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The Hollywood Curriculum

Teachers in the Movies – Third Revised Edition


Mary M. Dalton

The third edition of this book analyzes over 165 films distributed throughout the United States over the last 80 years to construct a theory of curriculum in the movies that is grounded in cultural studies and critical pedagogy. The portrayal of teachers in popular motion pictures is based on individual efforts rather than collective action and relies on codes established by stock characters and predictable plots, which precludes meaningful struggle. These conventions ensure the ultimate outcome of the screen narratives and almost always leave the educational institutions – which represent the larger status quo – intact and dominant. To interrogate "the Hollywood curriculum" is to ask what it means as a culture to be responsive to films at both social and personal levels and to engage these films as both entertaining and potentially transforming.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Dalton, Mary M., author. Title: The Hollywood curriculum: teachers in the movies / Mary M. Dalton. Description: Third revised edition. | New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Series: Counterpoints: studies in criticality; Vol. 495 | ISSN 1058-1634 Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016050898 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3085-4 (paperback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3885-0 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-3887-4 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-3886-7 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Teachers in motion pictures. | Education in motion pictures. Classification: LCC PN1995.9.T4 D36 2017 | DDC 791.43/652372—dc23 DOI 10.3726/978-1-4331-3885-0 LC record available at

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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