At Church Life Journal, Jessica Hooten Wilson writes in defense of the classics:
This spring I read Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie solely because of the blurb on the back of the book said: “Determined to instill in [her students] independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, ‘Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me.’” I hoped that Miss Brodie could be a teacher to inspire me during the quarantine to keep teaching well. I probably should have streamed Dead Poets Society or Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
Instead of inspiring her students to contemplate goodness, truth, and beauty, as she professes, Miss Brodie tells them scandalous stories about her romance with men who have since died in the War. She binds her students together in a pact against the authority of the school and attempts to image herself in them. Ms. Brodie asks students to parrot her preferences, rather than imitate her loves. When a student answers that Leonardo Da Vinci is the greatest Italian painter, Miss Brodie corrects her, “That is incorrect. The answer is Giotto, he is my favorite.” Miss Brodie is an example of a teacher who tries to make disciples of herself for herself.