Why the Fascination With 'Bad Teachers'?
Education Week - over 3 years
Writing in Time, Dana Goldstein highlights an apparently much-anticipated new novel called Tampa by Alissa Nutting. Based loosely on the brief, scandalous education career of Debra Lafave, the book depicts a nymphomanicaland, according to the publisher, "smoldering"Florida middle school teacher who seduces an 8th grade boy. Again according to the publisher, "body-slamming erotic encounters" and much deception ensue.
Reflecting on the whole "bad teacher" genre as represented by movies and books like Tampa, Goldstein wonders about the American public's ongoing fascination with stories about "despicable, or at least morally compromised" teachers. Her theory: Even aside from presenting an inherent contradiction that makes for enticing entertainment, "the bad teacher has also become an overhyped target for our national anxiety about public education." This phenomenon, she argues, has been fueled at least partly by recent education-policy debates:
In general, our national
Education Week article