Changing Course: Exploring Impacts Of Waiting For Superman On Future Teachers’ Perspectives On The State Of Education

Aaron Jensen, Edward Janak, Timothy F. Slater

Abstract


The controversial video documentary Waiting for Superman, released in 2010, has helped to ignite a firestorm of national debate on current educational reforms in the United States. The purpose of this study is to determine the possible impacts of the video documentary Waiting for Superman potentially influencing pre-service education teachers’ attitudes about education and current educational practices. Twenty-seven pre-service, post baccalaureate, teacher-education students volunteered for this exploratory study which used pre/post surveys and a focus group of six randomly chosen volunteers from the participants to determine what, if any, impact Waiting for Superman had on their view on current educational issues. This data suggests that Waiting for Superman altered students’ pre-existing notions about teachers’ unions, the importance of effective teachers, and enhanced their outlook on charter schools over public schools. This study contributes to our growing understanding of how widely disseminated video documentaries can influence attitudes about educational practices among future teachers so as to guide teacher education programs about the possible inclusion of such videos as part of the undergraduate curriculum.


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