The “Nuts and Dolts” of Teacher Images in Children’s Picture Storybooks

973 Words Mar 30th, 2014 4 Pages
The “Nuts and Dolts” of Teacher Images in Children’s Picture Storybooks: A Content Analysis, by Sarah Jo Sandefur and Leeann Moore, is an ethnographic content analysis that carefully examines how teachers are portrayed in children storybooks within the United States. One of the main purposes of the study was evidently to probe the impact of stereotypes and clichés of teacher representations, in children storybooks, on the actual institution of teaching. According to the study, children storybooks are plagued with contradictory depictions of teachers and schools. The authors highlighted the fact that teachers are portrayed in these storybooks as insensitive, foolish or inefficient. This portrayal of teachers is a phenomenon that has been …show more content…
The non-traditional teacher on the other hand was rarely portrayed in the storybooks and was characterized as being valued and well-liked.
According to the content analysis, the teacher in the storybooks was mainly portrayed as a white, non-Hispanic woman. Additionally, the authors noted only eight (8) representations of African-American teachers, where only three of them were the protagonists of the books. Sandefur and Leeann goes on to note that; two Asians, no native Americans, and no other persons of color are shown in the 96 teacher images, making the total number of culturally diverse images represented only 11% of the overall total. Of the 96 teacher images examined, only 40 were demonstrative of teacher efficacy. As such, majority of the teacher images depicted in storybooks characterizes teachers as flat, static and unchanging. Several mentions are made, throughout the discourse of the analysis, to the “nameless teacher” and her harsh and unbecoming character portrayed in children storybooks. In concluding, the authors stated that they found bias, prejudice and stereotypical presentations of characters in children’s books. Finally, they lamented that the potential to paint realistic portraits of teachers is present, but little evidence is seen of the desire to construct such an image.
I found this content analysis to be very informative yet thought provoking.

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