The Hollywood curriculum : teachers and teaching in the movies

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary M. Dalton (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
H. Svi Shapiro

Abstract: Fifty-one motion pictures (distributed widely in the United States over the past 60 years) are analyzed to construct a theory of curriculum in the movies grounded in the emerging field of cultural studies with particular ties to critical pedagogy. The social curriculum of Hollywood implicit in popular films is based on individual rather than collective action and relies on that carefully plotted action rather than meaningful struggle to ensure the ultimate outcome leaving educational institutions, which represent the larger cultural status quo, intact and in power. This dissertation ties Huebner's five frameworks for valuing curriculum with the author's interpretations of a number of commercial films to ground a discussion of the meaning of popular culture and its importance in a democratic vision for education. The films are viewed through four sets of interpretive lenses: viewing the "good" teacher through three of Huebner's value frameworks; viewing the "bad" teacher through Huebner's two remaining value frameworks; viewing the "gendered" teacher through the lens of feminist literature; and, viewing students through the lens of critical pedagogy. The author contends that popular culture constructs its own curriculum in the movies, a popular curriculum that remains largely unchallenged. The film texts are interrogated using the concepts of critical pedagogy. Interrogating the "Hollywood Curriculum" is to ask what it means as a culture to be responsive at both social and personal levels and to engage these films as both entertaining and potentially transformative.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1995
Critical pedagogy $z United States
Education in mass media $z United States
Motion pictures $x Social aspects $z United States

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