For this week’s post we are asked to write a before and after reading post about Ben Levin’s Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should Be Learned in Schools
Before reading: How do you think that school curricula are developed?
I think that school curricula are developed by influential people both in education and outside of education. People like teachers and people who are experts in their respective fields are consulted when making curriculum. People in governmental positions definitely have a say in what gets put into the curriculum. Because in Canada, Education is a provincial matter, I think that a part of developing curriculum has to do with looking at specific provincial differences. For example what makes Saskatchewan different from British Columbia and what about those differences needs to be taught in schools in Saskatchewan.
After reading: How are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?
After doing this reading I now have a clearer understanding of where curriculum comes from. The reading states the process of deciding what makes it into the curriculum differs between certain systems of governing. A number of various groups come together to write a new curriculum or to revise old curriculum. Typically this includes, government officials, experts in specific field, and teachers. This process is heavily influenced by certain industries and public opinion.
The previous curriculum will be looked at to see what needs to be changed, added, or removed. Eventually (sometimes after many years) a general consensus will be reached among the group and the new curriculum will either be tested out in a few chosen schools, or it will be fully implemented.
Something that stood out to me in this reading and almost comforted me in a way is the point the article made about people who are experts in their field not always being the best people to help write curriculum, as they can write the curriculum in a way that serves them and not non-experts. I liked the comment how teachers, specifically elementary teachers, aren’t supposed to be experts in the topics they are teaching. I think that this shows what the curriculum is supposed to be for teachers. It should be a document that we can turn to for guidance, and it should be ready and easy for us to use.
A concern that I see in regards to the creation of curriculum is how much certain industries, like a textbook publishing company, could have influenced what I learned I schools and will influence what I teach in schools. It is a little unsettling to me that people with a money driven, self interested interest in my education.