Teaching Writing: The Heroic View (1) Robin Williams inspires as John Keating in Dead Poets Society (1989)
The Dead Poet as Teacher What sort of teacher is John Keating? What does Keating do in this class/scene? What do the students do?
Teaching Writing: The Heroic View (2) Hillary Swank fights on as Erin Gruwell in Freedom Writers (2006)
Updating the Dead Poet In what ways does Erin Gruwell teach like John Keating? How does her pedagogy differ from Keating’s?
The Dead Poet as Teacher Performs Inspires Exhorts Lectures Directs Assigns
Other Dead Poets Katherine Anne Watson (JuliaRoberts) in Mona Lisa Smile, 2002 Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss)in Mr Holland’s Opus, 1995 Lou Anne Johnson (MichellePfeiffer) in Dangerous Minds, 1995 Jaime Escalante (Edward JamesOlmos) in Stand and Deliver, 1988 Sylvia Barrett (Sandy Dennis) in Up the Down Stairca se, 1967
Teaching Writing: The Heroic View (3) Michael Douglas as the burned-out Professor Grady Tripp in Wonder Boys (2000).
The Wonder Boy as Teacher Describe Grady Tripp as a teacher What works in this class? What doesn’t?
Other Wonder Boys Hector (Richard Griffiths) in The History Boys, 2006 William Forrester (Sean Connery) inFinding Forrester, 2000 Frank Bryant (Michael Caine) inEducating Rita, 1983
Some Differences Dead Poets Female and Male Invested Energetic Public schools Plot moves downward Wonder Boys Male Disaffected Blocked Private schools Plot moves upward
The Writing Teacher as Romantic Hero Charismatic Empathetic Flirtatious Rebellious Talented
The Critique of the Heroic Writing Teacher Performer Seducer Cheerleader Anti-intellectual
Three Views of Teaching Writing FamiliarHeroicCritical MundanePerformativeIntellectual Para- professional EroticDisciplined
The Problem Who is the hero of the critical approach? How can we build upon (rather than simply endorse or resist) the images of teaching writing offered in the movies?
An Alternate Approach A shift in focus from the image of the teacher to the work of teaching and learning writing
Teaching Writing in the Movies Students write We see or hear the texts students create Teachers respond Teachers are coaches as well as cheerleaders Students revise We see learning occur
Representing the Work of Teaching (1) Michael Caine responds and Julie Walters revises in Educating Rita (1983)
Thinking about the Work of Teaching What does Frank demand from Rita? How does she respond? How would you describe their relationship?
Representing the Work of Teaching (2) Hector (Richard Griffiths), Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore), and Lintott (Frances de la Tour) in The History Boys, 2006
Thinking about the Work of Teaching What options do Hector, Irwin, and Lintott pose for their students as writers?
Representing the Work of Teaching (3) Kathy Bates and James Caan in Misery, 1990
Thinking about the Work of Teaching What does Annie teach Paul about writing that he didn’t know before?
Representing the Work of Teaching (4) John Keating responds to student writing
Thinking about the Work of Teaching What work does Keating do here as a teacher? What does Todd learn about writing? What opportunities for learning are missed? How might we out- Keating Keating?
Continuing the Conversation Check out my course English 173: Images of Teaching and Learning In Fiction and Film, Duke University, Spring 2007 English 173: Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Films Discussed Gilbert, Lewis (dir.). Educating Rita. Columbia, 1983. Hanson, Curtis (dir.). Wonder Boys. Paramount, 2000. Hyner, Nicholas (dir.). The History Boys. Fox, 2006. Lagravenese, Richard (dir.). Freedom Writers. Paramount, 2007. Pakula, Alan J (dir.). Starting Over. Paramount, 1979. Reiner, Rob (dir.). Misery. Castlerock, 1990. Shelton, Ron (dir.). Bull Durham. MGM, 1988. Spielberg, Steven (dir.). Saving Private Ryan. Dreamworks, 1998. Weir, Peter (dir.) Dead Poets Society. Touchstone, 1989.