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Questions of (re)production and legitimation: a second screening of three films on teacher-student relations

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This study considers three Hollywood films that take, as their subject, a teacher-hero confronted with a 'problem' group of students and, as their narrative, the rehabilitation of these students and the resolution of their problems. Employing a Bourdieuian analysis, we attempt a second screening of these films on two levels: first, by stepping inside these celluloid classrooms, so to speak, and narrating a different text, one that is spoken from the position of students and which challenges each film's portrayal of good people achieving fine things; and secondly, by screening for gaps in their accounts of schooling, exposing their limited frames of reference and their legitimacy to speak on behalf of authentic classrooms. The first of these projects is undertaken as a way of challenging teachers and interested others to be wary of uncritical readings of popular images of teaching, whereas the second provides a beginning from which to consider how teachers' pedagogy and school curricula can be informed by a radical democratic view of education - how teachers might embrace the foreign.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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