Week Three: Policies and Curriculum

Week Three: Policies and Curriculum

According to the Levin article, how are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of the school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you? 

According to Ben Levin’s article, Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should be Learned in Schools, curricula in schools are developed and implemented by a variety of influences; the government, experts in the field, universities, civil servants etc. However the government has the most influence, “Every education policy decision can be seen as being, in some sense, a political decision”(Levin,2008). 

New information I learned that is extremely surprising and concerning from this reading is that whichever group or government party that is in power is going to control what it is implemented into the curriculum. This creates a huge bias and in a very real way is teaching students how to think like the party that is in power (perhaps influencing their vote in the future?).  

Something I found quite interesting in this article is that “Voter Interests Drive Everything”(Levin,2008). The government has a huge say of what is implemented in the curriculum. They will place subjects or new knowledge has into the curriculum to persuade voters to support their party. 

I also learned from this reading is that some “. . . curricula [developed] are not readily usable by ordinary teachers”(Levin,2008).  The government hires experts in the field to develop a curriculum for schools. The curriculum is very advanced and the teachers do not have the knowledge nor the resources to teach their students. They’re simply overwhelmed.  The result of this affects the overall education of the students because it is too advanced. It would make more sense if teachers and experts came together and created a curriculum that was achievable. 

After reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, what connections can you make between the article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Saskatchewan? What tensions might you imagine we’re part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum?

A connection between Levin’s article, Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should be Learned in Schools and the Treaty Education document is that perhaps the wrong people are in charge of the development. It seems to me that the government has more control over the curriculum then the people who can see firsthand (teachers, parents etc.) what would benefit the students. In the document for the development of the treaty education the majority of people where are associated with the university federations and Ministries instead of unbias treaty people and elders. It is clear then that there would be biases in the curriculum that would benefit universities, ministries and federations. 

The tension that might arise because of the treaty education that is happening in Saskatchewan curriculum there may be pushed from the public who do not support treaty education. There are always going to be people that do not agree with what is in the curriculum, you can never please everybody. Sadly in Saskatchewan, there are a lot of stereotypical and incorrect ideas about First Nations people and treaty education. which is ALL THE MORE REASON we should be teaching treaty education. To break these stereotypes and properly educate our youth. Another issues that may arise is how we implemented treaty education into the curriculum. How we educate our teacher and the speed we introduce this curriculum into the classroom. I think it is nice to see an effort to recognize First Nations people, their way of life and that they were native to this land. I think it is an important step on Canadas Journey towards reconciliation to implement treaty education into the curriculum. 

Levin, B. (2008). Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be learned in schools. In F. Connelly, M. He & J. Phillion (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction (pp. 7 – 24). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Available on-line from: http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/16905_Chapter_1.pdf.

Pages 1-4 Saskatchewan Treaty Education document.

One thought on “Week Three: Policies and Curriculum

  1. Hello Mia,

    Thank very much for the read! It was very insightful! I did have a few points I wanted to touch on quick about your response to these questions. One thing I wanted to say was that I agree wit you when you said you were blown away by political influence when it comes to our school systems. Do you think that these people pulling these strings are thinking about the students at all? I know when I looked into this there were many articles that said they are literally only concerned with their re-election and will do whatever is in their power to get the voters trust.

    I also wanted to ask if you think that the government should be more hands on when it comes to school curriculum? Should they send someone to see what works and what doesn’t in schools? Are they aware of these questions but just don’t care to ask?

    One other point that I agree with you on is when you mentioned should they shift the power of curriculum making to people who are perhaps more qualified to do so? When is someone going to say “I think that Indigenous people should have some say in what is in our curriculum?” Or, as you said, should this power be transferred to teachers and parents who probably know better whats best for the future generation?

    Thanks for the read and stay safe!

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