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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Professor combines passion for superheroes with teaching in new book

“Teachers have a lot in common with superheroes,” education professor Daniel Bergman said in the introduction of his book, “Teaching is for Superheroes!” 

“This analogy provides a rich venue through which teachers can thoughtfully analyze their purpose and pedagogy: origin stories, secret identities, costumes and gadgets, powers, weaknesses, archvillains, allies, and more,” he said.

Along with being a professor, Bergman chairs the middle/secondary school science education program at Wichita State. He’s also a self-proclaimed “super-nerd” about his passions in superhero media and teaching. 

“I enjoy looking at parallels between (both). There’s teaching themes like strengths and weaknesses, even secret identities,” Bergman said. “And all these things will appear in superhero stories as well, like origin stories, sidekicks and mentors.”

Bergman discussed his book, “Teaching is for Superheroes,” with students, faculty and other guests on Sept. 14.  The “Night with the Author” event was “come-and-go” for guests to get their book signed, ask questions and chat with peers. 

Attendees could also take a superhero/teaching trivia quiz and take pictures with superhero cutouts.

Bergman said his book isn’t a textbook or self-help book, but that teachers can use it to reflect on their practice and sharpen their skills. 

“It’s not a gift book or a coffee table tome, even if it is the perfect present for celebrations, inspiration or decoration,” Bergman said. “Teaching is for Superheroes!will support teachers in schools in all these ways and more.”

On the objective of writing his book, Bergman said both superheroes and teaching are fun, and he hopes to encourage teachers to remember how they can help others. 

“Teaching is an adventure. It’s meaningful. It’s memorable,” Bergman said. “Sometimes it’s tragic, just like superhero stories can be, but it’s worthwhile, and it’s important. And this is just one way to encourage teachers and anybody to value teaching and to think about what we can do to help others and learn.”

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About the Contributor
Monique Bever, Reporter/Photographer
Monique Bever is a first-year reporter and photographer. She is a freshman majoring in philosophy. Monique has lived in Wichita for most of her life. She loves film, fashion, and her cat.

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  • D

    Danny BergmanSep 19, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing! It was a great night to visit with a great group of people! The Shocker Store staff were welcoming and wonderful, and the snacks were super-tasty!

    Always Remember: “With great TEACHING comes great responsibility!”