According to the Levin article, how are school curricula developed and implemented?
According to the Levin article, the government has a great influence on the development and implementation of curricula. Unfortunately, the teachers have minimal say. Considering most of the population has at one point in their lives attended school, the government receives an overwhelming amount of opinion from the public. Like other policies that the government establishes, curriculum is designed in the same manner – the decisions that are made are the ones that will get the politicians re-elected and are not necessarily based on facts or on what is best.
What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum?
This reading discusses a perspective that is new to me. It was interesting to learn about the priorities the government has. For example, the government is more interested in having the population like them so that they can be re-elected (Levin, 2007). I personally believe that the government should know and do what is best for the province and citizens. It is their job to be studying what works and what does not work. I appreciate that they try to listen to the population; however, the population does not always see the bigger picture.
Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?
While reading Levin’s article, I was surprised to learn how little of an impact teachers have in the decision-making regarding curriculum. I do not believe that this should be the case considering they know the children best. According to Levin (2007), this is the way it is done because the decisions have more to do with politics than they do with the child’s learning.
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?
I found that Treaty Education article written by the province has very different curriculum goals from the Levin article. For example, the Levin article is more concerned with ensuring students know everything they need to know to get into university. The Treaty Education in Saskatchewan article is more concerned with ensuring students know everything they need to know to be a decent human being. What I mean is, the Treaty Education in Saskatchewan article would like students to understand the history, relationships, etc and how they affect humans today, while recognizing what efforts can be made to continue the Truth and Reconciliation process. It is a much more personal curriculum. The government, as discussed in the Levin article, is more focused on “core” classes. They prioritize one’s ability to do calculations and to write well than they prioritize human decency.
What tensions might you imagine were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum?
I imagine that some of the tensions were similar to the tensions we see in society today. For example, unfortunately, many people get tired of hearing about the changes that need to happen and about Truth and Reconciliation. Whereas, understandably, First Nations people do not believe enough is being done – which is seen similarly right now in the Black Lives Matter movement.
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: https://www.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/16905_Chapter_1.pdf
Saskatchewan Treaty Education Document (pages 1-4). https://www.edonline.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/library/materials/english/docs/Treaty%20Education%20Outcomes%20%26%20Indicators%20-%20Feb%2021%202013.pdf