should use their knowledge and exper tise to organize students activities and guide their interactions. Often this fractured coal ition was only united by opposition to traditional education (Dewey, 1938/1997; Cremin, 1961; Klie bard, 1987). Because progressivism had become so hybridized without a united front by the 1950s it became an easy scapegoat for criticizing schools, which were already vulnerabl e institutions because they were charged with addressing so many needs (academic prepar ation, vocational and commercial training, citizenship education, etc.) with outdated faci lities, a teacher shor tage, and burgeoning babyboomer attendance (Kliebard, 1987; Cremin, 1961). If blamed for undermining the American way of life through inadequate education and criticisms of capita listic individualism, progressivism in the McCarthy era could ev en be condemned as communistic without significant opposition (Spring, 1992). These scholarly approaches by educational hist orians illuminate the social debates about how instructional methods and curriculum cont ent aligned with changing purposes for public schools in the postwar. This hist orical context can help to unde rstand the extent to which the popular media images of teachers in the 1950s re flected and responded to these social debates that had implications for the ro les of teachers in classrooms. The Representation of Teachers as Moral Role Models A teachers identity is no t completely determined by his or her pedagogy ranging from progressive to essentialist approa ches to learning. Scholarship on teachers as moral role models concentrates on how the professional role both embodies and enacts ethi cs in the classroom
51 through choices in content, methods of instru ction and management, and relationships with students and colleagues. Teachers then pass on to students a set of values that inform students identities and govern their future social interact ions. As moral agents, teachers can replicate the status quo or foster critical inquiry l eading to transformation (Buzzelli & Johnston, 2002, p. 3). Believing that the moral component of teach ing has been ignored in recent proposals reforming educational practices, many scholars reasse rt how ethical frameworks should be at the core of why and how teachers teach. Hugh Sockett (1993) defines teacher professionalism morally through responsibility to peers, the practice of virtues, expertise, action research, teacher reflection, accountability, se rvice, and the role of in loco parentis. Rather than looking at teaching as an activity or as a science, So ckett articulates the pr ofession as a moral epistemology of practice by individuals (p. ix). Taking a critical theory approach, Cary Buzzelli and Bill Johnston (2002) examine the moral function of teachers interactions with students by analyzing classroom discourse, power relationships, and issues of hegemony in cultural contexts. Identifying th e teacher as a moral agent (p. 3), Buzzelli and Johnston are concerned with sensitizing the reader to the complex and oft en ambiguous moral meanings that inhere in actual classroom interaction. to raise awarene ss of the usually hidden moral dimensions of schooling (p. 2). Concentrating on value-laden contexts of elementary and high school education, David Fenners (1999) edition of e ssays examines ethics through teacher professionalism, addressing poten tially sensitive classroom topics, classroom management and discipline, grading, educating for democracy, and so cial policies, such as racial integration and school vouchers. In Linc. Fischs (1996) edited collection on ethics and teaching in higher
52 academia, essays explore the moral dimensions of teacher-student relati onships, the classroom sharing of political and moral viewpoin ts, decision-making, and teacher reflection. To develop the moral dimensions of teachers professional identities, scholar-researchers focus on how to foster ethical reflections in teacher preparation programs. Landon Beyer (1997) argues that teacher education programs have advocated a decontextualized, technical approach, where future teachers do not develop the expertise to define their instruction within an ethical framework. As a result, businessmen, politicians, and special interest groups have superseded the teachers role and determined the moral pa rameters of the pedagogy (p. 247). For Beyer, moral reflection should figure prominently in teache r education to facilitate for future educators the means to consider the social consequences of their teaching. In a qualitative study of recent graduates from a teacher education program, Deborah Yost (1997) finds that critical reflection of school observations significantly promoted an ethical awareness by these pre-service teachers. To prepare future college educators, Patricia Keith-Spiegel, Bernard E. Whitely, Jr., Deborah Balogh, David Perkins, and Arno Wittig (2002) offe r a text of cases with discussion questions about classroom rules, student behavior, instructional methods, evaluations of students, teacherstudent relationships, and professi onal interactions with peers. Kenneth Strike and Jonas Soltis (2004) similarly provide scenarios to consider ethical dilemmas, us ing consequentialist benefit maximization, where the right decision offers the greatest good for the greatest number (p. 11) and nonconsequentialist judgments, where principles and respect for the value of individuals override contempla tions about other outcomes (p. 3). Elizabeth Campbell (1997) also supports the case study method, as outlined by St rike and Soltis, to help pre-service teachers practice applying ethics to sp ecific classroom contexts.
53 Largely absent in these discus sions by education scholars of the teacher as a moral role model is the influence of the popular media in defining the ethical identity of teachers. Educational scholars examine classroom settings and traditional teacher pr eparation programs at universities, but do not see how film, radio, and television could be important elements in constructing teachers as moral agents. These representations reflect and shape public perceptions of the qualities valu ed in teachers, and these media images affect how pre-service teachers construct their professional identities. In teacher education programs, popular media images of teachers as moral role models could thus be used to instruct pre-service teachers into considering the moral and ethical aspects of their profession. Ma king interdisciplinary connections between the fields of education and media studies w ould benefit both the theory and practice of teaching. Understanding Gender Roles in the Postwar Era In addition to understanding the teachers role pedagogically and et hically, the profession can be further defined by social expectations regarding gender roles. Sandra Acker (1995-1996) points out that recent gender st udies of wom en are acknowledging the diversity of womens lives according to class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, marital status, age, embodiment, and many other ways so that defining any commonality is complic ated (p. 115). Still, much scholarship tends to address notions of shared gendered experi ences. Sandra Bem (1993) demonstrates how Western culture has privileged the patriarc hal heterosexual perspective through biological essentialism, androcentrism, and gender polarizat ion. According to Bem, the psychological and social constructions of gender identity, thr ough hierarchies that support male authority, perpetuate existing norms and restrictive role s for both men and women. Carol Gilligan (2002) notes gender differences in how beginning in their youth, males construct their identities as autonomous selves through separation from others, while females define themselves through
54 connections by preserving relationships. Gilligan then explains the moral context for women forging caring relationships: The ideal of care is thus an activit y of relationship, of seeing and responding to need, taking care of the world by su staining the web of connection so that no one is left alone (p. 85). Nel Noddings (1992, 1993) si milarly ascribes an et hic of care to women, but neither Noddings nor Gillig an explore the social construction of this gender role identification to the same degree that Bem does. In fact, other theorists propose that gender identity is primarily genetically determined. For instance, Mich ael Gurian (2002) believes that a boy is, in large part, hard-wir ed to be who he is (p. 103). Feminist studies concentrate on the socially c onstructed nature of womens gender roles. In the postwar era, Betty Friedans The Feminine Mystique (1963) analyzed womens domestic identities and the images of women in popular magazines to articulate how circumscribed womens social roles had become Much of the scholarship on womens studies references and critiques Friedans work. Sari Biklen and Di ane Pollard (1993) obser ve how Friedans white, middle-class perspective of women did not resonate with working-class women or those of racial minorities. Joanne Meyerowitz (1993) re-evalu ates Friedans arguments and finds that popular magazines in the postwar era stressed both the domestic and the nondomestic professional side of the women profiled in their issues (p. 1458). Meyero witz notes how the magazines glorified domesticity, but th ey also expressed ambivalen ce about domesticity, endorsed womens nondomestic activity, and celebrated wome ns public success (p. 1480). In further reaction to Friedans assessment, chapter one, Post-war Conservatism and the Feminine Mystique and chapter three, Women at Home: Changes in the Private Sphere, of Rochelle Gatlins American Women Since 1945 (1987) provide excellent backgrounds on postwar gender roles through discussion of womens legal rights, notions of femininity, suburban life,
55 consumerism, and housework. William Chafe (1991) offers an equally perceptive analysis of postwar understandings of wome ns roles by examining the c ontemporary sociological and anthropological research about m asculine and feminine spheres. In studying gender roles in education, some scholars have focused on the gendered experiences of students in school: the content of their learning, how they behave, and the ways they are perceived by their teachers. In 19th-century American high schools, boys and girls received comparable learning experiences, but beginning in the early 20th century, with the emergence of vocational programs such as industr ial education for boys a nd domestic science for girls, educational inequities th at defined and reinforced gender role prescriptions developed (Rury, 1991). In modern elementary schools, boys behaviors often do not conform to established rules (Kindlon & Thompson, 2002), and teachers sometimes have different standards of behaviors for boys and girls and expectations for their lear ning based on middle-class gender role definitions that occasionally conflict with students working-cla ss values (L. M. Brown, 2002). Students can have different gendered expe riences of schooling when [t]eachers interact with males more frequently, ask them better ques tions, and give them more precise and helpful feedback (Sadker & Sadker, 1994, p. 1). Base d upon arguments for addressing the different needs and abilities of boys and girls and the ge nder discrimination in co-educational schools, debates have arisen about the merits of single-sex programs within schools and separate schools for boys and girls (Sadker & Sadker, 1994; H aag, 2002; Lee, 2002; Sommers, 2002; Campbell & Wahl, 2002; Orenstein, 2002). Historians of education have traced the gender role expectations for male and female teachers by analyzing the evolut ion of who entered teaching and why. In these approaches, scholars have largely concentrat ed upon the gender identities of women. Michael W. Apple
56 (1986) frames historically how womens work has been devalued as being less skilled, having little autonomy, receiving lower pay than co mparable work by men, being defined through domestic roles and thus less prof essional, and filling largely work ing-class positions. A service or task also becomes denigrated because wome n are performing it. Among the career options available to women, teaching often held higher status, and when women increasingly taught at the elementary level, teaching became defined as womens work. In noting that during the 19th century, leaders of the common school moveme nt advocated teaching as preparation for womens roles as wives and mothers, Strober an d Tyack (1980) add that this ideology of feminization (p. 497) was stronger in urban area s, where teachers were increasingly needed due to rising student populations and men leaving the pr ofession for more promising careers. In rural areas, with fewer job opportunities more male teach ers continued and were preferred as stronger disciplinarians for the one-room schoolhouses, wh ereas the hierarchy of male principals and superintendents in urban school systems existed to support female teachers. When school terms lengthened and teacher qualifications became more systematic, teaching was less convenient for men as an intermediate career, and so more me n then also left the profession even in the countryside. John Rury (1989) believes that onc e more women entered te aching, the public then seemed to esteem teaching less as a profession. For the more marginalized, such as women, immigrants, and African-Americans, teaching became a way to enter the professions, and so teaching for this reason also conferred less status (Rury, 1989; Carter, 1989). Kathleen Weiler (1989) argues that by the early 20th century with the bureaucratizat ion and standardization within the profession, the ideology of the school as a n extension of the home was threatened (pp. 2122). More women made teaching a life-long career, advanced into the administrative ranks of principals and superintendents, and became politic ally active through teachers unions and other
57 professional organizations. Thus, despite the imposition of gender stereotypes, teachers themselves may resist or mediate those ster eotypes in varying ways (p. 26). Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant (2005) found that some black female teachers she interviewed embraced caring as a key force for social activism in improving their students opportunities (p. 440). Medias messages regarding the representation of teachers may not necessarily be internalized and accepted by teachers or by the public at-large. Focusing on female educators, historians also demonstrate how these teachers shaped the profession in the United States and abroad. Elizabeth Edwards (2001) looks at the teacher training of women at Bishop Otter College, Av ery Hill College, and Homerton College in England from the early to middle of the 20th century, while in post-World War Two America, Linda Eisenmann (2006) assesses the role of continuing education programs for women at the University of Minnesota, University of Mi chigan, Radcliffe College, and Sarah Lawrence College along with the rise of the feminist movement. Nancy Hoffman (1981) tells the stories of female teachers in their own words in the earliest days of the common sch ool era, teaching in the late 19th-century southern U.S., and working in the urban northern schools in the early 20th century. Ruth Markowitz (1993) profiles the da ughters of Jewish immigrants, who were a significant portion of the public school teachers in New York City during the interwar years and the postwar. By documenting Jewish teachers experiences in career training, job application, and union involvement, Markowitz tells their professional story. Al an Sadovnik and Susan Semel (2002) edit a compilation of histories about female educators, who founded schools and led movements in the progressive era in the United States, while 19th and 20th-century public and private school female teachers in America, Cana da, Britain, and Australia have been profiled by editors Alison Prentice and Marjor ie Theobald (1991). Hilary De Lyon and Frances Migniuolos
58 edition (1989) examines the struggles and inequities faced by female educators in England in entering and advancing in their profession. Thei r study includes the voices of black women and white lesbian teachers. Jackie Blount (2000) and Karen Harbeck (1997) further address the marginalization of gay teachers. Some research ers have examined the experiences of female educators by integrating methodol ogies. For example, Sari Biklen (1995) combines fieldwork with participant observations of female teachers, interviews, archival work in the 19th century, and textual analysis of autobiographies and two 1950s teacher novels to address perceived gendered notions of teaching. Such interdisciplinary approaches can l ead to interesting insights. Examining the image of the teacher in the pos twar era through radio, television, and film affords analysis of the intersection of curriculu m debates, role model expectations, and gender role prescriptions in popular conceptions of the professional identity of the teacher. Interdisciplinary in nature, this study integrates media studies, historical approaches, feminist perspectives, and narrative, discourse, thematic and content analyses to understand better the significance of the teacher in our public consciousness.
59 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Data Collection My exploration of the media im age of teacher s began with research on the depiction of Miss Connie Brooks, a high school English teacher portrayed by Eve Arden in the CBS radio comedy Our Miss Brooks (1948-1957). I then focused on the representation of classroom learning from the elementary through the college le vels in 1950s television and film. Finally, I expanded my analysis of the te acher image with an additional survey of primarily Hollywood films from 1945 to 1959. Access to contempor ary news and commentary about specific programs and films was provided by the ProQuest Historical Newspape rs database on-line through the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries website ( www.uflib.ufl.edu.) and the Rea ders Guide to Periodical Literature. The Teacher Image in Radio Although I listened to a few episodes of the Our Miss Brooks radio program in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded S ound Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., most of my sample was obt ained through the OTRCAT.com (Old Time Radio Show Catalog) website ( www.otrcat.com ), which initially started as a trading site for fans and collectors of vintage radio show s. I received 194 record ings on five MP3 CDs. Of these recordings, a few are rebroadcas ts, and some are duplicate broa dcasts on the Armed Forces Radio Network. This sample begins with the audition recordings of Shirley Booth (April 9, 1948) and Eve Arden (June 23, 1948) and ends with a repeat broadcast (February 24, 1957) of an earlier program. Of these 194 broadcasts, abou t 6% are from 1948 (11 episodes including the 2 auditions), 27% are from 1949 (53 episodes), 19 % from 1950 (37 episodes), 8% from 1951 (16 episodes), 1% from 1952 (2 episodes), 7% from 1953 (13 episodes), 6% from 1954 (12
60 episodes), 21% from 1955 (41 episodes), 4% from 1956 (7 episodes), and 1% from 1957 (2 episodes). For my analysis, I listened to 100 di fferent broadcast episodes: 9 from 1948, 31 from 1949, 18 from 1950, 6 from 1951, 2 from 1952, 6 from 1953, 6 from 1954, 15 from 1955, 5 from 1956, 1 from 1957, and 1 undated from the Library of Congress collectio n. In the earlier recordings the sound quality tends to be better and more of the original commercials are included. In some of the mid 1950s broadcasts the commercials are edited out. In studying episodes throughout the broadcast ye ars, I did not notice any changes in the themes or in the characters portrayals. As a counterpart to the Our Miss Brooks radio program of a high school teacher, for this study I then examined another popu lar postwar radio program that depicted college life. The Halls of Ivy (1950-1952) on NBC portrayed the life of Dr. William Todhunter Hall, English professor and the president of Ivy College in the town of Ivy, USA. Although this program is very much a love story often told in flashbacks through Dr. Halls reminiscences of his courtship with his wife Victoria, The Halls of Ivy represents the lives of a college president and other professors. In listening to 32 different episodes on one of two MP3 CDs, I thus expanded the representation of the medium of radio for my current study. My source for these episodes was also the OTRCAT.com website ( www.otrcat.com ). Representations of Classroom Learning After consulting several m edia encyclopedi as and websites, I developed a list of television programs and films to explore the teacher image in the 1950s with the focus on the depictions of classroom instructi on to note the extent of progressi ve and essentialist approaches to learning. My sample for analysis was then re stricted by what was readily accessible. In a preliminary study, my data sources comprised th e viewing of 12 episodes from 1957 to 1959 that included school scenes from the prime time CBS/ABC program Leave It To Beaver (1957-1963),
61 20 episodes from 1952 to 1953 from the prime time NBC program Mister Peepers (1952-1955), and 46 episodes from the prime time CBS program Our Miss Brooks (1952-1957). These television programs, along with the films Blackboard Jungle (1955) and Teachers Pet (1958), were available on commercially produced DVDs for this initial analysis of classroom learning. Leave It To Beaver offered depictions of Theodore Cleav ers elementary school teachers Miss Canfield and Miss Landers The title character of Mister Peepers is a middle school general science teacher. Mr. Richard Da dier is a high school English teacher in Blackboard Jungle, and Miss Erica Stone is a unive rsity journalism instructor in Teachers Pet These television programs and films thus afforded a variety of school contexts for study. Subsequently, I was able to view two episodes of the CBS television program Meet Mr. McNutley/The Ray Milland Show (1953-1955), which were the only episodes available at the Motion Picture, Broadcas ting and Recorded Sound Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The central character is a co llege professor, but ne ither of these episodes revealed scenes of classroom instruction. David Shewards The Big Book of Show Business Awards (1997) helped to inform me about the popul ar impact and critical acclaim of the television programs that include d teacher representations. Further Postwar Film Images Using Schwartzs (1963) Appendix A listi ng of Hollywood film s from 1931 to 1961, I noted the titles of f ilms from 1945 to 1959. Through the internet search engine Google, I then located reviews for these films. Most of these reviews were from The New York Times and I printed reviews if the descriptions of the films s eemed to indicate that the teachers role and/or school context were prominent elements of the plot Schwartz defined the identity of the teacher more broadly than I did. Unlike Schwartz, I d ecided not to include coaches as teachers. I followed Schwartzs methodology of using film revi ews to analyze and classify teacher images,
62 but only for the purposes of deciding which f ilms to view. I then sorted through these descriptions by myself and then w ith my advisor. We selected f ilms to represent a range of years from 1945 to 1959, different academic levels fr om elementary through college, different academic disciplines, both male and female teach ers, and a variety of genres (musical, drama, science fiction horror, comedy, etc.). Following Tans (1999) methodology, I found lists of films that received Academy Award no minations and awards for the film and/or the leading and supporting actors and lists of film s that were top box office earners. Sources for this information included the Academy of Motion Pict ure Arts and Sciences website (awardsdatabase.oscars.org ) and Cobbet S. Steinbergs Film Facts (1980). T his knowledge helped to assess the critical and popular impact of the potential of teacher images in the films and also informed which films should be considered for viewing. However, a film such as Bright Road (1953) was neither recognized by the Academy nor by the public th rough high box office earnings, but because it included the prominent actors Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge and depicted a black Southern school, the film was worthy of critical no tice. I am glad the Turner Classic Movies website ( www.tcm.com ) brought this film to my attention. When this website showcased films about teachers in September of 2007, I was also ab le to consider additi onal films with popular impact. Although I was focusing on the depictions of teachers and learning environments in American schools in the immedi ate postwar era, the films The Corn Is Green (1945) and Merry Andrew (1958) were included because the popularity of the leading actors Bette Davis and Danny Kaye as teachers, even in the portrayed settings of Great Britain, could indicate and impact views of educators and schools in the Unit ed States. From this co-created list of films with my advisor, I then checked on-line for avai lability through rental, purchase, and viewing on Turner Classic Movies. For films not readily ava ilable, I then e-mailed the remaining titles to a
63 librarian at the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division at the Library of Congress. The librarian shared w ith me which of these titles were available in their holdings for viewing. At the Library of Congress I was able to control the viewi ng process to obtain quotations that revealed perspec tives by and about teachers and to develop transcripts of teaching contexts. Table 3-1 and Table 32 summarize the film, radio, and television source materials for this study. Data Analysis To assess th e extent to which progressive or essentialist educational models are enacted in scenes of classroom instruction, verbal interactions between teachers and students and students and their peers were analyzed accordin g to Judith Lindforss (1999) definitions and categorizations of inquiry. Narrative analysis pr ovided the means to eval uate thematically the media representations of teachers identities and the contexts of the students learning environments. Judith Lindfors (1999) defines inquiry as the act of turning toward another for help in understanding. Purposes for inquiry include information-seeking, sense-making and wondering, and forms of inquiry are not necessarily in in terrogative sentences. In fact, although perhaps canonical, the interrogative fo rm does not always embody true inquiry, but may instead be pretender events as a means for managing behavi ors, for testing someones knowledge, or for enacting other intentions. Because engaging in ac ts of inquiry involves turning to someone for help with explanations and explorations, this process can be an imposition, but knowledge is also co-constructed through multiple perspectives. Where lessons are guided by students own inquiry and concentrate on their own inform ation-seeking, sense-making, and wondering, the classroom environment aligns with a progressi ve approach. In 1954, Prof. John L. Childs of Teachers College, Columbia University, outlines how the pragmatists, the progressives, value
64 the methods and attitudes of experimental inquiry because the capacity to think, to examine, [and] to anticipate consequences promotes activ e, democratic particip ation (p. 29). A more essentialist-informed classroom would focus le ss on student-initiated inquiry and adopt a transmission, banking model, where the t eacher as the source of knowledge deposits information into students minds as passive re cipients (Freire, 2000, p. 189). Lecturing and a reliance on textbook learning would faci litate the transfer of the cultural heritage and traditions. After creating transcripts of depictions of instruction, I then adapted Charmazs (2006) grounded theory approach to analyze my data. After repeatedly reading through my data, I began open coding for types of inquiry and made ot her memos in the margins of the transcripts. I then organized my codes on separate sheets. The following code sheet categories initially emerged for teacher inquires directed to student s, for student inquiries to teachers, and one category for inquiries between students. Categories marked with an asterisk (*) had the largest number of entries. Teacher: Behavior Management* Teacher: Pretender Inquiry* Teacher: Information-Seeking* Teacher: Sense-Making* Teacher: Wondering* Student: Pretender Inquiry Student: Information-Seeking* Student: Challenge* Student: Imaginative Engagement Student: Request Permission Student: Sense-Making Student: Wondering Student to Student [Inquiries] Although there was a greater variet y of student inquiry based on th e number of categories, the categories with the most entries were those attr ibuted to the teachers role. The predominant
65 discourse pattern was between teachers and studen ts; rarely were students represented making inquiries between their peers. Using a constant comparison method, I then looked for patterns among the entries within these categories. Developing and refining these categories was somewhat of a recursive process. For example, pretender inquiry by teachers became subdivided into behavior management and testing. Once categories were consolidated and redefined, additional data were analyzed accordingly. Discussion of the findings is presented in Chapter Four. In addition to defining instru ction through inquiry, representa tions of teachers characters can be defined narratively both with in the single text of the radio/ television program or film and across various media texts. Different definitions of narrative forms allow for multiple meanings of teacher images to occur as we explore the contributions popular media make towards the cumulative cultural text of teachers (Mitchell & Weber, 1999, p. 166). Some scholars define narrative as the telling of a story progressively through time. This notion of narrative could be a chronology of events, a story structured with a beginning, middle, and end, or a sequence of action, connected by causal and temporal terms (Appleby, Hunt, & Jacob, 1994; D. Carr, 1986a; Nelson, 2004, p. 97). In examining media images, a researcher could cons truct a narrative of how the teacher image changed from the 1950s to the 1960s and focus less on individual teacher accounts and more on political a nd cultural trends impacting pub lic education. A teacher may arrange her self-narrative chronologically accordi ng to how she and others saw her as an intern, novice, veteran, and mentor teacher over the years. Some theorists insi st on defining narrative through plot, while others argue th at fragmented stories are still narratives (Chandler, Lalonde & Teucher, 2004, referencing Polkinghorne, 1988 and Frank, 1995). According to this plot definition, a teacher memory of an event may not c onstitute a narrative, if it lacks the appropriate
66 structure. Narratives can even exist without words; an oil pa inting could articulate a story (Chandler et al, 2004, referencing Wildgen, 1994). A caricature or comic strip of a teacher might then be considered another visual narrative form For this study, I limited my narrative analysis to the popular media or radio, television, and film fr om 1945 to 1959 to explor e, in an historical context, themes regarding teacher characterizati ons and depictions of the learning environment according to progressive and essentialist appro aches through Judith Lindforss definition of inquiry. Table 3-3 outlines the analytical methods applied to the data sources to answer this studys proposed research questions. Whatever forms a narrative takes, its creation is a co-construction betw een the initiator of the discourse and the audience who receives it. Gillian Brown (1995) notes that communication requires effort on the part of th e speaker in constructing a helpfu l message and also on the part of the hearer in working out what the speak er might have meant (p. 16). Moreover, an ideal speaker [A] will consider what B [the listener] might already know which relates to this supposedly new information. In turn, an ideal listener will interpret what A says, not only in light of what B al ready knows, but also in the light of what B knows, or believes, about As own state of knowle dge and belief. (G. Brown, 1995, p. 217) The creation of a meaningful discourse or narr ative entails the adoption of another persons perspective. For radio and television programs a nd films to be successful, writers, directors, and producersthe initiators of the discoursemust envision what will resonate with audiences according to their perceived values, interests, and needs. The researcher, who tries to construct a narrative of the narrative between the program creators and the audience, should know the context and the background that bo th the initiators and the recipien ts of the information bring to the situation. A researcher, however, might have difficulty accessing such information, especially if the radio and tele vision programs and films were produ ced over fifty years ago. If assumptions made by the participants or by the researcher are ill-founded, then the
67 communication breakdown inhibits the intend ed message. An adequate exchange of information, however, can occur upon the establis hment of a structure of mutual beliefs, so that participants make rational and confident interpretations of the others utterances (G. Brown, 1995, pp. 232-233). If people communicate best within a shar ed ideology, then Brown (1995) observes that the listener freque ntly is the cause of any misunderstanding because of the listeners difficulty in relating what the speaker has said to the listeners own perception, or memory, of the natu re of features or events in the world (p. 235). If one considers the historian and the di scourse analyst to be the ultimate recipients of the information, then how are they educated to listen responsibly? Where does one look to capture the multiple perspectives of a teacher narrative? To understand and to analyze th e non-print image of the t eacher necessitates capturing the multiple perspectives of both the creators of the image as speakers and the audience as listeners. Norman Fairclough (1 995) notes that analyzing a tele vision programs text requires knowledge of the routines and processes of programme production, and the circumstances and practices of audience recepti on (p. 9). Although beyond the sc ope of this present study, defining the teacher image can include consideri ng the writing process of the staff writers and their prior professional and persona l experiences that inform thei r scripts, the extent of the directors control, the benef its and limitations of the production technology, the actors methods for preparation and their skill level, the presence/ absence of a live audience for performance, the situation of the viewer at home, the influence of ratings affecting cont ent, and the role of sponsors. To obtain such knowledge could involv e reviewing drafts of scripts, interviewing professionals who worked on the programs, and witnessing the production of similar television shows. Through research one can learn how different formats within and between programs
68 influenced reception. When Our Miss Brooks transitioned from radio to television in 1952, how did the actors facial expressions and gestures and the depictions of Mi ss Brookss rented room and classroom affect the themes previously presented only in an audio format? The 1950s television comedy about a middle school science teacher, Mister Peepers, was performed live in New York City. How would the comparison of teach er images in separate programs be impacted by one carefully timed, live production versus an other programs videotaped episode heavily edited with a laugh track after severa l retakes? Hooper and Nielsen ra tings, fan letters, articles in popular magazines and scholarly journals, and critical reviews of programs in newspapers help to assess how a media image is incorporated or re jected according to peoples ideological frames. Once a narrative is co-created, how do we dete rmine its trustworthiness? The qualitative researchers quest for comprehensio n is not the same as a scientif ic, quantitative search for truth (Norman, 1991). Instead of s earching for a correct interpretation, th e historian and the discourse analyst look for an adequate interpretation (G. Brown, 1995, p. 22). [H]istorical explanations need only be sufficient, not conclusive (Rury, 1993, p. 258). The personal narratives that construct a teachers identity are also works in progress. Quantification might address the what questions, but narrative addresses the why by revealing truths in a version of a working hypothesis (Stone, 1981, p. 84; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Through allegory, the historical narrative can re-present truth or reality by re plicating experience: T he story told in the narrative is a mimesis of the story lived in some regi on of historical reality, and insofar as it is an accurate imitation, it is to be considered a truthful account thereof (White, 1987, p. 27). To negate the possibility of historical narrative to reveal lived truths would be also to den[y] that literature and poetry have anything valid to teach us about reality (White, 1987, p. 44). Literary fiction after all represents an emotional truth an d a fidelity to human e xperience by using art to
69 voice shared life themes (Lightfoot, 2004, re ferencing Calvino, 1977, p. 25). The study of fictional depictions of teachers in the popular broadcast media thus can help to reveal public expectations about the roles of teachers and stud ents. Post-structural a nd post-modern criticism of narratives for creating fictions reveals a p rejudice that science ha s a monopoly on truth and a blindness about how science constructs its own narratives through symbol systems (Cmiel, 1993; Appleby et al, 1994; White, 1987, p. 48). A narrative may be incomplete and ever rea dy for revision, but that does not make it false (Appleby et al, 1994; Norman, 1991). In our own individual realities we strive to create a whole and seamless narrative (Lincoln & Gu ba, 1985, p.82), and historical account[s] should ideally be a virtually seamless description and anal ysis of events, personalities, and other forces at work in connection with a particular probl em (Rury, 1993, p. 266). The inevitability of gaps, due to missing data or disconfirming evidence that cannot yet be incorporated, does not, however, undermine the usefulness of the existing narrative. Stereotypica l images of teachers emerge because certain commonalities prevail th rough comportment and physical appearance. Individual teacher differences, which may be categorized as anomalies, are excluded from the stereotypical narrative for the sake of seamle ss coherence. In recorded history, often documented are the elite, who are not necessar ily the prime movers of events, and the persecuted minorities, who are by definition ex ceptional since they are in revolt against the mores and beliefs of the majority (Stone, 1981, p. 58) The fictional media characters of Miss Brooks, Miss Dove, Mr. Dadier and Mr. Peepers may represent exceptional teachers, but elements of their narratives still address pe rceived norms about their profession, and we may then wonder how closely this narrative image corresponds with the actual experience of classroom teachers. For a researcher constructin g a narrative, it can also be challenging to
70 differentiate the various roles a person might play or to discover peoples principles, prejudices, and competing motivations (Stone, 1981). How self-aware might a teacher be about what elements of Miss Brookss character influenced her professional identity? In discovering patterns across media and personal narratives about teachers, a researcher may also not fully know if the sample is sufficiently representative to make generalizations (Stone, 1981). Despite these gaps, a narratives trustworthiness, however, can be achieved through triangulation, member checking, prolonged engagement at a site, an independent audit, the comparison between local and national studie s (micro and macro analysis), the resolution of previous contradictions, and the confirmation of simila r findings by other scholars (Dyson & Genishi, 2005; Kaestle, 1992). New narratives, told by th e non-print media and by teachers, will be created to accommodate new data and previous ly unreconciled, disconfir ming data. For this study, trustworthiness was achieved through the noted repetition of patter ns and the correlation of findings with other scholars of the media image of the teacher. Audiences, however, can derive multiple meani ngs from the media images of teachers. Because of the constructed realities created by stud ents, parents, teachers, and administrators the nature of school knowledge, the organization of the school, the ideologies of teachers, indeed any educational issue, all become relative (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, citing Barton & Walker, 1978, p. 78). Such a diverse audience will often in ternalize different perceptions of the same image. Just as a speech community has its own discourse norms and ideological norms (Fairclough, 1995, p. 27), my preconceptions as an English teacher impact how I believe English teachers should be represented. My beliefs woul d then influence the historical and analytical narrative I construct as a research er about the effects of the medi a images of teachers. Although any representation will be mediated by the researchers own professional, personal, and
71 collective knowledge and experiences, acknowledgment of bias contributes to the narratives trustworthiness (Dyson & Genishi, 2005, p. 82). Multiple readings of a text are further a function of the distribution of a text, so that availability of the teacher image impacts its response (Fairclough, 1995, p. 128). Thus knowing when a television program is positioned in the daytime/prime time schedule, the influence of the network and the number of affiliates that air the program in certain regions of the count ry, the other program choices simultaneously on the air, and whether other media, such as mag azines and film, offer similar teacher imagesall can affect the influence of an ideology in the reception of a te xt. Although it would be difficult to measure quantitatively the amount of such influence, a future study might qualitatively address these circumstances surrounding audience reception. This study, however, will concen trate on three narratives arti culated through the popular media in the postwar era. Chapter Four analyzes the narrative of the depicted classroom discourse to assess the teachers instructional id entity according to progressive and essentialist methodologies. Chapter Five explicates how the t eacher in the media is defined as a moral role model, and Chapter Six explores how the narratives of gender role expectations affect the representations of male and female teachers.
72 Table 3-1. Data sources: film Film Year Genre Academic level Academic subject(s) Actors/actresses The Corn Is Green 1945 Drama Elementary, most mostly college preparation English grammar, history, Latin, Greek, French, mathematics Bette Davis, Nigel Bruce, John Dall Margie 1946 Comedy High school French teacher Jeanne Crain, Alan Young, Glenn Langan Curley 1947 Comedy Elementary school General, athletics Larry Olsen, Frances Rafferty Good News 1947 Musical Comedy College French professor June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Mel Torme, Clinton Sundberg Apartment for Peggy 1948 Drama University (G.I. Bill) Philosophy professor Jeanne Crain, William Holden, Edmund Gwenn Navajo 1952 Drama Elementary school on Navajo Indian reservation English, Americanization of Native Americans Francis Kee Teller, Hall Bartlett The Affairs of Dobie Gillis 1953 Comedy University Professors of English and chemistry Bobby Van, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Fosse, Hans Conried, Charles Lane Bright Road 1953 Drama Elementary school for black children in the South, also Sunday school General (4th grade), Sunday school (catechism) Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Philip Hepburn Her Twelve Men 1954 Drama Elementary boys boarding school English Greer Garson, Robert Ryan, Richard Haydn Good Morning, Miss Dove 1955 Drama Elementary school (in a small town) Geography Jennifer Jones, Robert Stack, Chuck Connors, Jerry Paris
73 Table 3-1. Continued Film Year Genre Academic level Academic subject(s) Actors/actresses Blackboard Jungle 1955 Drama High school (inner city) English Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern, Richard Kiley, Sidney Poitier, Vic Morrow, Jamie Farr The King and I 1956 Musical Private tutor in royal household Geography, Western customs Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr Monster on the Campus 1958 Science Fiction Horror University Paleontology Arthur Franz, Joanna Moore, Troy Donahue Teachers Pet 1958 Comedy University Journalism Doris Day, Clark Gable, Gig Young, Mamie Van Doren, Marion Ross, Jack Albertson High School Confidential! 1958 Drama High school English Russ Tamblyn, Jan Sterling, John Drew Barrymore, Mamie Van Doren, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Coogan Merry Andrew 1958 Musical Comedy Boys school in England Archaeology Danny Kaye, Pier Angeli Note: Information on years and actors/actresses a nd information for film references (directors, producers, and production companies) verifi ed through Turner Classic Movies website ( www.tcm.com ).
74 Table 3-2. Data sources: radio and television Radio/TV Years Genre Academic level Academic subject(s) Actors/actresses Our Miss Brooks (radio and television) 1948-1957 Comedy High school English Eve Arden, Gale Gordon, Richard Crenna The Halls of Ivy (radio) 1950-1952 Comedy College College president, English Ronald Coleman, Benita Hume Meet Mr. McNutley/ The Ray Milland Show (television) 1953-1955 Comedy College College professor Ray Milland Mister Peepers (television) 1952-1955 Comedy Middle school General science Wally Cox, Tony Randall, Marion Lorne Leave It To Beaver (television) 1957-1963 Comedy Elementary school General (2nd and 3rd Grade) Jerry Mathers, Diane Brewster, Sue Randall
75 Table 3-3. Data analysis Research questions Data sources Analysis methods Summary of research findings 1. In the postwar media images, what roles were teachers expected to play in and outside the classroom? Across the sample of radio, television, and film representations, 1945-1959 Narrative, thematic, and content analyses Classroom interactions were rarely depicted, but media representations assumed teacher expertise regarding knowledge of subject matter and methods of instruction. A teachers identity was defined largely outside the classroom as a moral role model willing to make sacrifices. 2. In the depictions of classroom learning, what types of instruction are exhibited and to what extent are there opportunities for students inquiry? TV: Mister Peepers and Leave It To Beaver Films: The Corn Is Green; Apartment for Peggy; Navajo; The Affairs of Dobie Gillis; Bright Road; Her Twelve Men, Good Morning, Miss Dove; Blackboard Jungle; The King and I; Monster on Campus; Teachers Pet; Merry Andrew Judith Lindforss (1999) model of inquiry (informationseeking, sensemaking and wondering), discourse analysis Student opportunities for inquiry were rare, with the dominant discourse pattern occurring between teachers and students rather than between students and their peers. Both progressive and essentialist teaching strategies were employed in classroom learning.
76 Table 3-3. Continued Research questions Data sources Analysis methods Summary of research findings 3. How do postwar gender role expectations and stereotypes impact the media representations of teachers? Male and female teachers across the sample of radio, television, and film representations, 19451959. Discussion of gender roles provided by Acker (19951996), Apple (1986), Bem (1993), Clifford (1989), Dalton (2004, 2005), Gilligan (2002), Grumet (1988), Keroes (1999), Meyerowitz (1993), Newman (2001), Noddings (1992, 1993, 2000), Perlstein (2000), Rury (1991), Tyack & Strober (1981), Weiler (1989), etc. Narrative, thematic, and content analyses Female teachers were defined by their maternal ethic of care and physical appearance. The professional identity of female teachers was articulated through domesticity. In a profession deemed feminine, male teachers had to prove their masculinity through leadership and action.
77 Table 3-3. Continued Research questions Data sources Analysis methods Summary of research findings 4. What historical precedents as well as broad socio-culturalpolitical contexts account for these images and anticipated roles by teachers? Cuban (1993), Eisenmann (2006), Gutek (2000), Kliebard (2002), Meyerowitz (1993), Ravitch (1983), Rury (1989, 1991), Spring (1992), Tyack & Cuban (1995), and Tyack & Strober (1981) were among historical perspectives consulted, along with postwar issues of Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, Educational Horizons, The American Teacher, and The Journal of Teacher Education. Contemporary newspapers and popular magazines added further contexts. Historical narrative and thematic analyses Despite public criticism of progressivism, within academia progressivism was still endorsed. Curricular debates were largely absent from media representations. Although the entertainment media focused on teachers ethical and moral identities, academic discussions in professional journals emphasized better recruitment, academic preparation, certification, and salaries for teachers.
78 CHAPTER 4 REPRESENTATIONS OF CLASSROOM LE ARNING IN POSTWA R TELEVISION AND FILM In the 1950s, United States educational pol icy seemed to shift from endorsing a progressive, student-centered para digm to favoring a more essen tialist, transmission model of instruction. In the immediat e postwar, Bernard Bells Crisis in Education (1949), Mortimer Smiths And Madly Teach (1949), Albert Lynds Quackery in the Public Schools (1950), and Arthur Bestors Educational Wastelands (1953) were among the te xts negatively assessing American public schools (Von Schlichten, 1958b; Cremin, 1961). In 1953, Associate Professor Margaret Lindsey of Teachers College, Columbia Un iversity, attributed some of the critiques to the general restlessness and di ssatisfaction characteristic of our time (p. 285), and in 1955, Dr. George D. Spindler of Stanford University associated these increasingly strident attacks (p. 145) against education with a societal shift in values from traditional puritan morality, work ethics, and individualism to the [e]mergent values of moral relativism and group harmony (p. 149). The 1955 White House Conference on E ducation aroused further public awareness about problems with schools (J. E. Russell, 1957), and that same year the Progressive Education Association disbanded. In July of 1957 the magazine Progressive Education also ceased publication (Ravitch, 1983). With the Soviet launch of Sputnik in October of 1957, progressivism and life adjustment education were more intensely criticized for failing to prepare Americans to compete globally, and the Nationa l Defense Education Act of 1958 emphasized a back-to-basics approach by f unding math, science, and forei gn language programs and teacher training (Gutek, 2000). By examining popular fictional representati ons of classroom in struction from the elementary through the college levels in televi sion and film from 1945 to 1959, one can evaluate whether public perceptions of the role of the teacher and expectations rega rding students
79 learning environments coincided with this ap parent paradigm shift. Instead of media representations of student-centered classroom instruction based upon the learners own inquiry giving way to images of teachers transmitti ng their knowledge to passive learners, both progressive and essentialist models co-existed within the same depicted classrooms. Such a teacher-centered progressivism (Cuban, 1993), wher e the teacher maintains power and control and determines opportunities, if any, for stude nts inquiry, is esse ntially an untenable compromise because inquiry that is not student-c entered is inauthentic. Although essentialism with a progressive veneer is contradictory ph ilosophically, the entailed methodological conflicts coincide with opposing goals give n to public schools. When sc hools are called upon to be forces for socializing students according to existing norms a nd also to be vehicles for social change, the opportunity for student inquiry in the cl assroom is necessarily circumscribed. Recent scholarship has not significantly addresse d the methods of instruction depicted in broadcast media to determine public attitudes and expectations towards the roles of teachers and students. In examining images of the 1950s fi ctional teacher, scholars have discussed gender roles and stereotypes (Beyerbach, 2005; Dalt on, 2004; Newman, 2001; Keroes, 1999; Hill, 1995; Ayers, 1994; Kantor, 1994; M. E. Brown, 1990; Baehr & Dyer, 1987; Dominick, 1979), but media analysis generally focuses on sociological and political trends, such as the Cold War (Doherty, 2003; Toplin, 1993) a nd the cultural cons truction of meaning through audience reception (Selnow & Gilbert, 1993; Morley, 1992; Lichter, Lichter, & Rothman, 1991; Carey, 1988; R. Berman, 1987; Adler & Cater, 1976). Televi sion and film studies also include attention to teaching media literacy and the use of medi a as a means of instruction (Adams & Hamm, 2006; W. R. Jacobs, 2005; Cassidy, 2004; S. M. Fisch, 2004; Golden, 2001; Krueger & Christel, 2001; R. Watson, 1990). By studying visual representations of fic tional teachers in the act of
80 teaching and the acceptance of these images through television ratings and box office earnings, one could determine expectations regarding educational purposes and their compatibility with professed public educational policy in the 1950s. Using Judith Lindforss (1999) definition of information-seeking, sense-making, and wondering i nquiry, this chapter eval uates depictions of the learning process to discover the extent to which progressive or essentialist educational models prevail in these media representations. Inquiries are analyzed through the perspectives of teachers and their students. Role of the Teacher Pretender Inquiry: Behavioral Management and Testing In these po stwar media representations of in struction, much of the teachers inquiries were really pretender events w ith purposes to manage students behavior and to test their knowledge. In Leave It To Beaver when Theodore Cleaver carries a Chihuahua to school and hides him inside his jacket during a lesson, the second grade teacher, Miss Canfield, hears the dogs whimpers and inquires to stop this disruptive behavior: Theodore, are you making noises?1 In another incident, Theodore brings a gold ring to school and ge ts it stuck on his finger.2 During a lesson, Miss Landers, his third grade teacher, notices that Theodore is inappropriately preoccupied with other matters, as he struggles to remove the ring: Theodore, are you sucking your finger? and Theodore, are you playing with that ring? The implications are that he is too old to be sucking his finger and that he should be paying attention to the lesson; classroom instruction is not a ti me for play. Theodore, however, is not the only student to get into trouble. After Miss Landers informs the cl ass that their composition must be 100 words, Larry Mondello has the following information-seeking inquiries: Does the count as a word?, 1 Beaver and Poncho, March 21, 1958. 2 Beavers Ring, November 13, 1958.
81 Does a count as a word?, and Does a comma count as a word? After this last question, Miss Landers asks, Larry, would you like to stay after school? Rather than desiring his permission or inviting him, Miss Landers is disc iplining him; Larrys co ntrol of the topic and structure of the discourse have become t oo much of an imposition (Lindfors, 1999).3 Pretender inquiries also encourage positive behavior. When Miss Canfield directs Theodore to take a letter home to his parents, one of her questions serves as a reminder: Youll be sure to give it to them, wont you? Anothe r question of hers suggests a better place for safeguarding the letter than undernea th his shirt: Well, hadnt you better put that in one of your pockets?4 Having his pockets full of dirt for his pe t turtle prevents Theodore from complying with this request, but he is able to help hi s teacher when Miss Landers inquires, Oh, Beaver, would you pick up the notebooks?5 It is a privilege to be sele cted by the teacher for assistance, and similarly favorable behaviors can be fostered in an interrogative form: Now have we all finished copying the assignment? Miss Landers not only wants to know if anyone needs more time to copy the assignment from the blackboard, but also her question implies that at this time everybody should be completing this task.6 Other examples of behavior management th rough pretender inquiry occur at the college level in the film Teachers Pet. Like Theodore, Mr. Gannon, a student is corrected for atypical behavior. Mr. Gannon is unusual not only for cha llenging Instructor Stones authority (and the other students are surprised by this ), but also for being a profe ssional journalist, unbeknownst to the teacher, in an introdu ctory journalism course at the university. When Mr. Gannon argues that 3 Most Interesting Character, June 25, 1959. 4 Beaver Gets Spelled, October 4, 1957. 5 Her Idol, November 6, 1958. 6 Most Interesting Character, June 25, 1959.
82 Instructor Stone has wrongly attributed a quotati on to Kipling instead of Emerson and starts to question her authority, she responds, Whoever it was, the thought is whats important, wouldnt you say? Instructor Stone really does not antic ipate an answer to her question, but uses this interrogative form to re-establish her power and control as a teac her. Her purposes are further emphasized when she asks him, Mr. Gallagher [his pseudonym], are you enrolled in this class? She already knows the answer because his name is not on her course roster, but her question achieves its purpose of having him leave the classr oom. Unusual student be havior can transpire just as easily at the college level ( Teachers Pet) as at the elementary school level ( Leave It To Beaver ). Like Miss Canfield and Miss Landers, Instru ctor Stone uses questi ons to keep students focused and to encourage appropriate behavior : Uh, may I have your attention please? The interrogative form becomes a polite, indirect way to manage the classroom (Heath, 1983; Delpit, 1995). Encouraging good behavior and discouraging inappropriate behavior can facilitate the learning of a lessons academic content, but studen ts also internalize the implicit curriculum of socialization (Eisner, 2002). An interrogative form may also be a pret ender inquiry when the teacher knows the answer to a question that is used to test students knowledge. Such questions abound in Theodores classes at Grant Ave nue Grammar School. After Judy, a student, reads aloud from a basal about how a family went to a picnic and had fun at a picnic Miss Canfield asks her second graders, Now can anyone tell us what a picnic is? and What else do we know about picnics?7 After another student, Whitey, rapi dly recites the first stanza of The Wreck of the Asparagus [Hesperus], Miss Canfield inquires, Does anyone know what a skipper is?8 In the third grade, 7 Beaver Gets Spelled, October 4, 1957. 8 Beaver and Poncho, March 21, 1958.
83 Miss Landers uses such questions to test the memory and comprehe nsion of students on material she has previously taught. After a grammar lesso n she states, Now before the bell rings could someone sum up what weve learned today and give me the definition of a sentence? Whiteys answer that [a] sentence is where after you say something you put a period satisfies Larry, but Larry does not exactly soar academically.9 When Miss Landers asks him to recall the names of the oceans discussed the previous day, the Hudson River is one of Larrys answers.10 Whether it is for vocabulary, grammar, or geography, testin g questions are a favored form of pretender inquiry and implicitly support an essentialist model of instruction whereby a teacher maintains control of the classroom discourse. Information-Seeking and Sense-Making In 1950s m edia depictions of classrooms, au thentic teacher inquiry occurs but often outside the academics being taught. Information-s eeking questions in the classroom tend to elicit brief, factual responses. During a lesson on analyzing a students journalism article, Instructor Stone asks for antecedent clarification: And then, of course, in this sentence whom did you mean by he? Miss Landers tries to ma ke sense of the reason for Larry not recalling anything about the Indian Ocean from the previo us days instruction: Well, why not, Larry?11 More compelling information-seeking and sensemaking inquiries by teachers address students personally about issues not directly related to lessons. Miss Canfie ld is genuinely interested in seeking information about why Theodore brough t the Chihuahua to school: You mean your father doesnt like dogs? She sympathizes with his feelings and hopes Theodore realizes why she must still conduct him to the principal: Well, II am your friend, Beaver. Thats one of the 9 Her Idol, November 6, 1958. 10 Beavers Ring, November 13, 1958. 11 Ibid.
84 reasons Im taking you to Mrs. Rayb urns office. Do you understand?12 When Theodore skips a day of school with Larry, Miss Landers tries to make sense of his motivations and uses a noninterrogative form for her inquiry: Now, Beav er, youre the one who missed school. Suppose you tell me why. Some of the most important inquiries by both teachers and students are not in the canonical question form and as a result can go unnoticed. Not happy with his explanation for his truancy, Miss Landers wants to know whether he understands her views about the value of an education: Beaver, you might have learned something he re today, no matter how small, that would have stood you in good stead later on in life. Why its just as though you took a day out of your life and threw it away. Do you understand that?13 Such inquiry demonstrates teachers compassion and concern for their students, the desire to understand students individual pe rspectives, and the dedication to supporting students success inside and outside the classroom even though the inquiry is not intellectual in nature (Ryan & Townsend, in submission, n.d.). In the film Monster on the Campus (1958), paleontology professor Dr. Donald Blake essentially stifles the inquiry of his students to pursue his ow n information-seeking and sensemaking. In a brief scene in his classroom laboratory, he lectures, and the viewing audience does not witness students participati ng in a discussion or performing experiments. Determined to discover the truth about how a co elacanth fish is connected to his theory about a primitive anthropoid being a serial killer on campus, Dr. Blake cancels his cl asses to perform his research privately. He declares that once he discovers th e truth then he will t each. Seeing himself as a 12 Beaver and Poncho, March 21, 1958. 13 Beaver Plays Hooky, January 22, 1959.
85 reservoir of knowledge to be transmitted to his students, Dr. Blake does not offer his undergraduates an opportunity to discover their own truths. Wondering In these television and film depictions, rare ly did teacher inquiries exhibit wondering in classroom contexts. To allow for wondering requ ires extended time for exploring possibilities and generally the media depiction only represents part of a lesson, offering insufficient time for such engagement. The comedic genre, exemplified by Leave It To Beaver, Mister Peepers, Our Miss Brooks, and Teachers Pet, often demands a more rapid pace and quick repartee to set up and deliver the pun ch line for a joke. Wondering sometimes also addresses more serious topics that may conflict with comedi c purposes. Of these comedies, only Leave It To Beaver occasionally becomes solemn when it delivers moral lessons, but these lessons generally offer clear choices about what is right and wrong and do not belabor the issue so as to detract from the humor. Dramas, such as Apartment for Peggy (1948) and Blackboard Jungle (1955), however, offered scenes of extended classroom instruc tion, although more teacher-initiated wondering was expressed by high school English teacher Mr. Dadier in the 1955 f ilm than by philosophy professor Dr. Barnes in the 1948 film. The cr ucial messages of Mr. Dadiers lesson on the Jack and the Beanstalk cartoon film also alig n with the serious educational purposes of Blackboard Jungle, which are stated in the prologue: to promote public awareness about the problem of juvenile delinquency. In the Jack and the Beanstalk lesson, Mr. Dadier wonders about his students interpretations of the story. He initiates the discussion with an open-ended question that has no right or wrong answer: What did you think of the story? He then wishes to know the wonderings of specific students: Miller, what did you think? He asks Speranza why he feels sorry for the giant. Mr. Dadier encourages his students to consider moral dilemmas. If Jack
86 thought the giant killed his father and stole from him, then [d]id that give Jack the right to steal the hen that laid the golden egg? Was the giants death justifiable homicide?: Wilson, do you think Jack should have killed the giant? With follow-up questions, Mr. Dadier invites students to extend their thinking : Now, why do you suppose that magic harp liked that giant so much? After West observes that crime always pays becau se Jack is rewarded w ith riches and marriage to a princess after committing robbery and mu rder, Mr. Dadier supports his comment and encourages further responses: It was a crime, wa snt it? When Morales confesses that he does not like the giant because the gian t is different, Mr. Dadier uses inquiry to connect the literature to students experiences: Is it right to dislik e somebody just because hes different? Because he values his students thoughts, the motivations for Mr. Dadiers wonderings are to make the Jack and the Beanstalk story personally relevant for them (Ryan & Townsend, in submission, n.d.). Throughout the conversation, Mr. Dadier does not give his opinion as the official interpretation, but he instead facilitates the exchange of his students ideas. Open-ended questions allow for the mutual examination of ideas with no opinions excluded (Bridges, 1979, p. 67). Mr. Dadier wants his students to be independent, critical thinkers: Now all your lives youre gonna hear stories, what some guy tells you, what you see in books and magazines, on the television, rad[io], what you read in the newspapers. [J]ust examine the story, look for the real m eaning [and] learn to think for yourselves. Wondering leads to insight and provides students some agency in the process. In allowing students some control of the discourse, Mr. Dadi er for the first time connects with his students because this progressive approach engages them more intellectually than other essentialistinformed strategies he has attempted. Facilita ting students inquiry to guide their own learning thus empowers Mr. Dadier as a more effective teacher (Lindfors, 1999).
87 In the film Apartment for Peggy (1948), a retired philosophy professor, Dr. Henry C. Barnes, values wondering. In a conversation with an undergraduate, Jason Taylor, who uses the word wonder to describe his perplexity about how the U.S. spends more money on liquor than education, Dr. Barnes responds: Well, wondering is very important. Ive always felt that if college did nothing more than teach a person to ask why it served its purpose. It helps to develop an inquiring mind and that in turn sometimes leads to a few answers. Despite this endorsement for w ondering inquiry, for years he has favored a lecture format that offered limited opportunities for students to engage in their own inquiries during class. Jason, who is earning his degree through the G.I. Bill, has a pregnant wife, Peggy, and they both live in the professors attic because of the universitys housing shortage. Peggy asks Dr. Barnes to start a course to help educate the wives of these G.I. s, and he begins the cl ass lecturing. When a student interjects to ask permission to pose a que stion, Dr. Barnes allows her the opportunity. One question leads to another. Soon the students are sharing philosophical ideas among each other, and Dr. Barnes allows them to control th e topics for conversation. After several minutes, Dr. Barnes interrupts: Ladies, I taught philosophy for 39 years, and th is is the first time in my academic career that I have ever had to remind a class th at the period ended 20 minutes ago. [Some students smile, look at their watches, and then apologize.] No, no, no, dont apologize, please. Perhaps this is pr ecisely the reason Socrates ne ver wrote a book. He believed philosophy was an exchange of ideasjust wh at youve been doing here today. I think youve accomplished quite a bit. Although we only skimmed over Socrates, in your discussion, whether you know it or not, you touched upon Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Spinoza, Heraclitus, Bellarmine, and many othe rs. Now, before you go I want to say that I came here today to teach you and you you have taught me. Thank you. Although he did not intend for this discussion to occur, points in his lecture prompted student inquiry and Dr. Barness success as teacher, lik e that of Mr. Dadier, happened because he allowed his students freedom to guide their own learning. Valuing the expression of students thoughts entails valuing the studen ts as individuals, and the stude nts appreciate the respect
88 Dr. Barnes has demonstrated. At the end of class the students applaud him, and Peggy comes up to offer her praise and support: Gee, Pop, you we re tremendous. Honest. The girls are crazy about you. During class Dr. Barnes offered to share some of his personal copies of philosophy books with the students, and Peggy volunteers to be his librarian for the course. Role of the Student In the m edia depictions of classroom instru ction, students expressed inquiry for a variety of purposes. From elementary school to college, students sought factual answers to informationseeking inquiries. Mr. Dadier s Jack and the Beanstalk le sson and Dr. Barness philosophy lecture also offered a realm for wondering and sense-making, where questions and comments revealed engagement with the subject matter. Ra rely, however, did students express inquiry with each other across the media representations; th e dominant discourse pattern was between teachers and students. Sometimes inquiries were pr imarily challenges to th e teachers authority. In other pretender inquiries, st udents might employ a question to stall or to ask permission. Although the television and film images disc losed limited opportunities for students to voice genuine inquiry, the students appeared to thrive in these progressive approaches because teachers appreciated their concerns, interests, and opinions. Information-Seeking Students infor mation-seeking i nquiries can exhibit different levels of interest. When given a composition assignment, Theodore asks Miss Landers, How many words must we gotta write? For Theodore, the expected length, the fo rm of the assignment, defines the endeavor. Upon learning that he must write 100 words, Th eodores frown indicates that the anticipated labor of the process overrides a ny joy of the subject matter. In classroom discourse studies, the most common type of inquiry by students is procedural (Nystra nd, 1997; Cazden, 2001). Theodore is not alone in cons idering quantity over quality. Larry Mondellos subsequent
89 questions, such as Does the c ount as a word? or Does a c ount as a word?, demonstrate his wishes to comply with the mi nimum standards for the composition. His question about whether a comma counts as word, however, is either an ac t of desperation or a chance to entertain his peers with humor. While Judy grimaces, Theodore and Whitey smile and giggle with delight.14 Other form and style questions reveal more of an interest in lear ning to improve. In trying to write like professional journalists, students in Instructor Stones university course ask the following questions: In paragraph five sh e [the student writer] says, many of the customers. Shouldnt she identify them? or [D]ont you think the first part is uh too long getting to the point? How something is stated can affect how the cont ent is interpreted, so information-seeking questions regarding styl e and form can be particularly relevant. Other information-seeking questions confirm engagement in the content of the subject matter. In the Mister Peepers television program the most extended opportunity for students inquiry transpires outside the classroom when Mr. Peepers and two of his students are feeding some abandoned fledglings in a nest in a clock tower. Eldon wants to know how to tell a birds gender, and the other boy asks, What kind of bi rds are these? Their inquiries further their interest, and information-seeking questions can acknowledge the importance of a personal connection for engagement: Did you ever have a bird of your own, Mr. P eepers? His story of his mother once keeping 32 canaries in the sunr oom not only gives a factual response, but its intimate nature furthers the friendship Mr. Peeper s has with his students. Eldon replies, Boy, in the molting season I expect you were up to your pock ets in feathers. Information-seeking can also lead to wondering. Showing concern a bout the young birds future, Eldon asks, Well, wheres their mother? Mr. Peeperss answer coul d have been strictly factual, but instead his 14 Most Interesting Character, June 25, 1959.
90 answer invites the speculation of possibilities: Well, thats just one of those things, Eldon. She seems to have disappeared. At any rate, theyre deserted, and its up to us to take care of them. Although Mr. Peepers does not sign ificantly extend his students t houghts about the mother bird, knowing the facts can provide the foundation fo r future wonderings: Inquiry arises in knowledge (Lindfors, 1999, p. 120).15 Wondering Understanding the facts of the Jack and the Beanstalk cartoon film becomes the basis for Mr. Dadiers students to inquire about the ch aracters motivations a nd the storys message. He then offers his students the freedom to guide their own wondering. Usually students rarely get to talk in classrooms [because the] percenta ge of talk by the teacher far outweighs that by all the students put together (Delpit, 2002, p. 40). Mr. Dadier, however, recognizes the value of conversations among peers to furt her understanding. Mill er leads the discussion about Jack not being a hero. Instead, Jack is a pretty dumb hick, who is tric ked by a con man into selling a cow for a couple of crazy beans. Another studen t agrees, Yeah, that wasnt so smart. Miller then posits that Jack is a thief without a justifia ble motive, and Stoker realizes that Jack was a real heist man, who got away with burglary three times. Jack is also a murderer without sufficient cause to kill the giant. Despite Jack s questionable morality, he is still rewarded with riches and marriage to a pr incess. Other students recognize that the tale is rather cockeyed. Sometimes Miller shares wondering utterances in conditional statements to allow for revision by his peers: If the giant would have be en so bad, the harp would have wanted to be snatched or That giant, if he done wrong, at least I think he should have had a trial. Such uncertainty markers [make] room for multiple views (Townsend & Pace, 2005, p. 602). 15 Mister Peepers, November 16, 1952.
91 Even Wests dissenting opinions are designe d to provoke a response that would further discussion, albeit sometimes in a different direct ion: Who cares? The whole thing is a phony. As a result of this discourse among peers, [t]hese students collective co mprehending of a story [is] so much greater than any individual interpretation (Silvers 1999, p. 66). Students comments are not directed just to their teacher, but to each othe r, where they share a give-andtake dialogue that encourages [them] to en rich and refine their understanding (Alvermann & Hayes, 1989, p. 306). Mr. Dadiers students are able to build upon each others ideas to develop a generally accepted, shared interpre tation of Jack and the Beanstalk. This co-construction of knowledge is enable d by the students im aginative engagement with the subject matter and by how they connect the story with their personal experiences. In using the different medium of a cartoon film, Mr Dadier sparks his students imagination and their wondering. Karen Gallas (2003) observes, Imagination feeds our ab ility to ask the big questions, to think large and deep. [W]onder is a subcategory of imagination (p. 35, p. 39). Stoker is the first student to announce his desire to watch more films, and he thinks about becoming a film critic. By appealing to his students imagination, Mr. Dadier nurtures their inquiry. For example, one student asks, H ow did that giant get up there without any beanstalk? This could be an information-s eeking and a wondering utte rance. When students are drawing upon their own life e xperience and understand ing of reality; they search for a hook to hang their hat on (Gallas, 2003, p. 104), and the students vocabulary for describing Jack demonstrates how they incorporate this character s story into their life experiences. Miller regards Jack as a victim of a con man; Stoker admires Jack for being a real heist man, and Belazi likes how he knocked off the giant. Morales concludes that Jack [t]urned out to be a thief like everybody else. Mr. Dadiers students iden tify the story as compatible with what they
92 know. Although some students may only appreciate the story because it affirms their accustomed worldview, perhaps they then have a foundation for subsequently reaching beyond their present knowledge (Lindfors, 1999). In Dr. Barness philosophy class, a students sense-making inquiry prompts a series of wonderings by other students. To clarify he r understanding of So crates based upon the professors lecture, a student asks, Well, do you mean Socrates was against democracy? Dr. Barnes explains Socratess belief that only men with the knowledge of government should govern through a metaphor: On a sh ip the passengers dont elect a captain. Hes appointed because he knows navigation. This same student (A) then further develops the metaphor, which prompts others to become more engaged: Student A: [standing up] Yes, but the ship of state is an altogether different thing. If you give the captain complete power, he might take the ship where he thinks it ought to go, and thats wrong. Dorothy: [staying seated] Sure. The ship of state belongs to the passengers. They pay for it. They support it. They have a perfect right to decide where its going. Student C: And if the captain wants to go some place else, they have the right to throw him out and get another captain. [Students mumble.] Prof. Barnes: [tapping the table with a pe ncil] Ladies, you have just jumped 2,000 years to a man named Bellarmine, who completely agrees with you. He believed in the God-given rights of ma n and that society must have the power to protect and preser ve itself. His principl es are embodied in our Constitution. Student D: Did he write any books? This last students information-seeking inquiry demonstrates her intellectual engagement. The scene then shifts to studen ts metaphysical wonderings: Dorothy: But whos going to deci de whats good and whats bad? Student: [Audience does not see the stude nt.] A thing is good if its useful.
93 Dorothy: But a fur coat is useful at the North Pole, and its just a nuisance in the tropics. So, whos to say whether its good or not? Peggy: And, and take milk. Its wonderful for some kids, and some others might be allergic to it. Now there youve got somethin thats good and bad at the same time. Student E: [stands] Well, then maybe a thing is good when it has a good result. Student C: [stands] But it doesnt have to ha ve a good result. It can be good in itself. For instance, [to Peggy] if I leave Johnny with you while I go shopping, thats good of you to take care of him. Now while hes in your trailer, if he falls and hurts himself that give s a bad result, but it was still good of you to take care of him. Like Mr. Dadiers students, Dr. Ba rness students are able to connect abstract concepts to their practical experiences. Students use their experi ences as wives and mothers to support their points, thus demonstrating how the philosophy of Socrates and ot hers has personal relevance for them. As students sort out the moral philosophies embedded in stories and advocated by great thinkers, students wonderings l ead to further ethical inquiries. Mr. Dadi ers students question the lesson of the Jack and the Beanstalk story, and Dr. Barness students discuss the rights and responsibilities of government and the nature of what is good. Teachers are not merely engaging in intellectual exercises, but the discussi ons in class can have real world impact. In The King and I (1956), Mrs. Anna Leonowens mentions President Lincolns role in ending slavery in the American Civil War, and her remarks prompt the following wondering from the son of the King of Siam: Prince: I do not understand how slaves can be set free, if their masters wish to keep them. Mrs. Anna: It is done by the passing of a law, your highness, and by the enforcing of that law, if necessary. Prince: But my slaves and the slaves of my fathersuppose there was such a law in Siam and we did not want it so.
94 Mrs. Anna: Sometimes things cant be just a question of what we want, your highness, but of what is right. As a result of the influence of Mrs. Annas te aching, we see the future king making changes in the Siam customs. For example, subjects will no longer need to bow like [a] toad to show respect for their king. One senses that significant fu ture social transformations will be made because of the wonderings prompted by his teach er, although Mrs. Annas instruction reflects British imperialism. In the film Bright Road (1953) Miss Richards not only te aches fourth grade but also Sunday school, and during a religious lesson she allows her student C.T. Young an opportunity to express his own inquiry which also has soci al ramifications. During catechism instruction, students respond to the teachers questions with the expected me morized answers, but C.T. has his own query, in non-question form, about humans being made in the image and likeness of God: C.T.: Cant see how everybody looks like God, when somes black and somes white. Miss Richards: [in voice-over narration to indicate her t houghts] Oh, oh, I walked right into that one, didnt I? Well, theres only one answer. Ill hope hell understand it. [to C.T.] Yes, C.T., God created everybody in His image, black and white. C.T.: How come? What color is God anyway? Miss Richards: Well, it isnt a matter of color at all. When God made us in His image, He put a bit of Himself in each one of us. He loves us just like your mother and father love you. Were all brothers together. C.T.: If white people and black peopl e are brothers, how come they dont act like brothers? Miss Richards: [in voice-over na rration] Oh, Lord, let me sa y the right word just this once. [to C.T.] C.T., it isnt Gods fault when people dont act like brothers. It isnt an easy thing to do, but we can learn because God is always willing to help us when we ask Him.
95 Upon her response, C.T. leaves the Sunday school classroom with apparent dissatisfaction. Made and released a year before the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education the film Bright Road depicts C.T. in a segregated school and daringly raises the issue of racial inequality. Accordi ng to Miss Richards, God does not support the status quo in race relations, but she does not offer C.T. a solution to his dilemma. Through C.T.s silently leaving the classroom, the film suggests that Miss Richardss belief in individual responsibility and action may not be sufficient to overcome struct ural inequities. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corporation, which produced Bright Road thus made a somewhat risky venture for a mainstream Hollywood company by using C.T.s i nquiry to prompt potentially similar inquiries by viewing audiences towards social change. Progressivism, Essentialism, a nd Constrained Student Inquiry Despite these exam ples of student inquiry and engagement, such scenes of studentcentered, progressive approaches to learning we re rare. Instead, these postwar television programs and films revealed teachers adopting both progressive and essentialist transmission models. Two middle school boys learn about birds by actually caring for them, but in Mr. Peeperss classroom all the science experiment s are either demonstrations or exercises with predetermined outcomes, so that no authentic problem-solving occurs (Whitin & Whitin, 1996, p. 87). Similarly in The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), the chemistry professor, Dr. Obispo, gives his undergraduates an element to identify through a series of laboratory tests. Because Dr. Obispo knows the identity of th e elements, the students inves tigations are basically practice exercises. The progressive Jack and the Bean stalk discussion in Mr. Dadiers high school class is preceded and followed by essentialist lessons with grammar and writing drills. University students learn about journalism by com posing their own articles, but Instructor Stone lectures about the importance of some fundamental rules and c ites authorities su ch as Kipling
96 and Pulitzer to substantiate her pos ition as a source of knowledge. In The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), English Professor Amos Pomfritt lectures on the rules of grammar, and he resents when Dobie interrupts to challenge one of the agreement rules. D obies inquiry is immediately dismissed by Professor Pomfritt, who c ites scholarly tradition for his support: The rules of English usage are made by sc holars and learned men and not by college freshman and other such vulgarians. In th e 25 years that I have devoted to this underpaid profession of teaching, I have heard many an asinine outburst, but never one so asinine as yours. I can only assume that your recent passage through puberty has affected your mind for you, sir, are a presumptuous dr iveller, a cr etinous barbarian, a thicktongued oaf, and an ill-bred churl, and in the future you will be good enough to keep your mindless opinions to yourself. Ultimately Prof. Pomfritt sees himself less as an authority and comes to reconsider Dobies views. Through creative strategies, such as j uggling balls to teach gravity and using croquet mallets to demonstrate the Pythagor ean Theorem, Andrew Larabee in Merry Andrew (1958) helps his students achieve perfect scores on a st andard written exam. The prevalence, however, of a more traditional transmission model of in struction is implicitly represented by all the illustrated classrooms having students desks in rows facing the teacher (Eisner, 2002; Dewey 1938/1997). Seated in rows facing their teacher, children at a reservation school in the film Navajo (1952) learn English not through actual conversati ons, but through recitations of words prompted by the teacher displaying flashcards. In the media depictions, opportunities for students inquiry occurred upon the teachers ow n terms, and when learning is not studentcentered with information-seeking, sense-making, and wondering, learning becomes less selfmotivated and possibly less connected to students theories of th e world and their schemata for storing new knowledge. In the 20th-century United States, Larry Cuban (1 993) has argued that teacher-centered instruction dominated, particularly in high schools, with progressive student-centered approaches more likely to be enacted in elementary schools as long as the reforms did not challenge teacher
97 authority. Cuban (1993) declares that a teacher-centered prog ressivism evolved with some group work, variable furniture arrangements, supplemental learning centers, and freedom of movement for students. Although essentialist st rategies under the teachers control, such as lecture and drill and practice exer cises for students, seem to support the power of the teacher, the progressive approach of Mr. Da diers Jack and the Beanstalk lesson demonstrates how his power and effectiveness as a teacher augmented once he gave hi s students control over the discourse (Lindfors, 1999). These 1950s media depictions of fictional teachers instruction correlate with Cubans observations as far as combining both essentialist and progressive approaches. In 1953, Ray Montgomery, an instructor at Teachers College, Columbia University, asserts that education is never one or the other of these approaches but both together, and their value merges in the production of an educated person (p. 79). Perhaps reflecting this same notion, the media representations from the early to the late 1950s do not exhibit any discernable transition from a progressive educational mode l to more of a back-to-basics essentialist transmission model. Thus, fictional depictions of classroom learning fail to coincide with professed shift towards essentialism in national educational policy during President Eisenhowers administration. Well before the 1950s, however, progressivism was so divided by different agendas that it lost philosophic coherence. Instructional met hods so varied according to teachers divergent interpretations that labeling instructional strate gies as progressive in these postwar media depictions is complicated. Because of the many strands and contradictions within progressive thought, Lawrence Cremin (1961) believes the demise of progressivism was occurring of its own accord before World War Two. Often this fr actured coalition was only united by opposition to traditional education (Dewey, 1938/1997; Cremin, 1961; Kliebard 1987). Because
98 progressivism had become hybridized without a united front, by the 1950s it became an easy scapegoat for criticizing schools, which were alre ady vulnerable institutions because they were charged with addressing so many needs with outdated facilities, a teacher shortage, and burgeoning baby-boomer attendance (Kliebard, 1987; Cremin, 1961). In 1959, John H. Fischer, Dean of Teachers College, Columbia Universit y, asserts that more and more work has been assigned to the school without a commensurat e increase in the time available for its accomplishment (p. 7). If blamed for undermining the American way of life through inadequate education and criticisms of cap italistic individualism, progressivism in the McCarthy era could even be condemned as communistic w ithout significant opposition (Spring, 1992). Not only does the hodge-podge id entity of progressivism make it difficult to determine in media depictions a shift to a more essent ialist educational mode l (Kliebard, 1987, p. 227), but it would also be unlikely for 1950s television and f ilm to show a paradigm shift when in reality schools do not immediately enact new policy initiatives. David Tyack and Larry Cuban (1995) further assert that schools are often forces for social stabilization rather than change. When the official observers leave the classrooms, teacher s tend to teach in their own preferred manner regardless of new directives (Tyack & Cuba n, 1995). Generations of Americans across the nation have had very similar clas sroom experiences as students, and to appeal to this broad audience, the mass media of television and Holl ywood film would probably create images of teachers and students that do not significantly deviate from perceived norms. Reflecting consistency in advocating progres sive approaches that had been endorsed before World War Two (Ravitch, 1983), educator s in the postwar era continued to support progressive models of instruction. Amid criticis ms, this consistency could reflect obstinacy and hubris, as historian William J. Reese (2005) suggests:
99 By the early 1950s, educators faced a risi ng tide of criticism, which they usually dismissed as the work of zealots, the uniformed, and the enemies of free public schools. Often defensive of their labors, ed ucational leaders frequently dismissed the negative press, citing their superior knowledge about pe dagogy and insights into childrens welfare. (p. 222) Beginning in the late 1940s and th rough the 1950s, articles in the Teachers College Record commended the accomplishments of schools and teacher education in light of emerging criticisms (Mort, 1949; Caswell, 1952b; Lindse y, 1953), celebrated progressive approaches to learning that valued students interests and re garded the teachers role as a knowledgeable facilitator (Herrold, 1947; Preparing Teachers for Modern Schools, 1949; L. B. Jacobs, 1954), and asserted the relevance of John Deweys id eas, while clarifying Deweys positions (Kennedy, 1955; Blau, 1959, Butts, 1959; Childs, 1959). Although progressivism was under attack, from 1949 to 1960 The American Teacher, the magazine of the American Federation of Teachers, included articles, features, reviews, and editori als recommending the progressive theories and practices of John Dewey and William H. Kilpatrick (Tribute to John Dewey, 1949; John Dewey Honored at Convention Dinner, 1949; Soderquist, 1950; Rothman, 1951; Childs, 1951; Eklund, 1951; Jablonower, 1952; Guest Editorials: Our Most Honored Member, 1960). Teachers College Record similarly published tributes to Dewe y and Kilpatrick in honor of their ninetieth and eightieth birthday s (Butts, 1949; Caswell, 1949; Ch ilds, 1949; Crary, 1949; Gans, 1949; G. Watson, 1949; Benne, 1952; Caswell, 1952a; Childs, 1952; Dubinsky, 1952; Goslin, 1952; Granger, 1952; Melby, 1952; Pe rtsch, 1952; W. F. Russell, 1952; Simonson, 1952; Skaife, 1952). To address, in part, mistaken notions about the origins of progressive education, Lawrence Cremin in 1957 contributed an article to the Harvard Educational Review about the history of the progressive movements re forms and initiatives. Responding to how [p]rogressive education, once an honorific labe l, has become almost a libelous term without sufficient provocation (1958a, p. 77), University of Minnesota Professor Robert H. Beck, wrote
100 a series of historical profile s of Felix Adler, Caroline Pr att, and Margaret Naumburg for Teachers College Record (Beck, 1958a, 1958b, 1959) By contextualizing progressive education within the larger progressive movement in the Un ited States, Prof. Beck wa s trying to restore the status of progressive teaching methods. Within the academic community, progressive educational philosophies and practices persisted. C. Frederick Pertsc h (1952), Associate Superintendent of New York City Schools, declares that Kilpatricks interest in children s character development has markedly influenced our program of education (p. 245) Like Dewey, Lucile Lindberg (1955), assistant professor of education at Queens College, College of the C ity of New York, believes schools should prepare students to participate as citizens in a democracy : the teacher in todays school is not just concerned that children plan and work together in a democratic manner. She is especially concerned that the evaluation whic h is inherent in the democratic process shall be emphasized in the classroom (p. 165). Jean and C. Burlei gh Wellington (1958) of Tufts University advocate progressive approaches to learning with the teacher as a guide, who exert[s] the necessary direction without becoming the dictator and deci sion-maker (p. 15). The talented teacher then blends[s] his aim for knowle dge with student needs and desires, so students have freedom to learn through problem-solving (Wellington & Wellington, 1958, p. 14). In a 1959 article for Educational Horizons, Lawrence K. Frank also supports a progressive model in arguing that because schools are the chief social agency fo r children and youth the traditional role of the teacher must be enlarged to embrace more understanding of children as living, growing, developing organism-personalities rather than having a more essentialist approach of educating children by purely scholarly, academic performance and training in special skills (pp. 122123). Specifically addressing the current stress on more acade mic pressures and intellectual
101 discipline in schools, Frank (1959) states that learning of the academic content and skills is handicapped and blocked by ignorin g these individual needs and ch aracteristics of children (p. 123). In the face of essentialist challenges progressivism still endured among educators in the 1950s. Progressive approaches to learning also endure in todays classrooms, despite public policy emphasis on measuring educational outcomes quantitatively through high-stakes testing of often low-level, de-c ontextualized skills. Media depictions of educational contexts further reveal that what we knew about fostering student inquiry in the 1950s still app lies for todays classrooms. These fictional representations of classrooms de monstrate that when students have choices in their learning, can imaginatively/sympathetically engage with the subject matter, can conne ct lessons to personal experiences, and feel that teachers take a pers onal interest in them--such safe, interesting environments nurture students inquiry. In Leave It To Beaver, Theodore and Larry are not particularly excited about a composition topic that they did not choose. In feeding the fledgling birds, Mr. Peepers encourages his students identification with the animals by defining relationships between the birds as brother and sister, and this pr ompts a student to ask about the birds mother. Some of Mr. Dadiers student s defy his authority when they perceive the grammar and writing exercises as not having pe rsonal relevance. Once Instructor Stone enthusiastically decides to mentor her student Mr. Gannon outside class hours to support his journalistic writing, he comes to appreciate the merits of a form al education and alters his preconceptions about learning only through practi cal experience. Throug h choice, engagement, relevance, and a teachers personal interest, stud ent inquiry can flourish. In todays schools, with scripted teacher-proof curriculum materials and learning quantitatively measured according to standardized tests, student inqui ry, however, may more likely ex ist in the fictional world of
102 television and film than it doe s in reality. Whom should we then hold accountable, if originality, creativity, and participation in our democracy are found lacking? Having been socialized in our public schools, will the next generation even make such an inquiry?
103 CHAPTER 5 THE TEACHER AS A MORAL ROLE MODEL Because the scenes of les son instruction are rare, the postwar media represented teachers less through their essentialist and progressive pedagogical practices and more through their character development outside the classroom. Rath er than instructing in intellectual academic content, the teacher facilitates the socialization of students acco rding to a moral code, and the teachers themselves come to embody these same social norms and ethical standards. However, if the attitude that teachers are of a superior moral order is related to attitudes about the transmission of the cultu ral heritage (H. E. Jones, 1957, p. 84) then an aspect of essentialism could be implicitly endorsed through the popular media representations. Addressing the Sixth District Convention of the Michigan Federation of Teachers on October 11, 1945, Arthur P. Sweet declares, As leaders of youth [t eachers] must hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct and character. [with] no ri ght to be average in morals or manners (Sweet, 1946, p. 29). Further tes tifying to the moral influence of teachers, Daniel L. Marsh, Chancellor of Boston University, as serts in 1952, A teachers charac ter is his eloquence. If he does justly, loves kindness, and walks humbly with God; if his words are chaste and honest, and his life pure in its pur pose, all life will be pur er and better thereby (p. 11). In a 1949 conference report on the preparation of liberal arts teachers, Harry J. Carman, Dean of Columbia College (Columbia University), also c onnects the moral function of teach ers with the preparation of upright citizens partic ipating in democracy: We want them [citizens] at all times to subordinate their own success to their public usefulnessmen and women who are useful in that they are not above doing humble things, discovering and using for themselves a nd society the special gifts with which each may be endowed. We want them to reali ze that the democratic way of life not only cherishes freedom but also entails obligati on and even sacrifice for its preservation. (Carman, 1950, p. 14)
104 In essentially adopting Benjamin Rushs concep t of using education to foster republican machines, men and women who privilege the in terests of the state over their own private welfare, Carman calls for teachers to model th is sacrifice: We need teachers who have moral strength, a sense of beauty of spirit, the seei ng eye, the watchful s oul, the inquiring mind (p. 18). In the postwar era, the popular media thus represent effectiv e teachers as those who practice what they preach, but as a result their personal and professional lives are constrained by these same norms and high expectations. Motherhood and the Ethic of Care Dedicated n ot only to academics but also to the individual welfar e of others, teachers forge relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and community leaders. For Andrey A. Potter (1950), Dean of the Schools of Engineering at Purdue Univer sity, it is the positive rapport that the teacher has with his/her students that embodies teaching excellence: [H]umanity is a distinguishing characteristic of the grea t teacher, who understands and loves his students as he understands and love s the subject he teaches. This he shows by his keen interest in the in dividual student, by his kindne ss and courtesy, by his candor and fairness, by his tolerance and understand ing, by his optimism and unlimited patience. (p. 26) According to Nel Noddings, such relationships ar e not altruistic because the teacher, as a caregiver, is fulfilled by the cared-fors response: A caring relation is ... a connection or encounter between two human beingsa carer and a recipient of care, or cared-for. [and] ... both parties must contribute to it in characteristic ways (Noddings, 2000, p. 247; Hargreaves, 1994). The cared-for must have a sense of rece iving care and acknowledge it to the carer, who then feels validated. In the film Curley (1947), having positive, reciprocal relationships with her students is so essential to elementa ry teacher Miss Johnson that on her first day she decides to forget lessons and regulations and tries instead to get acquainted. When a disheartened Miss Johnson believes she has been unsuccessful in relating to Curley, she re-
105 locates the class picnic to one of his favorite places to re-establish a friendship with him. Miss Johnsons athletic prowess at the picnic and her promise to coach her students after school in sports if they do well academically wins over the entire class, so that her success as a teacher is defined through her rapport with her students outside the classroom. In the 1956 film version of the musical The King and I British teacher Mrs. Anna Le onowens sings that getting to know her students is her favorite subject because she gets to like them and hopes they will like her in return. In the film Bright Road (1953), fourth-grader C.T. shows his teacher, Miss Richards, his appreciation for all her suppo rt throughout the school year by presenting her with a cocoon that transforms into a butterfly an d by declaring to her on th e last day of school, I love you. She beams with smiling satisfacti on, as she waves good-bye to him from the classroom window. Because [t]eaching hardly ever pays off in money. [or] in glory, Professor Warren, in The Halls of Ivy radio program, affirms that he stay[s] with it because of pride in the job and that the students appreciate teachers efforts.1 This validation through a caring relationship is important to him. Although Dr. Hall intende d to achieve his own fame for writing a biography about a partic ular scientist, his book goes unpub lished, while a book written on the same subject by one of his students, Jared Buckley, not only is published but also receives a coveted prize, which Dr. Hall initially t hought he, himself, had won. Buckleys book, however, is affectionately dedicate d to his professor, and Mrs. Ha ll says to her husband, Theres nothing better. What can compare with it? Dr. Ha ll agrees that this appreciation means more to him than if his own book had b een published and recognized.2 1 The Snowman, February 10, 1950. 2 The Scofield Prize, April 28, 1950.
106 For female educators, the teacher-student re lationship can through the ethic of care become similar to the mother-child relationship. Just as a baby might react with a smile to a mothers nurturing (Noddings, 1993), students demonstrate simila r satisfaction and achievement because of the care of teachers: Teaching, from the perspective of caring, is very much like parenting (Noddings, 1993, p. 51). For the female teacher, caring may then become a form of mothering and can show that others need her ca re (Noddings, 1993). This ethic of care is then incorporated into a gender role for women. In the Our Miss Brooks radio program, students acknowledged her skill as an English teacher, but they predominantly valued Miss Brooks for her nurturing role outside the classroom. As Stretch Armstrong, the star athlete at Madison High School, tells Miss Brooks, I feel that youre more than just a teacher, that you understand kids.3 Walter Denton, editor of the school newspaper, exclaims: Shes like a mother to us.4 Indeed, in one academic year the entire stude nt body honors Miss Brooks for Mothers Day with the title Our Mother Away From Mother. Sh e receives a shawl and knitting needles, and Walter composes a song to the tune of Mot her with the letters of her last name.5 Students are not validating her professional ethic of car e as a teacher through improved scholarly performance or eagerness to learn (Noddings, 19 93), but instead respond to her domestic ethic of care as a mother. Miss Brooks also exhibits her maternal concern when she visits one of her students at home and forgoes her classroom teaching on Monday to care for the students siblings while his mother is hospitalized.6 Connie Brooks strongly desired to abandon teaching to become a wife and mother, and as a teacher, sh e was valued for her maternal care for others. 3 Our Miss Brooks (radio), February 27, 1949. 4 Ibid., January 10, 1954. 5 Ibid., May 14, 1950. 6 Ibid ., November 14, 1948.
107 Students recognition of her e fforts gave her a modicum of acknowledgement and satisfaction as a proxy for being a real mother (Ryan & Terzian, in press, 2009). Miss Brookss motherly devotion, however, wa s merely one expression of an ethic of care. Time and again Connie addressed the emoti onal and material needs of others. She displayed engrossment or full receptivity of others perspectives and she saw a world comprised of relationships rather than of people standing alone (Noddings, 2000, p. 248; Gilligan, 2002, p. 55). When Stretch becomes lovesick over a new girl, for instance, Miss Brooks persuades her to go on a date with him.7 To prevent Walter from possibly being expelled for impersonating the Chairman of the State Board of Education on the telephone to Principal Osgood Conklin, Miss Brooks attempts to hire a vagrant to act as the Chairman.8 Her ethic of care extended to adul ts as well. When Mr. Boynton s biology laboratory is cold, Miss Brooks appropriates an electric heater for him.9 Believing that Mr. Conklin is losing his position as Madison Highs principa l, Miss Brooks collaborates with Mr. Boynton, Stretch, and Walter to organize a laundry service in th e Conklins home to help him financially.10 She even helps the burglar, who had broken into her home, to obtain employment as the schools custodian.11 In these ways, this radio program constructed the female teachers professional identity by her empathy and action on behalf of others (Ryan & Terzian, in press, 2009). This motherly, nurturing aspect of a female teachers role outside the classroom is replicated in such films as Bright Road (1953), Her Twelve Men (1954), and Good Morning, 7 Ibid., February 26, 1950. 8 Ibid., September 11, 1949. 9 Ibid., February 6, 1949. 10 Ibid., September 11, 1955. 11 Ibid., March 12, 1950.
108 Miss Dove (1955). In Bright Road, w hen fourth grade teacher Jane Richards senses that one of her students, C.T. Young, does not have much to eat at home, she arranges a regular lunch for him at school expense. When her colleagues judg e C.T. as backward, Miss Richards maintains high expectations for him and offers encouragemen t. She gives him his first passing grade, a C, for the report card category D esire To Learn. When she disc overs C.T.s ability to draw wildlife, she supports the developmen t of his talent: Your drawing is getting better all the time. When C.T.s best friend, Tanya, contracts viral pn eumonia, Miss Richards is right at the childs bedside with the doctor, trying to nurse her back to health. In Her Twelve Men, a recent widow, Jan Stewart, in her first teaching assignment, is the first female teacher at The Oaks, an all boys boarding school. She is in charge of twelve 10-year-old boys in the classroom and in the dormitory. The one scene depicting her classroom in struction is not particularly successful. The boys are mischievous and rowdy during a read ing lesson, and many la ugh at student Bobbys mispronunciations. She ends up assigning one b oy, Kevin, the task of writing 500 times the sentence: I must not be a clow n in class. Her relationship with the boys, however, does not rest on her lack of pedagogical expe rtise. It is her ot her actions as a dorm mo ther that endear her to her boys. One evening Bobby complains of a stom ach ache, but he is real ly feeling homesick. Instead of giving him medicine, Mrs. Stewart comforts him with so me hot chocolate. In that moment Bobby recalls that once his mom made him hot chocol ate when he had a bad cold, but he quickly adds, it wasnt any better than yours [hot chocolate] though. He identifies her as being equal to his own mother. When Bobby is consistently disappointed by not receiving mail from his parents in the Riviera, Mrs. Stewart actually pretends to be his mother and writes encouraging letters to Bobby.
109 When one of Mrs. Stewarts twelve men sets off the dorms sprinklers as a prank, Headmaster Barrett decides to puni sh all the boys because they refu se to squeal on the mischief maker, a new boy named Dick Oliver. In fr ont of the boys, Mrs. Stewart challenges the unfairness of his decision, but he overrules her objection. When Dick Oliver fractures his leg, Dr. Barrett orders her to accompany the boy to his home in Texas. Dick does not have a mother, and his father often travels on business. Dick asks Mrs. Stewart to stay on, and she agrees with the support of Dr. Barrett. Mr. Oliver becomes so impressed w ith how she takes care of Dick that he proposes marriage to her. On the last day of school, her 12 boys present her with a brand new coffee pot as a going-away present. Her old coffee pot was always temperamental, and they identify her with her domestic role in the kitc hen. At that moment, sh e decides not to marry Mr. Oliver and be the mother of Dick, but inst ead retains her teaching position which allows her to be the mother of 12 young men. A generation of students of the small town of Liberty Hill have known the impartial justice, the inflexible regulations, and the grea t calm neutral eyes of the same teacherthe terrible Miss Dove, so says the voice-over narrator at the beginning of the 1955 film Good Morning, Miss Dove Stern in manner and appearan ce, Miss Dove, however, is also beloved by her students for much of what she do es for them outside her elementary geography classroom. When she is carried to the hospital suffering from a spinal tumor, former students visit her and in a series of flashbacks the vi ewing audience learns of her influence. Maurice Levine, a Jewish boy from Poland, arri ved in her class unable to speak English. Outside of class, Miss Dove helps him learn to re ad. When she discovers that other boys bully him on his walk to school, Miss Dove protects him by requiring him to carry her books as he accompanies her. Students ridicule his Jewish background by calling him Rab, and she helps
110 Maurice to be more welcomed by arranging with his parents a traditional Jewish dinner for his classmates in the Levine home. Maurice grows up to be a successful playwright, and he stands at Miss Doves bedside in the hospital. Bill Holloway lived on the wrong side of the tracks with his alcoholic grandmother. We see Miss Dove taking care of him: he w ould do yard work at her house, and she would provide him with lunch. She pays for his graduation suit, and she is the only one to attend the funeral of his grandmother, who is killed in a traffic accident. As a young adult, Bill enters the Marines, rising to the rank of se rgeant. He regularly writes to her, and Miss Dove follows his career with interest. Ultimately he becomes a po liceman in Liberty Hill, and he is the first person to send her flowers in the hospital. When a colleague on the police force, who never had Miss Dove as a teacher, critici zes the meaning of her life as she lies near death, Bill Holloway defends her: Fellow Officer: She couldnt have had much of a life. Never married. No family. No kids. Never went nowhere. Why they tell me shes never been more than a couple hundred miles from this burg, since the day she was born. Officer Holloway: Thats right, but shes been places you and I ne ver heard of. Shes been more times around the world th an you can count. Not much of a life, huh? No family. No kids. No kids! Boy, youre really off your rocker. Kidsshe has a 1,000 of them. Many of her kids, her current and former stude nts (now adults), crow d outside the hospital awaiting word about her health. When she surv ives the surgery with a good prognosis, the town bells chime, and people happily gather near her hospital window. She is the mother to a 1,000 children. Teaching Entails Sacrifice In 1932, W illard Waller identified the favorable stereotype of the teacher as that of the self-sacrificing, gentle, kindly, self-effacing creature, overworke d, underpaid, but never out of
111 patience and always ready to give freely of her time and money for school purposes (p. 419). Waller saw this idealization as representing the community idea of what a teacher ought to be (p. 419). In 1952, Boston Universitys Chance llor declared that the teacher must be not only thoroughly intelligent and inte nsely devoted to his work, but he must also be long-suffering and patient in his spirit and method of service (Marsh, p. 10). In the postwar era, the popular media perpetuated this self-sac rificing image of the teacher. The film The Corn Is Green (1945) connects teaching and moth ering with sacrifice. In the late 19th century, Miss Moffat arrives in a Welsh v illage to educate ill iterate, young miners. When refused the use of a building, she then cond ucts classes in her own home. To defray the costs to the families of young men, who lose earning potential in the mines so as to attend her school, Miss Moffat gives these families a stipend. Among one of these miners is a promising young student, Morgan Evans, and Miss Moffat de votes most of her time over two years teaching him English composition, history, Latin, Greek, etc., and she effectively prepares him for winning a scholarship to Oxford University. An orphan, Morgan, lost much of his family in a mining accident, and Miss Moffat becomes a surrogate mother intellectually by building upon the rudimentary English education Morgan had le arned from his father. When Bessie, daughter of Miss Moffats housekeeper, Mrs. Watty, seduces Morgan and becomes pregnant by him, Bessie threatens to derail his chances for Oxford largely because she resents Miss Moffats discipline and education. Miss Moffat then pays her hush money, but once the child is born Bessie wants to leave the baby w ith Morgan and marry someone el se. Mrs. Watty proposes that Miss Moffat adopt the baby, and she agrees to do so without telling Morg an, to preserve his educational future. When Morgan accidentally learns from the village squire that he is the father, he wants to marry Bessie and/or prov ide for his baby, but Miss Moffat tells him his
112 responsibility lies to the world, to accept the scholarship to Ox ford and to go on to accomplish great things, including to help improve the lives of other Welsh miners. Miss Moffat has intellectually nurtured Morgan, and now she w ill physically raise and teach his child. Her mothering and teaching will continue at an even gr eater sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice willingly embraced on behalf of her favored student and for goals beyond herself. Miss Doves entrance into the teaching professi on begins with persona l sacrifice. When her banker father suddenly dies of a heart attack, she learns fr om his business partner that her father embezzled over 11,000 dollars. Although not obligated to pay her fathers debt, she does so to preserve his reputation. Her life of pr ivilege ends. She does not return to school and tearfully declines a marriage proposal from he r Princeton boyfriend, so she can take the position of a teacher to pay back her fathers debt w ithout any scandal. This sacrifice is further intensified by her not telling her boyfriend the r eason why she declines his proposal. Dedicated to teaching and to her students, Miss Dove is in turn willing to make furthe r personal sacrifices. When she becomes seriously ill at school, she initially refuses to be sent to the hospital because the state proficiency exams are next week and the fifth grade is weak on the winds and the tides. Ultimately she acquiesces to her doctors recommendati ons, but evidently Miss Dove regularly thinks of her pupils at Cedar Grove Elementary School before herself. The caring, sacrificial aspect of the teacher identity is similarly emphasized in other postwar portrayals, including thos e on television and radio. In Leave It To Beaver, Theodores second grade teacher, Miss Canfield, explains to him that a good teacher is like a candle consumes itself to light the way for others.12 To help his students succeed on an astronomy exam re-test, Mr. Peepers stays up all night, desp ite a worsening cold, to revise his notes for a 12 Beaver Gets Spelled, October 4, 1957.
113 class review.13 Perceiving the journalistic promise of one of her university students, Instructor Stone in Teachers Pet decides to devote her personal time outside of class to help him with his writing. When Miss Brooks believes that a man is destitute and starving, she abandons buying a formal dress for a school dance and instead purchases some food for him.14 She extends an ethic of care beyond the realm of Madison High School (Noddings, 1993). These teachers, furthermore, make such sacrifices while earning a low salar y. Mr. Peepers can only afford to live in a rented room next to a rail road track, and Miss Brooks regularly struggles to pay overdue bills. For example, a collection agency for Sherrys department store wants to deduct 25 dollars from Miss Brookss salary and inform her employer regarding an unpaid sixyear-old Easter purchase.15 When she only has 76 cents saved for a vacation, Miss Brooks joins her students Harriet, Walter, and Stretch in the taxidermy business to earn extra money.16 Miss Brookss ethic of care also often re quired sacrificing her professional advancement and independence, which might have helped financially. When she thinks Mr. Boynton is ill at home, Miss Brooks is willi ng to forgo attending a teachers convention to nurse him.17 Supporting her relationship with Mr. Boynton is more important than career development. When Clay City High School offe rs her a teaching position, Miss Brooks declines it because no opening exists for Mr. Boynton as a biology teacher.18 To pursue her career avidly would have been to engage in a competition l eading to social isola tion, without a web of 13 Mister Peepers, February 1, 1953. 14 Our Miss Brooks (tv) Mr. Whipple, November 21, 1952. 15 Our Miss Brooks (radio), April 22, 1951. 16 Ibid. June 19, 1949. 17 Ibid., November 12, 1950. 18 Ibid., March 27, 1949.
114 relationships (Gilligan, 2002, p. 69). On one of her birthdays Mi ss Brooks intends to purchase an alligator purse for herself. In the course of the day when collea gues and students ask for money, however, she never denies a re quest and ends up short of funds.19 By privileging the maintenance of relationships, caring for others could entail having ones own concerns met last or not at all (Ryan & Terzian, in press, 2009). As in a parent-child relationship, the cari ng connection teachers have with students is reciprocal but [t]he contributions of teacher s and students are necessarily unequal (Noddings, 1992, p. 108). The teacher not only shares mo re knowledge and experience, but ultimately sacrifices a bit more to maintain the caring re lation. Miss Brooks never wavered in her advocacy for others, and her students often asked her to represent their interests to the school administration. When the building has insufficien t heat during the winter, the basketball team needs more uniforms, and the domestic science cl ass has a broken sewing machine, she willingly takes these grievances to the principal. Ha rriet Conklin, the princi pals daughter, pleads, Miss Brooks, its up to you to make conditions in this school livable.20 Students nominate Miss Brooks as their spokesperson to object to Mr. Conklins carelessness codes, the petty fines he has instituted for minor, if not non-existe nt, infractions of the rules. Walter expresses the students dependence on their English teacher and momentarily confers masculine power upon her: You are the knight we ha ve chosen to slay the dragon.21 Miss Brooks preferred to avoid confrontation with the pr incipal, but she still represen ted others interests and thus exemplified the prevalent Holly wood image of a good teacher, who gets personally involved with students, learns from those students, and has an antagonistic relationship with 19 Ibid., October 24, 1948. 20 Ibid., January 9, 1949. 21 Ibid., February 12, 1956.
115 administrators (Dalton, 2004, p. 88). Although this advocacy for others placed this female teacher in a somewhat privileged role, Miss Brookss maternal ethic of care told audiences that good teachers should privilege emotional valida tion over professional advancement (Ryan & Terzian, in press, 2009). Sometimes a teachers interest in his/her students and professional dedication involves personal risk. In the college musical Good News (1947), Prof. Burton Kennyon intervenes in the romantic lives of two students, who are facing a se ries of obstacles, and he facilitates the success of their relationship. In High School Confidential! (1958), English teacher and counselor, Miss Arlene Williams worries about her aggressi ve, challenging new student, Tony Baker. Her concern leads to visiting his hom e, and when Tony telephones her in the middle of the night for help, she is at first reluctant becau se of the lateness, but agrees to his request. When she arrives at his house, Miss Williams is roughed up by some drug dealers and is held against her will as she intervenes to save another stude nt from deepening drug addition. In Monster on the Campus (1958), paleontology professor Dr. Blake even sacrif ices his own life for th e sake of knowledge. When Dr. Blake discovers that he is the serial killer on campus because of being accidentally contaminated with radioactive plasma from a coelacanth, he asks to be shot by the police once he intentionally injects himself with the contaminated blood and transforms into a Mr. Hyde-like creature before witnesses. Among his last words, Dr. Blake states, Its the savage in modern man that science must meet and defeat if humanity is to survive. Unfortunately, his sacrifice seems somewhat misguided and unnecessary. His suicide does not destro y the knowledge or the effects of the radioactivity, and his death may not be a just punishment because he did not commit murder with the full consent of his will. Yet, as a professor of science he feels obliged to make the sacrifice.
116 Promoting a Moral Code Em bodying such moral standards, teachers then establish the authority to further guide their students about right and wrong. Duane Grobman, II (2002) points out that in the film image of the teacher, parents are generally either absent or ineffectual, so that the teacher becomes the primary adult who helps students ma ke meaningful connections in their lives (p. 339). However, despite the active involve ment of Theodore Cleavers parents in the Leave It To Beaver television series, Theodores te achers still have a leading role in his moral guidance. When Miss Canfield explains to Theodore why she had to take him to the principal for bringing a dog to school, she regards herself as a protector leading him towards virtue: Well, if a teacher can keep you out of little troub les now, theres a good chance youll keep out of bigger troubles later on.22 When other students tease Theodore about his friendship with a girl, the problem escalates into a fight, and the next day Miss Landers articulates a moral code for their interactions by explaining that ev eryone in her class are as members of one family, that there is nothing wrong with a boy and a girl liking each othe r, and that as family members students need to demonstrate kindness and respect. If they do so, she adds, youll be taking a big step toward becoming the kind of men a nd women we want you to be.23 The viewing audience rarely witnesses Miss Landerss academic instruction, but this was a morality lesson not to be missed. The teacher can also introduce to young students the consideration of societal ethics. Mrs. Anna wants the children of the king of Siam to understa nd the injustice of slavery: Sometimes things cant be just a question of what we want but of what is right. Through moral inquiry, the teacher has the power to influence the wa y students see themselves and their world. 22 Beaver and Poncho, March 21, 1958. 23 Her Idol, November 6, 1958.
117 Such moral instruction continues beyond th e formative years of early childhood. At North Manual High School, Mr. Da diers Jack and the Beanstalk lesson not only reveals his teaching expertise and students wondering inqui ry, but this class discussion also becomes a forum for students to consider th e responsibility and consequences for their own actions. In a university lecture, Dr. Blake is not only interested in teaching scientific principles, but moral ones as well. He tells his undergraduates: Man is not only capable of change but Man alone, among all living creatures, can choose the direction. Man can use his knowledg e to destroy all spiritual values and reduce the race to bestiality or he can use his knowledge to increase his understanding to a point far beyond anything now imaginable. When Dr. Blake later discovers that Mans in troduction of gamma rays into the natural environment brings out bestiality, the film Monster on the Campus expresses Cold War concerns about radiation and annihilation. Similarl y, college president Dr. William T. Hall in The Halls of Ivy alludes to the atomic and nuclear threat when articulating the sign ificance of friendship: Our own little friendships may seem unimportant but if everyone cultivates his own and seeks new ones the spread of good will, like ripples on a pond, may extend beyond the limits of our vision and go far toward averting the dissolution of my world and yours in a blast of hate. Living as we are today in th e shadow of a man-made cloud, shaped like a poisonous toadstool, it behooves us as individual s to see that friendship doesnt become the sole concern of war motto publishers and sofa cushion embroiderers.24 Rarely, however, do these popular media represen tations of teachers directly confront contemporary issues, but if and when they do, it is often in the context of a moral message. In The Halls of Ivy when a Chinese student leaves Ivy College because of students prejudice and snobbery, Dr. Hall addresses ev eryone at chapel. Rather than advocating tolerance. [which] seems to indicate a condescension, Dr. Hall argues that: intelligent understanding is as essential to our study of human relationship as it is to our comprehension of Latin or science. We must learn not only the meaning of 24The Ivy Chamber Music and Knockwurst Society, March 31, 1950.
118 democracy, but its application a nd practice or in after years ou r boast of a superior way of life will be a sham, and Ivy College will have failed in its primary functiona preparation for life. Ladies and gentlemen of Ivy, the human race is not an exclusive club with a selective membership. We are all members from birth. True, it has both active and associate members, and it is up to each of us to provide our own classification, but I consider it one of the most important functions of education so to instruct you in the humanities that when your membership in th is human society has ended the recording secretary may mark you paid in full.25 Dr. Hall espouses the moral function of higher e ducation to facilitate democratic principles, although he does not clarify what he means by ac tive and associate members and the reasons for making a classification. Through this 1950 episode focusing on a Chinese student, The Halls of Ivy program could be obliquely addressing th e segregation of blacks, thus in an unusual moment referencing a controversial cont emporary issue. In a subsequent episode, Dr. Hall refuses to accept a much-needed gift to the college of 500,000 dollars when the donor stipulates that her money should not be used as scholarships for students of certain races and creeds.26 Although the 1950s saw criticism of public education for it s apparent progressive model and assertions to follow a more back-tobasics emphasis on math and science, such curricular debates are largely missing from these popular media depictions of teachers and their classrooms. In High School Confidential! (1958), however, the issue of educational philosophy is raised when Principal Robinson and English teacher Arlene Williams identify themselves as progressive educators, who do not believe that Santo Bello High School has a serious drug problem. The principal informs the police comm issioner, Mr. Burroughs, please understand. Miss Williams, like many of us, believes in the progres sive theory that there is no such thing as a bad boy or girl. Commissioner Burroughs then recounts how three years ago an Indiana high 25 The Chinese Student, February 17, 1950. 26 The Leslie Hoff Painting, September 27, 1950.
119 school did not seem to have a drug problem, but then the death of a 13-year-old, addicted to marijuana and heroine, brought to light that 285 of the 1200 high school students were using illicit drugs. When the commissioner states I dont know whether they followed your progressive theories or not and the film depi cts drug dealing and addict ion at Santo Bello High School, progressivism does seem to be attacked as permissivism. Ye t two model middle-class parents are also shown to be clueless about their daughters addi ction, and it is the progressive teacher Miss Williams, who knows more about the situation and endangers her own life to save the girl from spiraling downward. In the final scene of the film, Miss Williams is riding happily in a convertible with this cured student, and the voice-over narrator declares how the dealers are in prison or reform school and that Miss Williams will teach in a school that has cleansed itself of its ugly problem. The intervention of a progressive teacher leads to success. The film Bright Road metaphorically represents the pow er of the teacher to transform students lives. On the last day of the school year, the students gather around a cocoon C.T. has brought to the classroom, and as they watch the butterfly emerge, Miss Richards as their fourth grade teacher also embodies her Sunday sc hoolteacher role in promoting morality and spirituality. She alludes to th e resurrection after the death of C.T.s best friend Tanya and implies that the changes the caterpillar makes ar e comparable to the changes the students have made since the academic year began in September: Think of it. Last September he was just a li ttle old caterpillar crawling along the ground. Now hes coming awake after a long winters sl eep. A beautiful change is taking place. Hes being born all over again, just as you and I will be born again someday and everyone weve ever known or loved [looks at C.T.]. We dont know what it will be like any more than the caterpillar did. And so wh en the butterfly spreads its wings and flies away, we have to remember that weve been very lucky. For here today we have a wonderful promise of things to come. Appropriate for the last day of school, Miss Ri chards notes how with endings there are new beginnings. Miss Richards has been instrumental in resurrecting C.T. Other teachers labeled
120 him as backward, but she had faith in him and nurtured his abilities. Previously indifferent about school, C.T. in bringing the cocoon insi de the classroom has literally and figuratively made school a life-affirming place for transf ormation. A boy accustomed to repeating grade levels due to academic failure, C.T. earns not on ly an A in mathematics but earns a new lease on life with a new sense of his own worth. Like the butterfly, he has arisen to new heights. Such is the influence of a caring teacher. The postwar image of the teacher is essentiall y very positive, and this aligns with other Cold War aims. Historian Herber t Kliebard (1987) asserts that upon the United States entrance into World War Two criticism of American societ y slipped out of vogue in favor of a wave of patriotism occasioned by an external threat of aggression (pp. 207-208). In the postwar era with the new external threat of Soviet-style communi sm, this patriotism continued and incorporated the idealized teacher as a noble figure: to por tray publicly a negative image of the teacher would be un-American. Despite th e largely favorable portrayal of Mr. Dadier, Darryl F. Zanuck, Vice President of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, was concer ned that the negative depiction of American public schools in MGMs Blackboard Jungle would be welcomed with open arms by the Communists (Perlstein, 2000, p. 420), and U.S. Ambassador to Italy, Clare Boothe Luce, who similarly worried about Americas image abroad, asked for Blackboard Jungle to be removed from the 1955 Venice Film Festival (Perlstein, 2000). According to Joel Spring (1992), anti-communism in the 1950s also made advertisers wary of sponsoring anything that might sugge st an attack on the American Way of Life (p. 165). In the 1954 Senate hearings on televisi on and juvenile delinquency, Jo seph Heffernan, Vice President of NBC, declared that child rens programming would aim t o convey the commonly accepted moral, social, and ethical ideals characteris tic of American life (Spring, 1992, p. 191). The
121 image of the teacher as a moral role model coincided with medias vision of America as a shining city upon a hill (Winthrop, 1838/1985, p. 49). The scarcity of scenes of classroom instru ction in these postwar television and film images also perhaps suggests that the audience and the general public did not need to see a teacher in the act of instruction because having pedagogical expertise was taken for granted. In a survey published in 1951, junior-high-school studen ts rated a teachers su bject matter knowledge next to last in the qualities that comprise the best teacher. Most of the higher ranking qualities related to educators having a positive rapport with students (Mazzei, 1951). In 1955, another survey reported how undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Alabama also found that friendly relations of teacher and learner facilitated their st udies (Brooks & Davis, 1955, pp. 333-334). Recognizing that e ducational relationships matter, Santa Barbara Colleges teacher training program focused on helping future teachers interact democratically with students, parents, and peers (Irish & Byers, 1952), and these popular media representations likewise primarily depict teachers outside of academic content in relationships with others through their moral values. In the immediate postwar years, several articles in the Teachers College Record urged teachers as role models to be active in the community and politics (Gans, 1945, 1946; Elsbree, 1946; G illen, 1946; Young, 1946; Boykin, 1957), but in these media depictions teachers social relations hips were generally with in the school worlds. Despite attacks in the press about public schools, a surve y, conducted by Elmo Roper and reported in the October 16, 1950, issue of Life magazine, declared that 71.6% of the people interviewed were quite satisfied with their local schools (Shapiro, 1952, p.10). Decades later, with additional criticisms in the news medi a about the performance of public schools, David Tyack and Larry Cuban (1995) similarly acknowledge that most parents are happy with
122 the professionalism of the staff and the academic standards of the schools where their children attend. As a society, however, we may need to be reassured that teach ers are also caring and generous, and this is the image reinforced by the entertainment media. A teacher, after all, is more than just a progressive facilitator of students inquiry or an esse ntialist tr ansmitter of knowledge. Teachers and schools have a significant role in foster ing ethical citizens in our democracy. Such is the moral narrative told ab out teachers in the popular media in the postwar era.
123 CHAPTER 6 DEFINING THE IDENTITIES OF FEMALE AND MALE TEACHERS Because teachers and schools participate with in larger social structures and ideologies, which include gender role expectations, the profe ssional identities of male and female teachers are constructed differently. Scholars have noted how school gove rnance reflects the patriarchal structures often seen in families and corpor ations (Griffin, 1997 citing Grumet, 1988 and Hall, 1966; Blount, 2000), and that thus a power differential is accentua ted between male principals and female teachers. Scholarship then has focused on the subordinated identity of female teachers: The choice of teaching as a career, the lack of autonomy and control, low status and salary, the blurring of boundaries of home and school, teacher isolation, evaluations, and problems in career advancemen t are all part of this ge ndered experience. (Griffin, 1997, p.8) There is, however, a gendered experienc e for male teachers too, who do not possess administrative power. Popular media in the late 1940s through the 1950s de picts the gender role constraints for both male and female teachers within this patriarchy. Female Educators and Gender Role Expectations The im age of teachers in radio, television, and film in the immediate post-World War Two era primarily coincides with the actual empl oyment of men and wome n in the profession at this time. In the media sample for this study, depictions of female teachers were usually at the elementary school level. According to the U.S. Department of Healt h, Education, and Welfare (1960), for the years 1949-1950, 1953-1954, and 1955-1956, female teachers (including librarians, guidance counselors, and mental health staff) outnumbered male teachers on average of about three to one in elementary and seconda ry schools (Table 7, p. 14). For men entering the education profession in the postwar the administrative positions were often more attractive than teaching, and the number of women as administ rators also dropped significantly in the 1950s
124 (Tyack & Strober, 1981; Perlstein, 2000). In this medi a study, men were more likely to be found as college and university professors, and the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1960) for the same years reported that in high er education male teachers outnumbered female teachers from about three to one to almost f our to one. Men were steadily entering the profession at all levels, but they particularly dominated as instructional staff members at colleges and universities (Table 7, p. 14). In the media representations, women were rarely seen as teachers in higher academia, and if they were, it was not surprising to see them in less prestigious positions. Erica Stone, was a univers ity journalism instructor, not a tenure-track professor in the 1958 film Teachers Pet. Although the majority of both male and female teachers in these media depictions were single, male teachers were more likely to be marri ed, and this representati on of teachers marital status corroborates less with act ual teachers experiences. Hist orically, more married women increasingly entered teaching in the postwa r era (Rury, 1989; Blount, 2000), yet the media representations still projected images of female teachers leaving the profession upon marriage. In the 1945 film The Corn Is Green, Miss Moffat is a middle-aged teacher in the late 19th century, who argues that she is unmarried by c hoice. However, in adopting Morgans child, Miss Moffat becomes domesticated into mother hood, yet she does so without marriage, and she will continue to teach. Progressing further into the post-World War Two era, female teachers in the media must choose between a career or marriage with family. In the film Curley Miss Evans gets married in her classroom at Lakeview Elementary School, and the young boy Curley is upset about losing a good teacher. In the film Her Twelve Men at the end of the school year, Jan Stewart plans to leave her teaching at The Oaks School For Boys upon marriage to Mr. Oliver, the widowed father of one of her stude nts. When her pupils affectionately give her a
125 coffee pot as a going-away present, she decides to stay at the school and not marry Mr. Oliver. Both marrying Mr. Oliver and stay ing at the school is not an op tion for Jan Stewart. In the Our Miss Brooks radio and television program, Miss Brooks romantically pursues biology teacher Mr. Boynton, and both she and other charact ers in the program presume the end of her career upon marriage. Miss Brooks declares her intentions to Mr. Boynton: Sometimes I wonder if all this effort [in the classroom] is worth anything, if I couldnt expend all this time and energy in another direction: say making a pleasant home for some man the way any normal woman does.1 Everybody, except Mr. Boynton, understands her goals. When student Harriet Conklin erroneously believes that C onnie is about to marry Mr. Boynton, she assumes that Miss Brooks can do what she always said shed do: quit her job and raise a family.2 Although more married women entered the labor force (Eisenmann, 2006), the popular media reasserted a largely conser vative message regarding female gender roles that privileged the domestic sphere. A 1945 survey by the Amer ican Federation of Teachers found that school systems in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Clevel and, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Toledo, and Philadelphia did not discriminate against ma rried female teachers and generally offered maternity leave (Policies Concerning Married Wo men Teachers in Thirteen Large U.S. Cities, 1945). In 1946, Professor Karl W. Bigelow of T eachers College, Columbia University, declared that it is indefensible to forbid teaching by ma rried women, including mothers, yet in support of his argument he furthered traditional ge nder roles for women by defining teaching as appropriately feminine through incor porating motherhood and domesticity as good professional preparation. Prof essor Bigelow added that the ex clusion of married women and 1 Our Miss Brooks (radio), February 11, 1951. 2 Ibid., January 22, 1950.
126 mothers as teachers not only represents a disc rimination that has lost any sanction in other feminine occupations, but it excludes from the sc hools women with a type of experience that is likely to enhance their competence (p. 388). In discussing conflicting economic and ideological trends for women in the postwar U.S., Linda Eisenmann (2006) suggests: As women increasingly joined the workforce, cultural expe ctations for full-time domesticity rose throughout the Cold War period (p. 27). Depicting ma ternal, nurturing teachers for young elementary school students, the media projected teaching in school as practice for the roles of wives and mothers in the home. As a result, female teachers in the popular broadcast media and film were valued less for their academic knowledge and instructional abi lity, and more for their domesticity. In Her Twelve Men, Jan Stewart is not partic ularly successful in the classroom with the boys misbehaving, but her students come to like her be cause of her role as their housemaster, and an initially critical colleague, Mr. Hargrave, ends up admiring her for th e caring relationship she develops with the boys. Jan Stewart allows the boys to keep a puppy in the dormitory despite the school prohibitions; she teaches the boys how to dance formally; she makes a comforting cup of hot chocolate for a homesick boy; she helps a st udent to impress his parents with his piano playing, and she defends her student s against the injustice of the h eadmasters punishment. Once fellow teacher Mr. Hargrave learns that Jan St ewart has been writing letters to a lonesome student neglected by his parents in the persona of the boys mother, Mr. Hargrave dramatically kisses her for the first time. It is her matern al nurturing that makes this teacher a worthy prospect as a future wife. Although Miss Connie Brooks in the Our Miss Brooks radio/television program is acknowledged by other characters to be an excellent English teacher, her expertise in classroom
127 instruction is not exhibited, but her excellence is demonstrated domestically. Mr. Jason Brill, principal of Clay City High School says she is the best Englis h teacher at Madison, but as a woman Connie was still expected to be socially subservient to men.3 At the opening of the December 13, 1953, episode, the male narrator reveals: Well, a couple of times a year, our Miss Brooks, who teaches English at Madison High Sc hool, is obliged to invite her principal and his wife over for dinner. It is difficult to imagine Mr. Boynton under the same obligation. Rather, he, too, asks Miss Brooks to play hostess to his parents, when they arrive in town for a visit.4 By defining her femininity through an ethi c of care in the home, this radio program domesticates a successful career woman. When Miss Brooks forgoes teaching on a Monday to take care of the siblings of one of her students, whose mother is in the hospital, Mr. Boynton, the biology teacher remarks, Seeing you taking care of those children and then tucking them in for their nap after lunch made me feel this is wh ere you belong. Miss Brooks, did you ever think of giving up your career as a teacher?5 Miss Brooks consistently pursues her goal to marry Mr. Boynton, and Mrs. Conklin, th e principals wife, recognizes that appearing domestic will help in this endeavor. When she invites Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton to their lakeside cottage to celebrate the Conklins weddi ng anniversary, Mrs. Conklin want s to create a positive vision of marriage for Mr. Boynton. She asks Miss Brooks to prepare the dinner so as to show [her] domesticity as well.6 When the school districts psychologist presumes that Miss Brooks is a happily married housewife [and] the mother of a couple of young children, she interprets 3 Ibid., March 27, 1949. 4 Ibid., January 16, 1955. 5 Ibid., November 14, 1948. 6 Ibid., August 21, 1949.
128 this as a supreme compliment: Why you dear man!7 The psychologist defines Connies identity not by her own professional competence or intellectual acumen, but in a supportive, domestic relationship to others. In this radi o program, domesticity was the ultimate goal for women, and Connie resolutely pursued it (Ryan & Terz ian, in press, 2009). All important in this courtship towards marriage is the cultivation of appearances, and the female teachers are judged according to physical allure. When Curley mistakenly believes that a stern, older woman will be his new elementary teach er, he describes her as a picklepuss and as a scarecrow. Based on her appearance and manne r, Curley and the other boys plan to play pranks on their new teacher on her first day of sc hool to get rid of her. Upon discovering that their actual teacher is nice, young, and pretty, they become remorseful. When Mr. Gannon first enters the university journalism classroom, he assumes that one woman wearing unfashionable clothes, horned-rimmed glasses, and her hair pulled back in a bun must be the professor. Upon meeting university instructor Erica Stone, portrayed by actress Doris Day, the camera angle replicates his male gaze and focuses on the in structors curvaceous legs, which Mr. Gannon admires. Daniel Perlstein (2000) quotes the script for Blackboard Jungle, which sexualizes Miss Hammond as she walks up to the auditorium stage: Several thousand eyes follow her progress. He[r] skirt, too tight perhaps, rides up over her shapely calves (p. 410). Similarly, when the film audience first meets the high scho ol English teacher Miss Arlene Williams in High School Confidential! it is from the rear view as sh e writes on the blackboard and a new student, Tony Baker, whistles at her. Referring to her as doll, Tony subsequently propositions her: Why dont we cut out and go to your pad and live it up, huh? Vi rtually every morning student Walter Denton greets Miss Brooks with some flattering remark. At lunch in the school 7 Ibid., March 13, 1955.
129 cafeteria, Walter gushes: Welcome aboard oh mo st appetizing morsel of Madisons faculty. Your apple-cheeked, cherry-lipped countenance is like meat and drink to my beauty-starved senses.8 So objectified by the male gaze, in Walters eyes Miss Brooks has become consumable. In a less elegant manner, Principal Brill refers to Miss Brooks as a pretty bit of baggage.9 Well aware of these physical judgments Miss Brooks spends time cultivating her appearance, so she can become married. One morn ing she says to her landlady at one breakfast, Ill just have some fruit juice and coffee, Mr s. Davis. If I dont watch my figure now, Mr. Boynton never will.10 Rarely does a male teachers appearance become such an intrinsic part of his professional identity, although in Margie (1946), the high school girls do fawn over their handsome new French teacher, Mr. Fontayne, a nd one of his students, Margie, eventually marries him. The young, attractive Mr. Fontayne cer tainly countered the st ereotype of the old male professor with the pince-nez spectacles and bowtie, the portra it of Prof. Brooks in The Ray Milland Show on television. Expectations for Male Educators Although in the popular m edia female teachers are cast as maternal, male teachers are rarely depicted as paternal, loving fathers in the modern sense. Mary Dalton (2005) observes that in these representations: women teachers are forced into divided lives in which they must focus solely on the welfare of their students to be considered good teachers. a condition that is not the case for male teachers in the movies or in television comedies. [M]ale teachers are allowed to have happy, full lives outside of the classroom and to be heroes at school. (pp. 100-101). 8 Ibid., March 26, 1950. 9 Ibid., February 13, 1949. 10 Ibid., March 20, 1949.
130 The male teachers professional identity is not defined through a domestic role, except perhaps as the assumed head of the household he is ofte n the administrative head of the school. Jackie Blount (2000) notes that in education, [m]en typically hold fatherlike positions in school administration or coaching (p. 83). In a patriarchal system, men are also more likely to be seen in higher paying, more prestigious positions in academia, as principals and college professors. Thus, in the gendered representati on of educators, schools take on the identity of the domestic sphere, where female teachers are in a domicile governed by a mother (matriarchy) [that] is a more restricted, limited, and privat e domain than that of a father (patriarchy), which can extend from an individual household to a nation-stat e (Enomoto, 2000, p. 385). In radio, television, and film, sometimes the female teachers are subjec t to oppositional male pr incipals exerting their royal authority over thei r realm of the school. In the first half of the 20th century, administrative progressives implemented bureaucratized hierarchies to oversee teachers. The consequences of this development persisted well into the postwar era. Davi d Tyack and Elisabeth Hansot (1982) observe how the bureaucratization of education and feminizati on of teaching created unequal gender relations in schools between male administrators and female teachers (p. 181). The dependence on outside experts for curriculum materials and as sessment through standardized testing deskilled many teachers, who merely implemented routine tasks and endured intense workloads with less discretionary time. Appealing to womens ethic of care as part of their gender identity, predominantly male administrators could exact more work, while limiting predominantly female teachers advancement professionally (Hargreav es, 1994; P. Shannon, 1989; Apple, 1986; Tyack & Hansot, 1982).
131 This gender hierarchy informed much of teach er-administrator relationships represented in the popular media in the postwar. In Our Miss Brooks, Principal Conklin capitalizes on Miss Brookss ethic of care by expecting her to assume re sponsibilities beyond teaching. What begins as voluntary servic e to others is transformed in to servitude, as the principal colonizes this teachers personal time with public, professional work (Hargreaves, 1994, p. 109). Conklin often treats Miss Brooks as his own secretary. In a series of episodes, he expects her to help him write a speech for the PT A, to type his teacher convention notes, and to review other reports at his home.11 Mr. Conklin also burdens Miss Brooks with sundry extracurricular activities in addition to her regu lar duty as advisor to the school newspaper, The Madison Monitor. At no increase in salary, the principal places her in charge of the student bank and appoints her the school safety advisor. 12 When the civics teacher becomes ill, Miss Brooks not only takes over her classes, but she must also supervise Student Government Day, when the high school students manage the city.13 The principal even delegates the buying of a new school bus to Miss Brooks and complicat es the task by giving her only 130 dollars for the purchase.14 Mr. Conklin directed both when a nd how her ethic of care would be manifested (Ryan & Terzian, in press, 2009). The principal at Madison High also exemplified a general historical trend in overworking teachers to the point of exhaustion (Tyack & Hansot, 1982; Hoffman, 1981).15 Because the temporal structures of teaching resemble the routines of domesticity in being [f]luid and ubiquitous (Grumet, 1988, p. 86), administrators can exploit 11 Ibid., April 10, 1955; November 12, 1950; January 10, 1954. 12 Ibid., January 30, 1949; October 16, 1949. 13 Ibid., January 16, 1949. 14 Ibid., January 27, 1952. 15 Ibid. December 4, 1955.
132 this work pattern to exact more. Madeleine Grumet (1988) notes that housework and children have required women to accept patterns of wo rk and time that have no boundaries (p. 86), and as a result, when female teachers professi onal identities in the media are defined through domesticity, the demands seem almost endless. Male administrators in the popular media al so assume absolute authority and expect compliance. At Madison High School, Mr. Conklin prides himself on his virtually absolute authority, as he informs Miss Brooks : I happen to be the principa l of this institution, and as I have pointed out in the past, it is within my power to make your life here either pleasant or extremely unpleasant. 16 Expressions of Conklins power include: forcing all faculty members to engage in a hobby, demanding that they arrive early for morning calisthenics, taking credit for Miss Brookss idea for starting a student police fo rce at Madison, and thre atening to close down the newspaper when Walter Denton prints an editorial about teac hers being overworked.17 In Her Twelve Men when Jan Stewart vehemently objects to Dr. Barrett punishing all the boys under her care when they refuse to inform on th e one student who set off the ceiling sprinklers, Dr. Barrett angrily retorts to her: And I will not allow insubordination from anyone! In using the term insubordination, he equates his administra tive authority to that of a military hierarchy, where orders are not to be questioned. As punishment, all the boys are soon scrubbing the gymnasium floor. Conklin simila rly invokes the language of a mona rch, in referring to himself as the ruler and beloved di ctator of Madison High School.18 He decrees a nonfraternization policy between the opposite se xes to reduce the noi se of conversation.19 He 16 Ibid., January 16, 1955. 17 Ibid., January 10, 1954; Ap ril 10, 1949; November 26, 1950; December 4, 1955. 18 Ibid., March 13, 1949; April 22, 1951. 19 Ibid., July 24, 1955.
133 controls teachers person al lives through an edict forbidding them from having their pictures taken by Mr. Laverne of Hollywood, a notorious photographer of cheesecake pictures of cinema starlets.20 Such centralized decision-making pow er follows in the tradition of the authoritative school governance esta blished by earlier administrative progressives in the early 20th century, when they adapted a corporate mode l of efficiency and accountability to schools (Tyack & Hansot, 1982). In The King and I, Mrs. Annas principal is actua lly a hereditary monarch, who has hired her to teach his children about Western ways and knowledge. She declares that she is not his servant, but he does insist th at she have her head lower than his, and she must campaign for a house of her own as promised, when the king initia lly requires her to live in the palace. When she helps him solve a diplomatic problem by sugg esting he host a banquet to impress the British Ambassador, the king fulfills his promise and agrees to build her a separate home. The success of the banquet proves to the European visitors that the king is not a barbarian. Mrs. Anna becomes his teacher of European customs, but this also is not without risk. When the king is about to whip a runaway female slave, she prevents the beating by denouncing it as barbaric. Because of her scientific knowledge and asse rtiveness, other characters often address Mrs. Anna as sir. Although male power is occasionally challenged, traditional hierarchies are ultimately reaffirmed. For the widowed Mrs. Anna, her professional identity as a teacher becomes domesticated through sharing almost wifely advice with the king and her growing love for him. Whatever his shortcomings in her eyes Mrs. Anna still sees him as the King of Siam, the ruler of the palace, th e head of the household. 20 Ibid., October 17, 1954.
134 In the postwar era, being an administra tor was considered an educational position appropriate for a strong, masculine man. Blount (2000) cites a 1946 article in the American School Board Journal that praised the appointment of an appropriate male role model for superintendent: The man selected could not be labeled as an effeminate being. He was a former collegiate athletic hero. His physique was comp arable to any of the mythical Greek gods. He was truly the ultimate in manliness. Th e last, but not least in importance of his personal characteristics, was the fact th at he was married. (citing Leonard, p. 92) Marriage affirmed the heterosexuality and the domestic authority of the male educator and hence a worthy role model as an administrator leadi ng a school. As witnessed by former governor Charley Johnss chairmanship of the Florida Le gislative Investigation Committee in the late 1950s, during the Cold War period homosexuality in education was considered as subversive to democratic ideals as communist infiltration and became reasons for teacher dismissals (Beutke & Litvack, 2000; Harbeck, 1997). In defining ge nder role expectations contemporary media representations of schooling also addresse d the masculinity of male educators. Although male administrators in the popular me dia in the postwar er a demonstrate their authority, male teachers wield little power, wh en power becomes a defining characteristic of masculinity. In a profession dominated by women, male teachers are seen as feminized and hence as weaker men. Daniel Perl stein (2000) observes how the film Blackboard Jungle continues to raise questions about the masculin ity of high school Englis h teacher Mr. Dadier (p. 409). Through the support of G.I. Bill, Mr. Dadier was an English major at a womens college, and the principal at North Manual High School wonders whether he can speak loudly enough to be heard at the back of a classroom (Perlstein, 2000, p. 409). Perlstein points out that when Mr. Dadier brings in a tape recorder to class, Miller refers to it as a cosmetics case. A cynical male teacher at the school argues that th eir purpose is to contain the students, so that
135 women for a few hours a day can walk around the city without getting a ttacked, and yet how can Mr. Dadier be a protective male when he is savagely beaten by a gang of his students? Mr. Dadier, however, is able to save fello w teacher Miss Hammond from being raped by a student, and he does disarm the knife-wielding West and restore order to the domain of his classroom. In Our Miss Brooks, however, it is difficult ever to envision high school biology teacher Mr. Philip Boynton as physica lly assertive. Because Mr. B oynton is so engrossed in the activities of his lab and so lack ing in social skills, Miss Brooks then must become the aggressor in the relationship because he rarely initiates anything. On the middle school level, the soft-spoke n, mild-mannered general science teacher Mr. Peepers is not the strong, masculine type, yet he does court the school nurse Nancy Remington and marries her. The popular press, however, did clearly dis tinguish that the actor Wally Cox was much more rugged than his portray ed character. Unlike Mr. Peepers, this nice, decent little epitome of in effectuality, who is handicapped by being as mild as a rabbit and as shy as a weeping willow, New York Times writer Harry Gilroy furthe r adds that Cox earns the very effectual sum of $1,500 per week (p. SM14). The majority of a Newsweek article demonstrates how Cox differs from Mr. Peep ers by taking flying lessons, working on a metal lathe, dating regularly, playing handball, and ri ding his motorcycle (The Real Mr. Peepers, 1954). Although many articles want to point out similarities between Cox and his character, Cox, himself, appears eager to share also the diffe rences, whether it is his interest in internal combustion engines or building his own hous e in Rockland County, New York (V. Adams, 1952, p. X9). For Look magazine he states, Im more physic al than Mr. Peepers (Mr. Peepers Grows Bold, 1953, p.49). The teacher Mr. Peepers may not be particularly masculine, but the
136 concerted effort not to underestimate the ma sculinity of the actor Cox suggests public perceptions and insecurities concerning the male teachers gender identity. These concerns about sufficient masculinity seem to be heightened when the male teacher instructs younger children. From an historical perspective, Jackie Bl ount (2000) asserts that once teaching transformed into largely a womans profession in the middle of the 19th century, the few men who remained in primary gr ade classrooms to challenge the new gender stereotypes, risked reputati ons as effeminate men, a nd after World War Two school employment became ever-more gende r polarized (p. 83, p. 92). In Her Twelve Men elementary teacher Mr. Hargrave, portrayed by Robert Ryan, is almost over-masculinized so as to be an appropriate romantic match for Jan St ewart, portrayed by Greer Garson. Mr. Hargrave maintains more male power as a teacher in an elite boys school. He instructs the boys in horseback riding and has further authority as head of the lower school. Through his years of teaching experience, he has additional power in being able to influence novice teacher Jan Stewart with his practical ad vice. His gender orientation is made explicit with his dating of attractive women. The film also, no doubt, uses the persona of Robert Ryan, known for his tough guy depictions, to enhance the manliness of this elementary school teacher. The representation of Mr. Hargrave t hus indicates an overcompensation of masculinity to thwart the perceived feminization of male t eachers. Similarly in the film Navajo (1952), the white male elementary English teacher on the reservation is shown as rugge d. He wears a cowboy hat and bomber jacket, gives a new stude nt a pocket knife, and rescues a Native American guide caught in a trap of falling rocks. The media apparen tly project and reflect publ ic concerns about male primary and secondary teachers as gender role models.
137 In depictions of male teachers in higher acad emia, the masculinity of the professors is not as much at issue. Perhaps because few female professors are shown at colleges and universities, teaching at this level is perceived as less femini zed and so effeminate male professors or overly masculine male professors are not represented. People who teach on the college level are also judged as the leaders of their pr ofession and are further valued for the kind of knowledge they possess (H. E. Jones, 1957). Knowledge is meas ured by the advanced degrees professors hold, and the association of the ivory tower with abstract, theoreti cal thinking is seen as more intellectually challenging than th e type of thinking exercised by an elementary or secondary school teacher. Although this hierarchy of knowledge seems unfair, the public perception is that an elementary school teacher thinks on an el ementary level, even though many a college professor would struggle to engage and manage a curious class of kindergartners. All of this cultural capital on the co llege level supports the authority of the male college professor, so essentially in the media his gender identity is not questioned in the way that male teachers are depicted in primary and secondary schools. Yet because the those who can do and those who cant teach assessment reigns in the public consciousness, male teachers in higher academia still have to prove their practical efficacy. Prof. Pomfritt in The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953) is not an effective, engaging teacher. He verbally insults Dobie, who offers a countering opinion about the acceptable use of language. Steadfast in his own views, Prof. Pomf ritt subsequently lectures on the proper use of shall and will. The professor is only partia lly redeemed when he prevents the dean from expelling Dobie, who he thinks is a promising writer. Prof. Pomfritts judgment is called into question, however, when he fails to recognize that Dobies A essay was plagiarized. This negative image of the male prof essor corresponds with Richard Hofstadters (1963) observation
138 about much of the American public in the 1950s disliking and distrustin g intellectuals. When intelligence has pragmatic relevance, however, the male professor can be respected. At first Dr. Barnes in Apartment for Peggy (1948) seems ineffectual in transmitting knowledge in his philosophy lecture, but when he gives students an opportunity to lead discussion through their own inquiry he becomes a much admired teach er. His caring concern for students includes sharing his home for student housing, lending his own books for their learning, and persuading a disillusioned student to complete his education. Such concern enacted demonstrates his personal and professional success. In the popular radio program The Halls of Ivy, Dr. Hall, President of Ivy College and an English professo r, is also shown to be a doer. He is personally involved in helping several students determine career paths, a nd he is an effective fundraiser for the school. If the male teacher is competent in his discipline and is a man of action, then his masculinity remains intact in a profession deemed as feminine. Although the profession of teaching may limit th e male teachers expression of traditional masculinity, for female teachers the more constr aining gender role expectations as wives and mothers means that their professional identity in the postwar era is even further circumscribed. A male teacher in the media is defined primarily by his profession and se condarily according to his single or married status. The female teacher, however, is professionall y defined according to her maternal ethic of care and domesticity, so th at teaching does not expand her sphere but it is instead incorporated into an already narrowly defined gender role. Her personal identity is articulated through a subordinate relation to her husband or futu re husband, and in consequence because her professional identity is fashioned through her personal one, the female teacher is relegated to a subordinate position within academia. Apparently, androcentric social institutions, such as schools, then transform male-female difference into female disadvantage
139 (Bem, 1993, p. 177). In the postwar era the popular media thus pr oject and reinforce a rather conservative life narrative for both se xes, but especially for women. Mary Dalton (2005) assesses the enduring imp act of these media representations of teachers in relation to gender roles: Commercial narratives not only tell women t eachers how other people construct them and rearticulate them as characters on movie and te levision screens, these films and episodic programs also shape the way students and parents respond to teachers and the way teachers respond to public opinion in th e construction of their own lives. Our Miss Brooks may seem dated and Welcome Back, Kotter may seem like a bit of nostalgic fluff, but these stories reproduce and reinforce larg er, gendered patterns that cut across genre and era. This alone makes them meani ngful and powerful narratives worthy of our consideration. (pp. 107-108) When in a recent survey undergraduate sociol ogy students inaccurately attributed higher professorial rank and educational attainment to male college teachers and lower ranks and education levels to female college instructor s (Miller & Chamberlin, 2000), no doubt the media have contributed to the perpetuation of these gender stereotypes upon pub lic perceptions (Miller & Chamberlin, 2000, citing Purcell & Stewart, 1990, and Tetenbaum & Pearson, 1989). The concluding chapter of this study not only summarizes findings, but also discusses the influence of these media narratives upon the profe ssional identities of teachers themselves.
140 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION Summary of Findings Teachers Roles In exam ining teacher images in literature, television and film, previous scholars discovered mostly negative stereotypes. The teache r was often portrayed as an outsider, not fully integrated into the community (Bulman, 2005; Fo ff, 1953). Female teachers were either stern, physically unattractive spinsters or young, pretty schoolmarms on the verge of marriage (Enger, 1974, summarizing Ames, 1930; Gurko, 1953; Foff, 1953). Male college professors were generally absent-minded and impractical (E nger, 1974, summarizing Belok, 1958; Belok, 1961; Lyons, 1962; Schuth, 1972; Umphlett, 1984). Teach ers struggled financially (Erskine, 1951; Carpenter, 1960). Teachers had antagonistic relationships with principals (Enger, 1974, summarizing Charles, 1950; Trousdale, 1994; Sw etnam, 1992; Wells & Serman, 1998; Dalton, 2004). Teachers could even be sexually depraved (Newman, 2001; Bauer, 1998; Polan, 1996; Farber & Holm, 1994a; Burbach & Figgins, 1993; Lyons, 1962). In a positive profile, there was the teacher as a hero, but that imag e too had a negative undercurrent (Bulman, 2005; Weems, 2003). To highlight the teacher-hero, the majority of his/her colleagues were shown as ineffectual and pessimistic (Farhi, 1999). The teacher-hero was also able to save students without much teacher preparation or experience, an accomplishment thus de-professionalizing teac her education and cer tification standards (Considine, 1985). Because it was often a white, middle-class teacher s aving disadvantaged students of color, this teacher image had implicit racism and racial superiority overtones (Wells & Serman, 1998; Lowe, 2001; Reyes & Rios, 2005). Despite the success of an individual teacher, the structural inequities within schools and society remained.
141 In the 1950s, however, there appears to be a more favorable adjustment in perceptions of the teacher. When scholars studie d teacher images in the mid-20th century, they became more equally divided in seeing negative (Enge r, 1974, summarizing Charles, 1950; Gurko, 1953; Schwartz 1960, 1963) and positive (Briggs, 1962; Kauffman, 1962; Nissman, 1965) representations, with some sc holars providing mixed assessments (Erskine, 1951; Enger, 1974, summarizing Deegan, 1951; Foff, 1953) This variation suggests a shift in the pos twar era from a primarily negative trend up until World Wa r Two to a gradually improving depiction immediately after the war. A lthough in the postwar era certain teacher stereotypes continued, this study found the teacher image in radio, tele vision, and film from 1945 to 1959 to be largely very positive across the different media and genr es. Teachers were generous, self-sacrificing moral role models, who had mainly friendly, sup portive relationships with their students. Miss Canfield and Miss Landers try to teach Be aver the difference between right and wrong and the value of an education. Mr. Peepers stays up all night preparing review notes to help his students succeed on a re-test. Very much involved in her studen ts lives outside of class, Miss Brooks also represents thei r interests to Principal Conkli n. Miss Dove helps a Jewish boy from Poland be accepted by his classmates. Dr Hall addresses racism on the Ivy College campus. Dr. Barnes shares his home with a fo rmer veteran pursuing his higher education through the G. I. Bill. Miss Moffat adopts the ill egitimate child of one of her students, so he can attend Oxford University on a scholarship. Miss Williams risks her life to help a student overcome drug addiction. Although the listeni ng and viewing audiences rarely witnessed teachers academic instruction, their pedagogica l expertise was evinced by their students achievements, verbally acknowledged by other charac ters, or regarded as a secondary component
142 of their professional identities. The entertai nment media identified teachers very positively primarily through their actions outside the classroom. Social and cultural contexts of the postwar United States could account for this favorable media image of the teacher. Other scholars ha ve demonstrated how the teacher image evolved according to changing social, political, and economic environments (Briggs, 1962; Ehlers, 1992; Tan, 1999; Umphlett, 1984; Hinton, 1994; Weinstein, 1998; Grobman, 2002). The postwar era with dramatic social transformationsveterans en tering higher education, the rise of suburbia, greater availability of consumer goods, baby boomer attendance in understaffed schools, increased Cold War tensions, school desegrega tionthese and other ch anges seem to have impacted the representation of teachers in the po pular media. With the exception of the film Bright Road (1953), which depicts a black Southern school, teachers of color, however, were missing in these postwar era representations, where the mass media privileged white cultural perspectives and racial prejudice was rarely confronted. When issues of racism, juvenile delinquency, or drug addiction were raised in these media repres entations, teachers were usually demonstrated as effectively responding to such problems. A positive image of American teachers, moreover, aligned with Cold War propaganda of portraying a positive image of the United States. Showing teachers, as embodying and espousing morals, also provided a stability of tradition amid other economic and social cha nges. If progressive educational methods were under attack, the entertainment media assured the public that there were still dedicated teachers instructing youth to be responsible, ethical citizen s. Under societal stresses, people turned to schools as trusted institutions to solve social problems and alle viate anxieties, but often the stability offered by schools was also through their conservative role in the social reproduction of existing norms rather than in transformation. Popular media representations of teachers, which
143 emphasized their social roles as supporters of established morals, coincided with schools apparent socially conservative function. Even th e medias reassertion of traditional gender roles, at a time when they were actually shifting, perhaps offered a comforting sense of familiarity. Depictions of Classroom Learning Conservatism and stability were also revealed in the rare sc enes of classroom instruction in the films and television and radio programs anal yzed in this study. Despite public criticism of progressivism and an ostensible shift in public educational policy towards an essentialist, backto-basics transmission model of instruction, most of the depicted learning environments show teachers employing both progressive and essentialis t strategies. The progressive Jack and the Beanstalk discussion in Mr. Da diers high school English cla ss is preceded and followed by essentialist lessons with gramma r and writing drills. University students learn about journalism by crafting their own articles, bu t Instructor Stone lectures ab out the importance of some fundamental rules and cites authorities such as Kipling and Pulitzer to su bstantiate her position as a source of knowledge. In Dr. Barness ph ilosophy class, students have the opportunity to share inquiries about the nature of the good in an extended conversation with each other, but Dr. Barnes initially planned a lecture. When teac hers and students engage in inquiry, whether it is information-seeking, sense-making or wonderi ng (Lindfors, 1999), instruction aligns with a progressive model. It is unusual, however, for the media to reve al students engaging in dialogue with their peers; the dominant discourse pattern is between the teacher and the student. A transmission model is also implicitly endorsed with the students desks in rows facing the teacher (Eisner, 2002). Students scientific experiments in Dr. Obispo s and Mr. Peeperss classes are really pretender-inquiry events, where the teacher knows the outcomes of the experiments, which are then practice exercises for the students. With progressive and essentialist strategies employed by the same teachers and across the cla ssroom representations, there was not a radical
144 transition towards essentialism in the postwar era depictions of teachers in the act of teaching. Before World War Two, the academic community largely endorsed progressive approaches to learning (Ravitch, 1983), and many leading educat ors in the postwar er a continued to support progressive learning models. When schools are often forces for so cial stabilization rather than change (Tyack & Cuban, 1995), it takes time to en act new initiatives, to abandon one educational model for another. In the postwar United States, the media representations of teachers in their academic roles of perpetuating established e ducational norms thus corresponded to the depictions of teachers in thei r social roles of espousing tr aditional moral values. Gender Role Expectations and Stereotypes At a tim e when more married women were teaching and working outside the home (Rury, 1989; Blount, 2000; Eisenmann, 2006), the t eacher image defined a womans professional identity domestically thr ough motherhood and an ethic of care (Noddings, 1992, 1993), and thus the postwar media further reasserted a traditi onal gender role for teachers. For women, teaching was regarded as preparation for future ro les as wives and mothers. Valued less for their academic instructional expertise, female teachers in the popular media were judged instead according to their ability to attract men and their do mestic ability to administer to others. Erica Stones curvaceous legs are notewort hy; Jane Richards is an able aide for a sick student, and Jan Stewart can make a comforting c up of hot chocolate. For Jan Stewart and Connie Brooks, it was assumed they would abandon their careers upon marri age. Because a womans domestic ethic of care is practically without limits for it is expressed as needed (Noddings, 1992, 1993; Grumet, 1988), Miss Brookss professional workload is almost endless when Principal Conklin capitalizes on her ethic of care with his ex tracurricular demands upon her time. In the popular media images, teaching did not e xpand a womans sphere, but instead was incorporated into an
145 already narrowly defined gender role, where sh e was subordinated to her husband or in a subordinate position within academia. Male teachers were also defined through tr aditional gender roles, but in a largely patriarchal society their professional identity was much less restrictive. In the media sample, women were more likely to be seen teaching in elementary school positions, and with teaching gendered feminine (Apple, 1986; Strober & Tyac k, 1980), men in education needed to express their masculinity through positions of more percei ved power as administrators or as teachers in the higher levels of academia. The masculine strength of the gentle middle school general science teacher Mr. Peepers is suspect, and elem entary school teacher Mr. Hargrave is almost over-masculinized with extra power as head of the lower school, as a frequent dater of attractive women, and as horseback riding in structor at The Oaks School Fo r Boys. Male professors not only need to demonstrate their in tellectual ability but also their practical efficacy. Dr. Barnes offers tangible help to students through lendi ng his books and sharing his home for student housing. Dr. Hall is an effectiv e fundraiser for Ivy College and is instrumental in helping students choose their professional paths. Unlik e female teachers, male teachers still had a separate professional identity that was not delineat ed according to roles as husbands and fathers. Such conservative gender role messages in the popular media perhaps served to provide a psychological sense of stability and aimed to pe rpetuate familiar expectations amid changing work patterns for men and women and social tran sformations, such as the rise of suburbia, increased consumerism, and growing Cold War tensions (Eisenmann, 2006, Chafe, 1991). The Teacher Image and Socio-cu ltural-political Contexts Knowing the social and cultura l con texts of the postwar United States thus helps to explain the popular media depictions of teachers. In the late 1940s, life adjustment courses had been increasingly criticized as in tellectually inadequate, and some were advocating a return to a
146 more academic, college preparatory program in high schools (Gutek, 2000). Anti-communists, such as William F. Buckley, Jr., and educational l eaders, such as historian Arthur Bestor, saw progressivism and life adjustment education as weakening Americas intellectual and moral fibre (J. Brown, 1988). In the interest of national defense, Admiral Hyman Rickover recommended a rigorous academic curriculum to develop an intellect ual elite. The Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957 triggered further anxieties about the ability of U.S. public schools to prepare citizens to win the Cold War. Well before Sputniks launch, how ever, legislators were working on the National Defense Education Act of 1958, which emphasi zed a back-to-basics approach by funding math, science, and foreign language programs a nd teacher training (Gutek, 2000). Criticisms concentrated on the preparation of qualified teach ers. As evinced by articles in professional journals, leading academics still endorsed prog ressive instructional methods and addressed criticisms by proposing better methods for r ecruiting high quality teachers and by improving standards for teacher education, certification, and accreditation. Such curricular concerns are largely absent from the popular media depictions of teachers. In High School Confidential! Miss Arlene Williams is identified as a progressive teacher, and in Blackboard Jungle Richard Dadier visits his former professor, who admits that the teacher training program did not adequately prepare Mr. Dadier to teach at North Manual High School. However, even in these unusual references to pedagogy, both Miss Williams and Mr. Dadier become successful through the positiv e relationships they forge with students. Allowing opportunities for students inquiry in the Jack and th e Beanstalk lesson, in part, facilitates connections with his students, but out side of class Mr. Dadi er has been nurturing a relationship with Miller, who consequently is more ready to be a leading participant in the class discussion. Miss Williams enters students private lives to thwart drug d ealing at her school, and
147 her successful efforts validate her as a t eacher. Across the radio, television, and film representations, audiences know much more about the teachers outside their classrooms than within them, and perhaps writers, directors, and producers felt this knowledge of teachers personal lives would facilitate audience engagement with the teacher characters. With the Mister Peepers program winning a Peabody award in 1952, Eve Arden receiving a 1953 Emmy Award for her portrayal of Miss Brooks, and Blackboard Jungle earning 5.2 million dollars in 1955 ($200,000 more than either East of Eden or The Seven-Year Itch ), the media moguls seemed to know what their audiences wanted to see regarding teacher representations (Sheward, 1997, p. 306; Steinberg, 1980, p. 22). The Media Narrative and Construction of Teacher Identity In the postwar era, the popular m edias charac terization of teachers outside of classroom academics contrasts with how teacher education journals of the period, such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, The American Teacher, Educational Horizons, and The Journal of Teacher Education constructed the professional id entities of teachers. Whereas the popular media focused on the image of self-s acrificing role models, professional journals primarily responded to public cr iticisms of schools by advocating greater academic preparation and higher certification standards for teachers. Discussions of the ethical identity of teachers are rare. This divergence suggest s at least two separate public narratives occurred regarding teachers roles. Perhaps the entertainment medi a were more interested in emotionally engaging the listening and viewing audience of the gene ral public, and concentrating on the non-academic, personal side of teachers was more conducive to realizing this engagement. These professional journals, however, in addressing a very specific audience of academicians wanted to advance the prestige, credibility, and effectiveness of teachin g as a profession. To emphasize the nurturing, the maternal, and the sacrificial could undermin e these efforts because such qualities were
148 ascribed to womens roles in the domestic sphere, uncompensated work considered subordinate to the professional, male-controlled career wo rld. Which of these two potential narratives predominated and were internalized by teachers? Professional Education Journals: The Moral Identity o f Teachers If discussions of teachers and morality occurr ed, it was often in the context of general purposes for schools and not a consideration of teacher preparation. In light of the 1947, 1948, and 1952 U.S. Supreme Court decisions further de fining the separation between church and state ( Everson v. Board of Education McCollum v. Board of Education, and Zorach v. Clauson cases referenced in Johnson, 1956; The Legal Informati on Institute) and the NEA Educational Policies Commissions Moral and Spiritual Values in the Public Schools (1951), several articles addressed the common core of values reflected in schools, searches for tr uth, and the extent of religion taught in public schools (Caswell, 1953; Parsons, 1953; Norton, 1954; Van Dusen, 1954; Medina, 1955; Phenix 1955; Johnson, 1956). In 1947, aligning himself with Deweys progressivism, Prof. F. Ernest Johnson of Teachers College, Colu mbia University, believed in the spiritual purpose of education to focus the attention of youth on what they are to be rather than on what they are to have (p. 376). Prof. John L. Childs (1947), also of Teachers College, asserted that democracy has a spiritual regard for the dignity of each individual and that our system of common schools has re sponsibility for fostering that sense of justice, equality, and community without which democracy becomes a matter of empty form (p. 371). Harold O. Soderquists review in The American Teacher magazine of Childss 1950 book Education and Morals demonstrates that the moral function of schooling continued to be a prominent educational goal early in the postw ar. Soderquist even connected Education and Morals to progressive approaches by stating that Childs book in its basic reasoning is in the tradition of John Dewey and is in spirit, a sequel to Democracy and Education (Soderquist, 1950, p. 11).
149 In 1952, William H. Kilpatrick affirmed that edu cation must in appreciably greater and more effective degree seek as its crucial essence the mora l and spiritual values of life (p. 266). At the 1954 commencement of the Rhode Island College of Education, U.S. Circuit Judge Harold R. Medina declared that public school teachers ha ve a solemn obligation to teach students: spiritual values, not only so that they may become good citizens of America, but also so that they may enrich their lives, develop thei r innate capacities, and exercise the right set forth in the Declaration of Independence to the pursuit of happiness. (Medina, 1955, p. 205). With progressivism increasingly under attack during the later 1950s, this moral component for education became less important in favor of a more rigorous, academic program in schools. During World War Two and in the early ye ars of the postwar period, primary and secondary schools stressed character education an d citizenship, but in the 1950s moral education programs in schools became undermined by competing interests and goals (McClellan, 1999). Historian B. Edward McClellan (1999) observes that advocates for moral education in schools grew divided according to those favoring a more re ligious component that a dopted an essentialist transmission of transcendent values versus others, who suppor ted progressive notions about the evolution of values (p. 72). Character edu cation programs thus lost coherence because of conflicting means and ends. Public opinion also changed; many people felt that family homes and churches were better venues for addressing moral issues than schools. As the Cold War intensified, personal moral edu cation was further subordinated to a curriculum of anticommunism teachings, and schools focused less on the whole child and instead emphasize[d] high-level academic and cognitive skills (McC lellan, 1999, p. 73). The prevalent debates in professional education journals about teacher recruitment and prepara tion, certification, and school accreditation reflect this shift in inte rests toward improving academic standards.
150 Education journals, however, also occasionally ad dressed the ethical iden tity of teachers. The Executive Secretary of the California Te achers Association, Ar thur Corey (1955), acknowledged Professional Ethics as one of fi ve areas, where professional standards are needed (p. 227). In a survey of 3,109 Indiana high school students about teacher behaviors, Beeman N. Phillips (1955) of the Indiana Depart ment of Public Instruc tion reported that most disapproved of teachers publicly drinking, smok ing, and swearing, but male teachers were allowed more latitude in these activities. T eachers could date, although students generally gave women teachers more freedom to have dates and to attend dances, and male teachers more freedom to date students (though stil l not approving of this activity) (p. 297). For Phillips, the survey demonstrated that the majority did feel that the teacher should set an example for others and should exemplify the highest moral standard s of the community (p. 299). Popular media representations apparently validated such audiences views about the mo ral identity of the teacher. Scholarly analyses of teachers as moral role models were overshadowed, however, by more pressing professional concer ns about curriculum standards. Professional Education Journ als: Responses to Criticis ms of Public Schooling In the postwar United S tates, a need for qualified teachers existed, when schools faced increasing responsibilities amid challenges. During World War Two to address shortages of educational professionals, some teachers were given abbreviated preparation and emergency certification, and these practices continued after 1945 when the num bers of students increased in classrooms, while many adults entered more lucra tive and/or more prestigious professions than teaching (Growing up professionally, 1952; Ga ns, 1945). Public school education became vulnerable to criticism. Wilbur Yauch (1959) argued that for two decades, with the most virulent attack in the past ten years, warfa re existed between professional educators and their critics (p. 120). Charges had been made that public education was deviating grievously
151 from its traditional responsibilities (p. 120). Answ ering Arthur Bestors criticisms of education professors as responsible for public schools fa ilure to intellectually prepare students, Earl Cunningham (1959) of State Teachers College in Kirksville, Missouri, remained defensive in attacking Bestors assertions as overgenera lizations without evidence. John Susky (1959), assistant professor of education and philosophy at Kansas State College, Pittsburg, added that Bestor often appealed to emotion instead of r eason in his arguments and oversimplified. For Karl Bigelow of Teachers College, Columbia Univer sity, Bestors advocacy of strict, intellectual education in the liberal arts demonstrated t he narrowness of his ideas about purposes for schools and how Bestor grossly underestimate[d] the quantity a nd quality of special knowledge and skill that good teaching requires (1954, pp. 20-21). Addressing Admiral Rickovers recommendations for public schools, Richar d Miller (1959), Un ited Nations observer (Committee on International Rela tions, National Education Asso ciation), noted how Rickover also oversimplified complexities, made factua lly inaccurate statements, misrepresented John Deweys views, and failed to recognize how ot her European countries were modifying their traditional classic study course and were adop ting elements of Americas educational model (p. 354). Feeling similarly embattled, Asahel Wo odruff, Dean of the College of Education at Brigham Young University, commented: Recently there have been a number of pronouncemen ts to the effect that education is too important to leave to profe ssional educators. [and] there seems now to be a growing conviction that teacher educati on is too important to leave to departments or colleges of education. (1958, p. 244) Criticisms, however, resulted in educational professiona ls acting to change perceptions and to improve teacher education. Throughout the 1950s, debates among scholars in tensified about methods for raising the status of teachers through bette r recruitment, preparation, certif ication, and salaries (Herrick,
152 1956; Norris, 1957; W. A. Shannon, 1957; Stinne tt, 1957; Von Schlichten, 1958a; Elsbree, 1959). Ruth Willard (1954), assistant professor of education at the University of Oregon, urged interdisciplinary programs to help future teachers to understand better the family and community environment of their students a nd to see their own work in relation to the practitioners and researchers in the different disciplines (pp. 252-253). Dr. Charles E. Hamilton (1959), of the California Teachers Association, believed that to pr epare teachers the departments of academic disciplines should be upgraded along with university departments of education. In providing a liberal arts foundation fo r teachers, however, the learning of the technical skills of methods should not be overlooked, and Hamilto n proposed five-year programs to accommodate more comprehensive studies (p. 359). Perceiving the need to prepare similarly both elementary and secondary school teachers, teacher educator s supported the integration of subject matter, liberal arts knowledge with knowledge of in structional methods (Snyder, 1952; Keppel, 1952; Schaefer, 1953; Woodring, 1955; Herrick, 1956; S. M. Corey, 1958; Von Schlichten, 1958b; W. G. Carr, 1959). To address increased educ ational requirements, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Edu cation (NCATE) in 1957 recommended four years of teacher preparation with a fifth year emphasizing subject-matter concentr ation and further professional education after a year or more of full-ti me teaching (Armstrong, 1957, p. 242). In reporting results of the Twelfth National Conference on Higher Educa tion, Asahel Woodruff (1958) demonstrated the continuing resolve of leadi ng educators to take c ontrol of strengthening professional standards. The curriculum for teacher programs should include solid foundation work in humanities, social studies, physical a nd biological sciences, fine and manipulative arts, and recreational activities with future elem entary school teachers also receiving enough solid work in child development and principles of teaching (Woodruff, 1958, p. 243). Moreover, any
153 changes in programs should be based on sound re search-tested findings, and Woodruff called for such research because there was lack of c onsensus on how to choose high caliber education students, what were the most important qualities in a good teach er, and how best to prepare them. In 1959, the National Commission on Teacher Education and Professional Standards, under the direction of Dr. Margaret Lindsey of Teachers College, Columbia University, began working on a project assessing (1) advancement of professional standards, (2) teacher education, both preand inserv ice, (3) accreditation, (4) certification, a nd (5) identification, selective admission and retenti on of professional personnel (L indsey, 1961, p. viii; Stinnett, 1959; Angus, 2001). Such curriculum debates, ho wever, were largely absent from the popular media narratives of teachers in the 1950s. Considerations for Assessing Competing Teacher Narratives in the P ostwar Era Non-print media of radio, television, and f ilm in the postwar era tell mostly positive narratives about the image and prac tice of teachers, but primarily outside of academic contexts. How do these media narratives impact teachers in classrooms? What elements of the media narratives do teachers incorporate and reject in the narratives that they construct about their professional identities? In th e 1950s, which narratives had mo re influence on teachers: the entertainment media representations of teachers or the news media coverage of criticism of public schools? How do these media and persona l narratives interact with larger social narratives, such as the purposes for schools and gender role expectations? Constructing Meaning Through Narrative Because we m ake meaning out of our lives through the telling of stories, narrative analysis provides the means for comprehendi ng how and why we represent and construct conceptions of teachers through mass media narratives, personal na rratives by teachers, students, and administrators, and the histor ical narratives that aim to interpret them all. Multiple
154 definitions of narrative further allow various structures for positioning our identities in relation to these texts, and the trustworthiness of these narr atives rests on their ab ility to offer sufficient coherence within our ideologica l frames (Goffman, 1974/1986). Because of the evolving sociocultural contexts in which we create narratives, th ese texts are often revised as new information is either accommodated or exclud ed by our adjusted frames. Ev en if the teacher images are fixed within the media of ra dio, television, and film, we rene gotiate their na rrative meaning through our changing perspectives. The content of these narratives embodies ideologies, and to achieve coherence any narrative revisions will need to conform to existin g frames or become part of a newly modified frame. Through reconstruction, texts provide evidence of ongoing processes such as the redefinition of social relationshi ps between professionals and publics, the reconstitu tion of social identities and forms of self, or the reconstitution of knowle dge and ideology (Fairclough, 1995, p. 209). Such scripts, dominant discourses, or master narratives can inform media images of teachers in an idealized, stereotypical, or otherwise unrealistic way. In defining Miss Brookss professional iden tity as a caring mother figur e towards her students, the Our Miss Brooks program advocated a restrictive gender role for women. In one episode Miss Brooks even forgoes teaching on Monday to care for the younger siblings of one of her students.1 Would a teacher realistically have done this in the postwar United States? Ideologies about teaching methods can also inform the medi a depictions of classrooms and the expected teacher role. The furniture arrangement of stude nts desks in rows facing Mr. Peeperss desk anticipates a traditional transmission model of instruction, where this gene ral science teacher is considered the source of knowledge (Eisner, 200 2). In fact, all th e demonstrations and 1 Our Miss Brooks (radio), November 14, 1948.
155 experiments occur on the symbolic territory of Mr. Peeperss desk. Ideologi es that participate in the programs narratives can even be reinfo rced by accompanying commercials. Recognizing the female audience demographics for Our Miss Brooks, sponsors advertised Palmolive soap, Lustre Crme shampoo, and other home and beauty products, which were typically purchased by female consumers and offered ways to enhan ce appearances to attract men. Miss Brooks, herself, was always interested in capturing Mr. Boyntons romantic interest, and so the advertised products coincided well w ith the programs narrative messages. Responding to the Media Narratives of Teachers Because the m edia project [m]aster na rratives through which and, importantly, against which individuals compose the personal unders tandings of their lives (Daiute & Lightfoot, 2004, p. 178), narrative analysis can help us to di scover how teachers percei ve their identities in relation to the viability of thes e representations. In a study of life narratives by artists, Mark Freeman (2004) observes that some artists had bought into a myth about the struggling genius, at odds with the world, [and] that had actually stunted their creativity (p. 69). The construction of narratives through the media im age of educators can influence how teachers define their own roles. When Mr. Peepers, desp ite a worsening cold, stay s up all night to revise his teaching notes to help his students succeed on a re-test, do teachers accept this narrative of personal sacrifice as an inherent as pect of their prof essional identity?2 In 2003-2004, seventyfive percent of public school teachers were wo men, but their reasons for entering the profession could be very different from the women in th e immediate postwar era, because forty-eight percent of public school princi pals now were also women (N ational Center for Education Statistics, 2006). Rather than conforming to traditional gender role expectations, women 2 Mister Peepers February 1, 1953.
156 entering teaching currently may define their pr ofessional choices differently. Lisa Smulyan (2004) notes that in a longitudina l study of the career choices of 28 women at an elite college, some decided to enter teaching for the opportunity to promote social ju stice, perhaps thereby redefining what it means to be a teacher by ta king the gendered notion of care into a more public arena (p. 529). Through thematic analysis within and across the media narratives and the narratives created by teachers, future research co uld reveal the ideological, motivational, and idiosyncratic meanings individuals and groups attach to words, relationships, symbols, and institutions related to schools (S tewart & Malley, 2004, p. 225). Such analysis can also disclose how personal narratives are renegotiated w ithin such frames based upon new knowledge (Goffman, 1974/1986). Self-understanding depends on our ability to co nstruct a narrative a nd to tell a story (Murray, 2003, citing Sarbin, 1990, p. 97), and such narratives furnish truths that are open for revision. New information and the accommodation of disconfirming evidence lead to a new synthesis that will no doubt be challenged in the future. This process nurtures growth in our understanding and learning. Rather than imposing an artificial construction on reality, Jerome Bruner (1990) observes how we innate ly organize experience narratively to make sense of our lives and that cu lture soon equips us with new powers of narration through the traditions of telling and interpreting (pp. 79-80; see also D. Carr, 1986b). As a narrative, mass media reflect and shape cultural no rms, thus becoming not only a forum for negotiating and renegotiating meaning and for exp licating action, but also a set of rules or specifications for action (Bruner, 1986, p. 123). When histor ians and discourse an alysts construct and deconstruct media and personal narratives, they e ngage in a process that individuals negotiate everyday to discover multiple truths about their li ves and their world. As students in schools, we
157 construct our identities through the academics, athletics, a nd other extracurricular activities directed by our teachers. While these educators inform our persona l narratives about our strengths and weaknesses, media images of teach ers further influence how we evaluate their judgments. These same media images, however, also affect how teachers see themselves. Prof. Willard Elsbree of Teachers College, Columbia University, observed in 1959: We need a Lionel Barrymore to do for teaching what he did for the medical profession by portraying physicians (in the Dr. Kildare pictures) in a light which made the job challenging and appealing. Instead we get a M ilquetoast character like Mr. Peepers or an odd ball, even though lovable, like Mr. Chips. (p. 334) Better publicity in the media improves public per ceptions of the profession and teachers own sense of efficacy. By analyzi ng the non-print narratives about te achers in the popular media and teachers constructions of narra tives in response to them, we can also come to recognize how these role models influence our very sense of self. Using Media Narratives in Teacher Education Recognizing the influence of these media narratives upon self-concepts, scholar researchers have used film s about teachers to pr omote the reflections of pre-service teachers about their professional identitie s and instructional pr actices. Employing such films for teacher education purposes, Angela Raimo, Roberta Devlin -Scherer, and Debra Zinicola (2002) declare: The value of analyzing teacher behaviors is not to prescribe one kind of good teaching but to engage in critical thinking about a variety of roles responsive to different social and cultural environments (p. 321). Acknowle dging the effect of watching the wacky caricature of a teacher in Our Miss Brooks and the very motherly schoolteacher in Leave It To Beaver Diane Brunner (1994) in her childhood dreamed of becoming a teacher, and in the afternoons she would pretend to be a teacher while a friend of hers was the student (p. 113). Informed by the critical theories of Henry Gir oux and Paulo Freire, Brunner believe s that much of our work in
158 teacher education becomes a matter of helpi ng student-teachers unlearn harmful images of teachers and schooling by offering opportunities to cr itique inequitable structures (p. 115). In a teacher education program, she uses Washington Irvings The Legend of Sleepy Hollow story to illustrate the dominant/subordinate relati onship schoolmaster Ichabod Crane has with his students, and this narrati ve then fosters these pre-service teachers thoughts about control and respect in the classroom (p. 116). They also examine depictions of teachers control in such texts as Charles Dickenss Nicholas Nickleby and Evan Hunters The Blackboard Jungle and such films as The Chocolate War and Lean on Me. As a counternarrative, Thomas Lasley, II (1998) reports that film images of excellent teachers model the paradigm shifts educators make in transforming their instructional practices by movi ng outside themselves and into the minds of their students ( 1). Mr. Holland in Mr. Hollands Opus Ms. Johnson in Dangerous Minds and Mr. Escalante in Stand and Deliver exemplify good reflective practice when they recognize why their teacher-controlled instru ctional paradigm does not work and switch to a student-centered learning paradigm. Comparable ped agogical breakthrough[s] occur in Blackboard Jungle and To Sir With Love when the teacher changes from an ins titutional opponent of his students to an ally and accomplice of these same students (L eopard, 2007, p. 37). Such films could then be effective in educating pre-serv ice and novice teachers because [ i]n real classrooms far too many teachers refuse to make the shift, and far too ma ny administrators fail to encourage it (Lasley, 1998, Threats to Paradigm Shifts section, 1). In teacher preparation programs, Hollywood films can help future educators examine their beliefs and perceptions of teachers, construct espoused platforms about their own educational philosophies, and enact instructional methods that ali gn with their educational goals. For the pre-service teachers he supervises, Jame s Trier (2001) offers scenes from the films
159 The Principal, 187, and The Substitute to explore his students perceptions of inner city schools. In using film to examine the representations of teachers professional and personal lives, one of Triers teacher education students responded to To Sir, With Love by wishing that she could give as much time to [her] work as a teacher as Sir did (p. 132), and other students worried about public expectations about teachers not having personal lives and that they should be completely dedicated to their pr ofessions. After also viewing Conrack, Stand and Deliver, and Dangerous Minds, another student questioned the message being sent about teachers, who are naturally gifted as practitioners without needing teacher training and who are expected to save students. Through clips from Dangerous Minds and 187, Dierdre Paul (2001) similarly helped graduate teacher education students develop thei r critical media literacy skills in examining Hollywood constructions of gender, race, and et hnicity. Also recognizing the power of the films narrative to engage viewers, Carla Shaw and Deborah Nederhouser (2005) share activities and discussion questions about cinematic teacher portrayals to promote educational philosophy reflections in a graduate course, The Portraya l of Teachers in Film. Shaw and Nederhouser (2005) argue that [w]hen real teac hers vicariously experience the stories of reel teachers, they also come to perceive the narrative threads in their own professional lives, and they zero in on their identities as teachers (p. 86). Although pre-service te acher-education students were critically aware of how Hollyw ood constructed teacher identitie s, Jeff Rosen (2004) discovered that these future educators still wished to conf orm to the media idealizations and the films still instigated anxieties about their teaching abil ities. Because images of Miss Brooks and Mr. Dadier still resonate in th e public consciousness, the past ve ry much informs the present and deserves study within histori cal and cultural contexts.
160 In sharing popular media images of educators with pre-service teacher s, teacher educators must also help to develop the skills of the vi ewers to analyze these media as texts. Taking a literary explication approach, Ulrich Wicks (1983) advocates film study in school to help students critique films as they would written texts in a literatu re classroom. For Wicks, the influence of media images on our conscious ness warrants such cr itical attention: Films and television provide such ready-made images, to the extent that we project them onto the events of our real lives, which may be very different and unique; we become, not controllers of our liv es, but an audience to them. (p. 54) Giving students the means to analyze the media puts them back in control and prevents them from becoming victims of the rhetorical manipulat ion (p. 55). Without the tools and skills for analyzing the media representations of educators, the pre-servi ce teachers in a teacher-education program would benefit less from using these media as a repertoire of ex periences for developing teacher reflection practices. Media analysis could help teacher-education students see how teacher representations can be composed through a films lighting, music, and camera angles, so they can see how characters get constructed. Limitations of Current Study and Venues for Future Research Media Sources Although this study incorporated a range of m edia depictions (radio, television, and film) and a diversity of genres (comedy, drama, scienc e-fiction horror, musical, etc.) to explore the image of teachers from the elementary through the college levels, the study could be further expanded through additional radio and television ep isodes and feature films. Because the same patterns and themes kept emerging from the da ta selected for this study, such saturation contributed to validity. However, one limitation of this study was not differentiating how each of the media of radio, television, a nd film might have affected teac her representations. Instead of focusing on transcripts of these media productions and analyzing them narratively as written
161 texts, for future research studying the aesthetic fe atures of the teacher representations might help to elucidate how a particular medium impacts the image. Among methodological approaches, discourse, thematic, and content analyses have be en used to assess teacher images, and another possibility could be the applica tion of visual analysis to disc uss the aesthetic features of television and film representations (Harrah, 1954). Such analysis could yield insights about the strengths and weakness of differe nt media in revealing a teachers character within varied parameters for developing settings and plots. A television episode may be constrained by time and setting in a half-hour format, but a teacher s character could evolve through the series. Whereas a film may offer more diverse settings a nd a two-hour block of time in one viewing for a more intricate plot, this time frame is the only opportunity to realize th e teacher character fully. For future research, it might also be inte resting to study the te acher image in one academic level and/or in other media. Some sc holarship, including that of Ronald Butchart and B. Lee Cooper (1987) and Kevin Brehony (1998), ha s focused on the image of teachers in rock and roll and popular music, and this genre offers many further avenues for analysis. Additional examination of teacher images in the popular press of magazines and newspapers and on the internet could also be fruitful for understanding public percepti ons of teachers and the roles of schools. Genres Although one of the strengths of this study involved recognizing comm on themes about the teacher image across a variety of genres, and additional genres su ch as westerns and mysteries could be studied, it would also be wo rthwhile to explore in detail a single genre regarding the teacher image. In focusing on narrative themes across the genres, all the different genres were analyzed similarly, so that one limitation of this study was not considering that certain methodologies might be more appropriate for particular genres. Instead, comedies and
162 dramas both shared the treatment of content, di scourse, and narrative anal yses. Future studies may decide, for example, to use visual analysis for a televised situa tion comedy, if the humor relies more on physical comedy rather than on verbal joke-telling. Another limitation was that al l the radio and television imag es of teachers were from situation comedies (with a majority of these episodes from the Our Miss Brooks radio and television programs), and the demands of this genr e and its over-representation in this study may have affected findings. Extended examples of wondering inquiry were only found in film dramas, such as Apartment for Peggy (1948) and Blackboard Jungle (1955). Because inquiry may often be on a serious topic a nd require extended time to develop, these inquiry features may conflict with the situat ion comedys need for humor with qui ck repartee in a brief half-hour format. It might also be produc tive to consider if and/or w hy the teacher image in radio and television was more prevalent in the situa tion comedy. Are school contexts and teacher characters richer sources for humor rather than fo r serious dramatic consid erations? Is situation comedy more likely to promote a friendly, intimate portrait of a teacher? Are audiences laughing with the teacher or at the teacher? Would a serious drama command more respect for the teaching profession? No doubt in the postwar Un ited States there were some serious teacher representations in select episodes of such highly-ra ted television programs as Fireside Theatre (NBC), Philco Television Playhouse (NBC), Kraft Television Theatre (NBC), Ford Theatre (CBS, NBC, ABC), General Electric Theatre (CBS) and Goodyear Television Playhouse (NBC, The TV IV, 2007). With many of these anthology formats performed live, their av ailability as source material for study may be more limited th an the situation comedies, but future research might lead to new insights about the teacher image in television dramas, which were not addressed by this study.
163 Cultural Contexts Because th is study focused on the postwar period of 1945 to 1959 to assess any shifts from progressive to essentialis t philosophies in media depicti ons, additional research might address other time periods and relate educational po licies to representations in the popular media. Moreover, cross-cultural comparisons of projected images of teachers could further delineate the American identity of the teacher. Such a st udy could update George Gerbners (1966) research on the popular media images of teachers from 1961 to 1963 in the U.S., Western and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. Although in th e postwar media examined for this study the majority of teachers were depicted as white a nd middle class, other studies could explore how representations of teachers of ot her races and classes in other d ecades impact the projected image of the teacher. Although many studies emphasize teacher-student relati onships, within such contexts scholars could concentrate on either teacher-parent, teacher -teacher, or teacheradministrator relationships as well. To understand the cultural contexts for the media images, scholars could further examine teacher education materials and teacher journals of the time to discove r among the leaders of academia the anticipated roles of teachers and explain any compatibilities and contradictions between these academic views of teachers and the media representations. Conference paper presentations, widely distributed teacher e ducation textbooks, course syllabi, teacher union records, etc. could be useful resources revealing perceptions of teacher roles within academia, but one would have to address any disjuncture between educational theory and classroom practice. Audience Reception More work also needs to be done evalua ting the im pact of these media images upon audiences. Although it is genera lly accepted among scholars that the broadcast media reflect and
164 shape public attitudes, it is di fficult to determine causal rela tionships. The popularity of a television program or film might have little to do with the portrayal of th e teacher or the school. The genre, the fame and likeability of the actor s, the other competing programs and films vying for audience attention, the non-e ducational subplots, etc. may co mplicate audience attitudes, so that ratings and box office earnings may not be accurate indicators of pub lic satisfaction with teacher portrayals. Neither does critical acclai m always coincide with wider audience approval or disapproval. De spite high ratings for Our Miss Brooks where Variety reported the radio program reaching the eleventh and seventh ranks in the Nielsen ratings and Hooperratings, The English Journal in 1949 was initially critical of the teacher portrayal as unrealistic and denigrating to the professi on (Nielsens Newest Top 20, 1949, p. 22; Hoopers Top 15 and the Opposition, 1949, p. 27; About Radio, 194 9, pp. 239-240). In a conference paper, Steven Thomsen (1993) reports that results of Gallup and Phi Delta Kappa polls about public teachers and schools from 1969 to 1990 seemed to correlate highly with the contemporary film portrayals of teachers. Because respondents who had connections to teachers and schools evaluated American schools better than those respondents without intimate familiarity, Thomsen suggests that the negative film representations could possibly account for the lower ratings of teachers and schools by non-particip ants in education. Thomsen, however, does not assert any decisive causality or the extent of the media influence: It is difficult to measure the size of the effectwhether it is one of reinforcement or cultivationbut the belief that some effect exists has face validity (p. 24). Through written surveys and interviews of teachers and their students and through videotaped classroom observations as part of a case study, one could assess in a future study how teachers intern alize media messages and co mport themselves in their classrooms according to their perceived frames (Dyson & Genishi, 2005; Goffman, 1974/1986).
165 Also interesting would be the development of possible counternarratives by teachers, who oppose certain media depictions. Accurately measuring the impact of the broadcast media continues to be an opportunity for research. Final Thoughts Because future study of the m edia image of the teacher is rich with varied possibilities regarding media sources, genres, cultural contex ts, audience reception, and analytical methods, much more can be learned about pu blic expectations for the roles of teachers and the purposes of schools and about how teachers cons truct their own professional iden tities in relation to popular representations. The frequency of the teacher image in postwar radio, television, and film endures today from the ABC networks Miss Guided to the film Freedom Writers (2007) and this persistence attests to the impact of teachers upon our lives and self-perceptions. Thus, words from Chancellor Marshs 1952 addr ess to the Massachusetts Stat e Federation of Teachers are just as currently relevant: The teaching profession occupies a central place in social influence. It offers a threefold opportunity to serve. It is not the exclusive factor, but it is a mighty important one in interpreting the past, in preserving the presen t, and in determining the future. (p. 9) Popular media images of teachers capture past presents that resonate today and tomorrow. The lessons learned from analyzing these images w ill linger beyond the final bell of the school day. When I think about my own teachers, what I generally remember is not a particular lesson taught, but their personaliti es, their relationships with st udents, and how I felt in their classrooms. These are the memories that linger. Although it is important that teachers have knowledge of their subject matter and expertise in inst ructional methods, th eir characters and values as role models can have an even more enduring impact. A teachers moral example can shape students characters throughout their lives. It makes sense that the popular media in the
166 postwar era would characterize teachers through th eir personal relationships and extracurricular activities. After all, some of the best lessons are learned outside the classroom.
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193 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Patrick Andrew Ryan was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up with his older brother in the suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a B.A. degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 and an M.A. degree in English language and literature from the University of Virginia in 1994. After teachi ng full-time for ten years in Catholic schools in Maryland and Florida, Ryan ente red the doctoral program in curri culum and instruction at the University of Florida in the fall of 2004. This study, as partial fulfillmen t of the Ph.D. degree, incorporates his interest in vi ntage television and film that began in childhood with enjoying such programs as I Love Lucy and Father Knows Best on WTTG, Channel 5.