Children's Books for Grown-Up Teachers: Reading and Writing Curriculum Theory, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Children's Books for Grown-Up Teachers

Reading and Writing Curriculum Theory, 1st Edition

By Peter Appelbaum


288 pages

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pub: 2007-12-20
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Teachers and prospective teachers read children's books, but that reading is often done as a "teacher" – that is, as planning for instruction – rather than as a "reader" engaged with the text. Children’s Books for Grown-Up Teachers models the kind of thinking about teaching and learning – the sort of curriculum theorizing – accomplished through teachers’ interactions with the everyday materials of teaching. It starts with children’s books, branches out into other youth culture texts, and subsequently to thinking about everyday life itself. Texts of curriculum theory describe infrastructures that support the crafts of inquiry and learning, and introduce a new vocabulary of poaching, weirding, dark matter, and jazz. At the heart of this book is a method of reading; Each reader pulls idiosyncratic concepts from children’s books and from everyday life. Weaving these concepts into a discourse of curriculum theory is what makes the difference between "going through the motions of teaching" and "designing educational experiences.

This book was awarded the 2009 AERA Division B (Curriculum Studies) Outstanding Book Award.


"Appelbaum’s thinking is at the leading edge (perhaps several leading edges) of curriculum inquiry internationally."--Noel Gough, LaTrobe University, Australia

"Peter Appelbaum has written an enormously erudite and important book about learning and teaching. Weaving together theories of curriculum, popular culture, literary engagement and pedagogy, he insightfully shows how deep insight emerges from the detours of teaching, and that the teacher’s task is not to specify curriculum but, rather, to occasion learning. This book is an intellectual tour de force that will be of great interest to both beginning and experienced teachers."--Dennis Sumara, University of British Columbia, Canada

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction: Weirding and Poaching

Chapter 2 Poaching

Chapter 3 Weirding

Chapter 4 Vision Stinks

Chapter 5 Feed

Chapter 6 Harry Potter’s World

Chapter 7 Cyborg Selves

Chapter 8 Dark Matter and All that Jazz

Chapter 9 My Teacher is an Alien

Chapter 10 Criteria and Ways of Working, with Leif Gustavson

Chapter 11 Afterword: Zoom Re-zoom


About the Series

Studies in Curriculum Theory Series

In this age of multimedia information overload, scholars and students may not be able to keep up with the proliferation of different topical, trendy book series in the field of curriculum theory. It will be a relief to know that one publisher offers a balanced, solid, forward-looking series devoted to significant and enduring scholarship, as opposed to a narrow range of topics or a single approach or point of view. This series is conceived as the series busy scholars and students can trust and depend on to deliver important scholarship in the various "discourses" that comprise the increasingly complex field of curriculum theory.

The range of the series is both broad (all of curriculum theory) and limited (only important, lasting scholarship) – including but not confined to historical, philosophical, critical, multicultural, feminist, comparative, international, aesthetic, and spiritual topics and approaches. Books in this series are intended for scholars and for students at the doctoral and, in some cases, master's levels.

Persons interested in submitting book proposals or in serving as reviewers for this series are invited to contact

Professor William F. Pinar

Canada Research Chair
University of British Columbia

Faculty of Education

Department of Curriculum Studies

2125 Main Mall

Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4


EMAIL: [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics