2015 Laureates of Emet Prize
In Category: Social Sciences
In Field: Education and Promotion of education
Prof. Miriam Ben-Peretz was born in 1927. She served in the army during the War of Independence, in which her husband, Joseph (Yup) Koffler, one of the 35 of the ambushed convoy to the besieged Gush Etzion, was killed. She completed her B.Sc. in Biology and her M.Sc. in Teaching Sciences with honors, as well as her Ph.D. in Education, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Her research, conducted over many years, deals with the development and assessment of curricula, setting educational policy, teacher education and professional development, and Jewish education in Israel and in the Diaspora. The research included study of curricular materials and the role of teachers in curriculum planning as well as in shaping educational policy in Israel. Recently she has been engaged in research on the education of immigrants, especially from Ethiopia. She developed the term curricular potential, which serves as a basis for a new approach to the role of teachers in setting curricula. One of the important innovations of her work is the integration of theories of memory in research on teachers' work. Her original work on teachers' professional memory contributed greatly to understanding the way in which teachers perceive their work and learn from experience as a basis of professional, personal and public knowledge.
She headed the Department of Teaching at the University of Haifa and was Dean of its School of Education. She also founded and headed the Center for Jewish Education in Israel and the Diaspora. She was visiting professor at many universities abroad, and President of Tel-Hai Academic College. Over the years she headed various professional committees appointed by the Ministry of Education, including the Committee for Matriculation Exam Reform, the committee assigned to prepare a five-year plan for the Arab sector, and the committee assigned to examine the teacher education process in Israel. She has been the Chair of the steering committee of the MOFET Institute’s School for Teacher Educators for many years.
Her achievements have earned her numerous awards including the Israel Prize in Education and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Curriculum Studies from the American Educational Research Association. She is an honorary citizen of the city of Haifa, of Haifa University, and of Tel-Hai College.