Confronting Educational Politics with Preservice Teachers: Reactions to Waiting for Superman

Sep. 01, 2013

Source: Action in Teacher Education, Volume 35, Issue 4, 2013, pages 252-271

This study examines how preservice teachers conceptualize popular depictions of the profession or issues related to the “extended professionality” of teaching.

The authors explore the reactions of elementary, middle, and secondary preservice teachers to Waiting for Superman, a controversial 2010 documentary about the American public education system, as an example of focused and deliberate engagement with aspects of teacher professionalism.
They sought to determine the effectiveness of Waiting for Superman in fostering student interest and engagement with issues related to the extended professionality of teaching
Data were collected through surveys and focus group discussions.

The findings illuminate a need for broaching issues of extended professionality within teacher education programs.
The results also offer implications for the use of documentary films as a catalyst for discussions of issues related to the profession.

Updated: Jan. 12, 2015