I think the original idea behind creating curriculum was to industrialize education. Since education serves such a large role in forming intelligence, traits, skills and so on, I think that its sole purpose was to fulfill this role in order to conform to what those in power want. This would mean creating ‘cookie-cutter’ citizens though the education industry. As time progressed, I think the curriculum slowly evolved to not only relay information deemed as useful to society, but also reflect national agendas and serves to create political presence.
School curricula now looks to be an array of what is needed to be known in order to succeed. The majority of career paths that one may take influence all sectors, allowing for a well-rounded experience for students. This, however, is perceived by me as an ideal rather than a reality. The creation of curriculum is made up of effort to give the best education, while maintaining a balance of the wide spectrum of paths that one may choose. With this knowledge, I think that the influence of demographics plays a huge role in what is put into curriculum, as well as political climate. In order to enact changes to curriculum, government must produce compromises, which is not only difficult among representatives between competing parties, but with the public also. Therefore, curriculum is created and implemented on the basis that majorities still control what is put into curriculum, in order to either stay in power, appeal to society and create education opportunities that are considered to be ‘proper’ (which is whatever curriculum creators deem it to be).
After reading this document, my understanding of mediation in regards to how curriculum is created has grown much deeper. Previously, I knew that people’s differences of opinion disrupt the implementation of new ideas, but not to the extent that they actually have. Time is a huge factor in today’s world, as new ideas and adaptions must be put forth by educators to ensure that curriculum, both formal and hidden, is being taught in a way that suits all students. However, with clashing ideologies about how curriculum is created, time passes at a rate that leaves creators almost always one step behind what is current and developing.
Something that concerns me after reading this document is the balance – or lack thereof – within the creation of curriculum. As governments are the primary implementors of curriculum, they are the ones who get to flip the switch in order to allow for change. School is as much of a learning environment as a political platform, which allows for students to be susceptible to change that appeases the majority, but limits individual experience. One quote from the reading I really liked and exemplifies this is in the conclusion. It reads “Curriculum decisions are often part of a much larger public debate that often extends beyond education to larger questions of public goods.” Since political decisions are never neutral, that would mean creation of curriculum involuntarily puts restrictions on those who do not confine within that of the majority. I mainly find this concerning because although people want what is best for them, they say that they want what will appeal to everyone. I think that this can be viewed as misleading and unclear, and may halt the implementation for real changes that need to be made.