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ERIC Number: ED083230
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Teacher-Image in the American Short Story.
Nissman, Albert
In an historical review that begins this speech, the short story characterization of a teacher is shown to have remained fairly consistent from Washington Irving to Mark Twain to writers of the 1960s and '70s: teachers are forced into the occupation from poverty, or lack of employment opportunities, or perhaps from personal limitations; are very low on the social totem pole; and are pedantic and ineffective in communication with their students. This is so, it is argued, because of the American cultural preference for muscle over mind, instinct over brain. Typical American heroes through history have been Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, John Wayne, and Joe Namath--not the schoolteacher type. Also described are quasi-Dickensian tag names assigned to teachers in stories (e.g., Miss Lizzie, Miss Oates, Miss Sweet, Weasel Wilson) that immediately characterize the teachers in the stories and indicate teacher stereotypes. In addition, this speech includes an analysis of one short story, "How Educational Progress Came to Greenwood County." The speech's conclusions stress that through teacher portraits in short stories, teachers have an opportunity to see themselves as others see them and change, if they can. (JA)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual National Convention of the American Educational Studies Association, Denver, Colorado, November 12, 1973