Interdisciplinary Research in Histories of Education and Childhood (DOMUS) Seminar Series 2011-2012
Speaker: Dr Nicholas Johnson, University of Birmingham.
Teachers are required to be reflective practitioners: that is, they must constantly assess and evaluate their performance, and its effectiveness. In addition, of course, they come under intense scrutiny from government, through the Office for Educational Standards (OFSTED), parents and pupils, and schools’ performance may be regarded critically in the government’s league tables. However, what of the way the public look at teachers? Teachers and schools may be read about in newspapers, comics and journals, discussed on television and the radio; they may even fall foul of social networking sites on the Internet. Popular films may be regarded as ninety-minute essays, presented dramatically for the entertainment of their audiences; the teacher or school film has been a staple of popular cinema in this country for almost eighty years.
However, the representations of teachers in British films have tended to retain a continuity of message despite the many changes that have taken place in education over this period. This paper looks at those representations, and changes in British education, and proposes connections between education history and films, using the latter as artefacts with which we may critically reflect upon the profession.
Cost: Free of Charge