Striking teachers: images of teachers in Scottish children’s literature

Farrell, M. (2013) Striking teachers: images of teachers in Scottish children’s literature. In: McCluskey, R. and McKinney, S. J. (eds.) How "The Teacher" is Presented in Literature, History, Religion, and the Arts: cross-cultural analysis of a stereotype. Edwin Mellen Press: Lewiston, NY, pp. 55-65. ISBN 9780773445208

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In a country where a good education has been highly prized for centuries, where teachers have been known for their support for the lad, and lass, o’ pairts and which has a world renowned national literature, the figure of the teacher or dominie in Scottish Literature is a common one. Fiction that provides descriptions of the varied ways teachers can affect the lives of their pupils provide audiences with a strong sense of having encountered good or poor teachers. The introduction of passionate, positive teachers with sound content knowledge in the literature young people read can have a much greater and longer term effect on readers than any research describing effective teacher characteristics. Teachers in stories help shape readers’ views of school and education: they can be heroic or sinister, stereotypical or distinctive. Some texts allow the stereotype to be played out, while others work to subvert them. The tension between reality and representation allows readers to explore contradictory images and expectations in meaningful and relevant contexts. Using a range of contemporary Scottish children’s fiction, this paper will examine how teachers are presented and represented within them and will attempt to discern the diversity of the images proffered to young Scottish readers and to identify some of the key roles and values embodied by teachers as central characters.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Farrell, Dr Maureen
Authors: Farrell, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy
Publisher:Edwin Mellen Press
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