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Effective or Wise?

Teaching and the Meaning of Professional Dispositions in Education


Edited By Julie A. Gorlewski, David A. Gorlewski, Jed Hopkins and Brad J. Porfilio

In our work as educators, we all aspire to be effective. We also aspire to be wise. If teachers are to represent and advocate for education, we must become the stewards of a discourse that nurtures education’s possibilities. This book explores how teacher dispositions are defined, developed, cultivated, and assessed. The authors in the volume consider the various and interconnected ways in which educators’ values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are performed and how these performances affect experiences and practices of learning. This text investigates complex questions, such as: How should teachers be? and Who should decide how teachers should be? In different ways, all the chapters in this book invite us into the work of reinvigorating educational discourse. The contributors contradict the idea that wisdom is the province of the lone genius who possesses knowledge that is obscure to the majority. Instead, they ask us all to participate in the necessarily collaborative endeavor of discourse stewardship in – as grand as it may sound – the pursuit of wisdom.


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Section One: Myths, Lies, and Videotape


s e c t i o n o n e Myths, Lies, and Videotape Practicing in the Panopticon Teaching and Learning in the Surveillance Media Culture julie gorlewski, david gorlewski, and catherine lalonde i n t r o d u c t i o n Like many educators, we embody our art, our craft, and our profession. We never stop thinking about teaching and learning—and thinking about how education influences, and is influenced by, the cultural constructions of identity and society that occur in everyday experiences. In this chapter, we explore the intersections among popular media culture, professional dispositions, and the field of education. Specifically, we investigate how selected reality television programs (Frontline: The Education of Michelle Rhee, the complete seven-episode run of Teach Tony Danza, and three episodes of Undercover Boss) portray the notion of professionalism, and how these portrayals relate to the experiences of teaching and learning. The following research questions grounded our study: How is the concept of professionalism in the workplace represented in contemporary reality television? How do representations of professionalism, particularly with respect to leadership, learning, and culture, relate to the identity development of educators? m e t h o d o lo g y The method of textual analysis is used to make explicit the social, political, and economic contexts in which the television episodes and documentary were c h a p t e r o n e produced, while also highlighting the messages about teachers, students, and educational sites embedded in each...

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