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Subject: LCSH

Teachers in literature




This study explores cultural messages about teachers and teaching, as delivered by current children's literature. Our findings confirmed that teachers are still portrayed, in text and picture, as White, kind, conservative, women who teach for the love of children. More surprisingly, we also found that: 1) the stories conveyed strong themes of students acting as agents of teachers’ identity work, 2) that students often position teachers as sex objects, and 3) that teachers’ social class is characterized as working class. The results imply ambivalence about teachers’ identities and suggest that the teaching profession keeps women in a powerless and objectified job.


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Publisher Citation

Niemi, Nancy S., Brown, Nancy & Smith, Julia B. (2014). The portrayal of teachers in children's popular fiction. Journal of Research in Education Vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 58-80.