The Teacher-Curriculum Encounter

Freeing Teachers from the Tyranny of Texts

By Miriam Ben-Peretz

Subjects: Curriculum
Series: SUNY series in Curriculum Issues and Inquiries
Paperback : 9780791403761, 152 pages, January 1991
Hardcover : 9780791403754, 152 pages, December 1990

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Foreword by Lee Shulman



1. Patterns of Teachers' Involvement in the Curriculum Endeavor

2. Coping with Curriculum

3. Teachers' Concerns about Curriculum Issues

4. The Concept of Curriculum Potential

5. The Process of Curriculum Interpretation

6. Instruments and Procedures of Curriculum Interpretation

7. Implications for Teacher Education and Staff Development



Curriculum Materials



In this ground-breaking book the author analyzes the roles and functions of teachers as they use and construct curriculum materials. She presents a conceptual framework for interpreting different kinds of materials, for planning instructional settings based on these interpretations, and provides teachers with concepts and strategies that will enable them to use curriculum materials professionally and flexibly. The book addresses the need for more professional and creative use of curriculum materials, and heightened teacher involvement in the process. Implications of her proposed approach for teacher education and staff development are provided.

Miriam Ben-Peretz is Professor and Dean at the School of Education, University of Haifa, Israel.


"Miriam Ben-Peretz has introduced a strikingly new and important perspective into the discussions of curriculum and teaching, especially for those of us concerned with the preparation and professional development of teachers. About fifteen years ago she began to write of 'curriculum potential,'a view that attacks the opposition of curriculum and teaching and points up the ways in which the two ideas are mutually supportive and reinforcing.

"Ben-Peretz argues that curriculum must be understood as both far too much and far too little, as providing more than any teacher could possibly use, and yet less than any teacher really requires. The essential value of curriculum is how it permits teachers to adapt, invent, and transform as they confront the realities of classroom life. Teaching is neither opposed to curriculum, nor does teaching alone define curriculum. Indeed, even curriculum that is designed by teachers (another topic with which Ben-Peretz is concerned in this volume) must be understood in terms of its potential for teaching.

"I have learned a great deal from Miriam Ben-Peretz during the past fifteen years. It is a privilege and pleasure to write this foreword to a book I am confident will inform the work of a generation of curriculum developers, teachers, and teacher educators. " —from the Foreword by Lee S. Shulman, Stanford University

"I applaud the author's detailed treatment of how teachers can become curriculum makers and reduce their dependency on the textbook as the curriculum. " —Francis P. Hunkins, Professor of Education, University of Washington-Seattle

"The intellectual contributions embedded in this work are many and profound. It creates an array of concepts (curriculum potential, interpretation, analysis, deliberation, and active teacher roles in development) that form a new way of looking at problems of development and implementation in curriculum. They are a needed response to how to transform a linear way of thinking in this field into a dynamic one. This, I predict, will initiate a major shift in both theoretical and practical aspects of the field. " — Edmund C. Short, School of Education, The Pennsylvania State University