Contrasting the Archetypal Sage with the Mentor Coach in Young Adult Literature

Insights for Teacher Reflection

In: Teachers, Teaching, and Media


Fictional stories of teachers convey particular character types like the hero, trickster, or sage that are likely to resonate with many educators. By engaging in archetypal reflectivity while reading young adult literature, teachers can examine these types with respect to their ideals of professional practice and identity. Here we invite readers to consider the teacher as archetypal sage as depicted by Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series as it compares to the mentor coach character of Lionel “Lion” Serbousek in the book Ironman. We show how both teacher types forge close mentoring relationships with students, though there are notable differences in how they guide students and to what ends. The contrast, as we discuss, can challenge assumptions about what students are seeking and may ultimately need from their teachers.

Teachers, Teaching, and Media

Original Essays about Educators in Popular Culture



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