Stereotypes of Teachers
Everyone has an image of what teachers look and act like, conveyed through books, magazines, the media, and other forms of popular culture. Taken-for-granted assumptions about teachers comprise stereotypes that represent an oversimplified picture of teachers that shape who they are and what they do. Positive stereotypes of teachers have been prominent in popular films, from the 1955 classic Blackboard Jungle to the recently released Half Nelson, both stories of young, idealistic teachers committed to saving disadvantaged inner-city kids through their personal charisma and commitment to teaching. Negative teacher stereotypes also exist, such as Dickens's portrayal of the cruel and philistine Mr. Gradgrind in Hard Times and the authoritarian and mean Mrs. Krabapple, Bart's teacher in the popular TV show The Simpsons . This entry briefly examines the key stereotypes and their impact on teachers and on education. Stereotypes of teachers can be grouped into two very broad categories: the ...