ECS 210 – Curriculum as Public Policy

Before Reading:

  • How do you think that school curricula is developed?

From my point of view, school curricula all comes from one similar basis, and that is what our society expects its citizens to know, represent, and act like. In lots of ways, school curricula is a representation of our society, and the good and the bad of it included. School curricula represents a society and their biases, racial and gender preferences, beliefs and systems. When a curriculum is being developed, the main influencers will always be those that are higher up. What does the government want our children to learn about our society? What do they not want them to know? What kind of changes do they want to imprint onto the younger generations?

After Reading:

  • How is school curricula developed and implemented?

After reading through the reading from this week, as well as digesting this week’s class discussion, I can definitely say that I now have a much clearer understanding of what the process of the creation of school curricula contains. When school systems and individual provinces are deciding what they want their children to learn, many “stakeholders” come into play in this decision. The one most important thing to note is that students – the pupils that will be hopefully benefiting from our educational systems – have little to no say in this process at all. The building of curricula comes down to the society and what they deem important for students to learn, or what they believe all citizens of this particular society must abide by.

  • What new information or perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum?

Before reading this article I did not truly understand how much of a role politics really play in the development of our curriculum and how society views our school curricula. As in the videos we viewed in lecture this week as well, many leaders of our school board can carry their own personal views into our curricula just because they carry the power to do so, even if the public feels differently. Or, if one state has a lot more financial wealth than another and can afford to influence a curricula of an entire country just because they have purchased all the textbooks, this is political interference in our education system. I personally believe that education should be separated from our own and others personal political beliefs and show anti-oppressive characteristics, but unfortunately this may never happen.

  • Is there anything that surprised or concerned you?

Besides learning a lot more about the political side of the education system this week, I did not find myself surprised at any of the information, just for the fact that our world is so much run by politics and money that why wouldn’t our schooling systems be apart of this as well? Although political influences in and around the world of education is not always a bad thing, it concerned me at how these power roles in education may be being abused from a political viewpoint, and influencing our children in the wrong ways.

ECS 210 – The “Good” Student According to the Common Sense

This week in class we had a very rich discussion about what it truly means to be a “good” student under what we believe as the common sense of the public school system, and who these people are. This topic is one that is of very much importance to me, since the topic of race and racism embedded into our curriculum has always interested me. Our discussion on how the idea of a good student has changed over time was also interesting. Back one hundred years ago, this ideal student was very easily stated to be those of an Anglo-Saxon heritage that were literate and male, while the unfavoured student were those that could not be “Canadianized,” which I absolutely hated to hear.

According to our reading from this week, it is also evident that the good student in terms of the common sense is the student that always listens, responds, and does not cause a problem for anyone else, and essentially, never gets to speak their mind. I see this as a problem since growing up, I also knew many students that may have acted the way that the “problematic” child of this reading was described, as well as the fact that I have worked with students myself that are this way, and in no means could I ever say that these children were not good students who didn’t or couldn’t learn, since that is simply untrue.

When Kumashiro stated that. “I assumed that being a student required behaving and thinking in only certain ways, but also because I felt pressure from schools and society to produce this type of student.” (Kumashiro, pg 21), I immediately had certain students that I grew up with or I have taught myself come to mind. I had one student last semester in a Kindergarten room that displayed a lot of the same behaviour characteristics as the student described in the article, and personally, although these students can be hard to handle, they have always been the ones I turn out to really enjoy simply because of these characteristics – they are just being their true selves, and although that may not fit the mold of our school systems and what they expect from students, they still find a way.

As future teachers we must always be prepared for these types of situations in our classrooms, since it is not that uncommon. We must make sure to look past the tightly fit idea of the “perfect” student, since this simply doesn’t exist. We must learn to work with all our students and learn their strengths and weaknesses, and always help them succeed.