Inquirium’s Matt Brown wrote a chapter for a just released book on teachers’ use of classroom curriculum materials. The chapter is titled The Teacher-Tool Relationship: Theorizing the Design and Use of Curriculum Materials. Based on Matt’s dissertation (abstract as pdf), it examines the different ways teachers use curriculum materials in the course of their everyday practice (some rely on them as-is, some adapt them to suit their needs, and some use them as jumping off points for their own improvisations), and how designers can create materials that foster creative, dynamic teaching.
The chapter frames teaching as a process of design, in which teachers use tools in various creative ways to realize their goals. Borrowing the metaphor of jazz, where musicians rely on sheet music but no two performances are alike, the chapter highlights both the common and unique processes by which teachers translate inert curriculum materials into dynamic practice. The chapter’s key contribution is the concept of pedagogical design capacity, which calls attention to the skills by which teachers work with available resources as they craft instruction to suit their local needs.