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ERIC Number: EJ909027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1498
"This Guy's Dead": Seeking the Origins of the Dystopian Narrative of the American High School in the Popular Culture
Witte, Shelbie; Goodson, Todd
High School Journal, v94 n1 p3-14 Fall 2010
Educators' work is impacted by the political narratives constructed by politicians and legislators. The manipulation of cultural archetypes, including the representations of schools and teachers, in order to create compelling narratives in support of policy is also part of the context within which educators work. The past 25 years have been laden with reform efforts, but the monumental changes in educational policies and practices that have occurred over the last two and a half decades were enabled by a sense of urgency manufactured and sold to the American public. This paper will explore the wide-sweeping, high school reform efforts of the past two decades and the compelling, dystopian political narrative that helped authorize them. The authors hope to problematize the dystopian educational narratives constructed in the 1980s and how these narratives, which presented public education as a broken system with hopelessly incompetent inhabitants, was reified and perpetuated through film. By focusing their attention on two products of the same socio-cultural backdrop, "A Nation at Risk" and the film, "Teachers," the authors hope to explore how these complementary texts offer provocative insight into the practices and perpetuation of political narratives about schools.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A