professor publishes curriculum book
Friday, September 1, 2006-Martha Whitaker,
associate professor of elementary education at Utah
State University's College of Education and Human Services,
is a co-author of Triple Takes on Curricular Worlds,
a curriculum theory book that allows readers to think
broadly about the diverse perspectives teachers bring
to their work.
The idea that teachers can hold their personal values,
beliefs and life experiences at bay to create a "value-free"
or "neutral" educational experience is, according
to the authors, impossible. The book casts light on
the kind of thinking that reflective teachers do. In
so doing, it provides a contrast to curriculum theory
that implies that teachers and students are generic.
"We are not suggesting that all views should be
brought into the classroom," Whitaker said. "We
are suggesting that teachers take a more thoughtful
look at their own views and the views that are implicitly
a part of their practices so that their decisions about
what they do in their classrooms are more fully informed."
Whitaker and her co-authors Mary Aswell Doll, Savannah
College of Art and Design, and Delese Wear, Northeastern
Ohio University, each respond to ten prompts: boundaries,
curriculum, disgrace, distance, fear, forgiveness, light,
motherhood and teaching. Each chapter includes an introduction
and three essays that sometimes agree and sometimes
"Historically, teachers have complied quietly to
authority from the top, while also taking seriously
the challenge of bringing students and content together
in meaningful ways," Whitaker said. "This
book breaks that relative silence, openly saying, 'This
is who I am. I bring my lived experience to my work:
my passion, my understanding, my commitment to the process
of teaching and learning.'"