Magazine article Teach

Images of Learning: Secondary

Magazine article Teach

Images of Learning: Secondary

Article excerpt


Reproducible Insert

Duration: 3 Class Periods

Level: Grades 9-12

Pedagogical intent

This lesson helps students become more aware of the stereotypes associated with portrayals of students and teachers on television and on film.

On Day One, students discuss the reasons why television producers and writers use stereotypes to represent various groups of people - and the advantages and disadvantages of doing this. Using a worksheet, they compile a list of common television stereotypes from the school-based television shows they enjoy and create a list of humorous clichés about TV students and teachers.

On Day Two, students look at representation of students and teachers in movies and compare their findings to the stereotypes found on television.

On Day Three, students assume the role of television producers and create a series outline for a school-based television show and perform a scene from an episode.


Social Studies,

Language Arts,

Web Resources

MNet Recommends reading, viewing, surfing

* Cable in the Classroom

Student Handouts

For each student:

* Teacher/Student TV Stereotypes Chart (educational handout)

* TV Stereotypes Chart Answer Sheet (educational handout)

* Tinsel Town Teachers (educational handout)

To download the handouts, please go to: resources/educational/lessons/ elementary/stereotyping/ images_of_learning_ele.cfm

Objectives and Competencies

Students will:

* recognise that the media construct reality

* examine how teachers and students are portrayed in school-based television shows and explain the biases and beliefs revealed in the messages that are conveyed

* understand the conventions and stereotypes that are commonly used in school-based television shows

* analyse representations of social, political and cultural issues in schoolbased television shows

* examine their own perceptions of various stereotypes

Teacher Preparation and Materials

* Check copyright laws in your area and, if possible, tape excerpts from two or three programs that feature students and teachers, such as "Malcolm in the Middle," "The Simpsons," "Student Bodies," "Clueless," "Dawson Creek," "Breaker High," "Degrassi -The Next Generation," "Boston Public" (If you have Cable in the Classroom in your area, check to see if any of these programs are available for classroom use.)

* If taping excerpts is not possible, assign your students home viewing of these, or similar programs during the week before this lesson.

* Photocopy the student handouts


Day One

Write the words stereotype and representation on the board. Ask students to define these terms.

Stereotype: comes from the old-fashioned process of making metal plates of each letter in the alphabet for printing purposes. It means a "set" or "fixed" image. When applied to people, the word means an instant or fixed picture of a group of people. Stereotypes may be based on gender, race, class, age, disability, and occupation.

Representation: is the way in which groups are presented in the media and popular culture, often through the use of stereotypes. The stereotypical images that are used to represent various groups can affect our attitudes towards them in real life.

* On television, what are the advantages of using stereotypical representations?

The average ½ hour television show has only twenty minutes to tell a story. Stereotypes offer writers and producers a "short-hand" way of moving the story along. By using stock characters, such as the rebellious teen, the goofy sidekick, or the authoritarian father, producers can convey ideas and actions to a broad audience without having to use more complex representations. …

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