Thursday, May 21, 2020

About a Teacher (Robert Pondiscio) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

About a Teacher (Robert Pondiscio) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

About a Teacher (Robert Pondiscio)


Robert Pondiscio, author of How The Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, And The Battle Over School Choice, is senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.” This appeared in Education Next May 7, 2020
Few vocations have suffered more in the hands of Hollywood mythmakers than teaching. This is curious. Schools offer a familiar and fertile setting, and teaching is inspiring, aspirational work. There is rich potential for drama in student backstories or in a good teacher’s ability to change a child’s life trajectory. And say all you want about how teachers should be the guide on the side not the sage on the stage, there is a performative aspect to teaching that ought to lend itself to character-driven, compelling storytelling.
All of the elements are there. So why is it so hard to make a good teacher movie?
Mostly, it’s because, when the subject is school, filmmakers have never been able to resist swinging for three-run homers with one man on base. The clich├ęs are legion: the inspiring maverick (Dead Poet’s Society) who unlocks the hidden brilliance of rowdy students (Stand and Deliver) while pushing back doggedly against the system’s low expectations (Lean on Me). Even worse is the subgenre of white savior teacher movies (Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds) set in CONTINUE READING: About a Teacher (Robert Pondiscio) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice