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The Hollywood Curriculum

Teachers in the Movies


Mary M. Dalton

The second revised edition of The Hollywood Curriculum 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 movies focuses on individual effort rather than collective action, and relies on stock characters and predictable plots, precluding meaningful struggle. Conformation to these conventions ensures the ultimate outcome of the screen narratives and almost always leaves the educational institution—which represents 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.

Preface to the Third Edition – Acknowledgments – Introduction – The Hollywood Model: Who Is the Good Teacher? – The Aesthetic-Ethical-Political Value Frameworks of Good Teachers in the Movies – The Technical-Scientific Value Frameworks of Bad Teachers in the Movies – Divided Lives: The Public Work and Private Pathos of Women Teachers in the Movies – Here But Not Queer: The Mainstreaming of Gay Male Teachers in the Movies – Drama Is Conflict: The Roles of Administrators in Hollywood Movies – Schools, Schooling, and Student Voices – Filmography – Bibliography – Index.