Policies and Curriculum post 3

How much do we really know about policy and curriculum? Who has the ultimate say on what content goes into the curriculum? Upon reading the article Ben Levin (2008)wrote on CURRICULUM POLICY AND THE POLITICS OF WHAT SHOULD BE LEARNED IN SCHOOLS  Levin (2008) defines curriculum as the official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do.  As we get into the meat and potatoes of curriculum, we find that it is full of governed policies.  Levine talks about any changes how small they are seeming to come down to a political decision.  Levine

“Policies govern just about every aspect of education—what schooling is provided, how, to whom, in what form, by whom, with what resources, and so on.”  How about the hidden curriculum?  Is that something that the government thinks about in the schools and classrooms? Levine (2008) expresses that, “understanding the politics of curriculum requires an understanding of the factors that affect elected governments and especially the powerful constraints that limit both understanding of what to do and capacity to act” (p.9).  Therefore, different governments will implement different policies depending what type of government they are following ex) Canadian politics will looks a whole lot different than American Politics.  Levine expresses in the article that withing these politics are voting pressures and expectations which is all associated with voting and political timing.  Politician also want to be voted for and re-reinstated therefore will make false promises of what they think people want to gain the votes.  Voters can also be ignorant to the fact of what they are voting for which concerns me as many voters may not care about education and more on economy therefore there is a disconnect on what politicians are being voted for and what their main focus is. 

After reading the Treaty Education document the connections I make between the article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Saskatchewan are that Treaty Education is governed by the Federal Government.  “The Ministry of Education respects the federal government’s legal, constitutional, and fiscal obligations to First Nations peoples and its primary responsibility for Métis people. As well, the Ministry of Education is committed to providing the appropriate supports and programs that reflect and affirm the unique status of First Nations and Métis peoples” (p.3).  The tensions I can see arising during the making of this document is how to teach and recognizing the actual horrific truths of our true Canadian history.  Going to school in the 80s I can tell you that my Canadian History is not the truths, I feel cheated and lied too.  However, the importance of acknowledging Canada’s true history in Treaty Education is incredibly important to teach our students and understanding the process of what Truth and Reconciliation means.

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.

(2020). Retrieved 22 July 2020, from https://www.edonline.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/library/materials/english/docs/Treaty%20Education%20Outcomes%20%26%20Indicators%20-%20Feb%2021%202013.pdf

1 thought on “Policies and Curriculum post 3

  1. Hi Natalie!

    You bring up some great points to think about! Politicians wanting to get reinstated is definitely an extrinsic factor that plays a part towards certain decisions that are made. As you mention, Levin’s article made it very apparent that policies and politics have a very influential role in the construction of curriculum. Do you think that this political linkage is beneficial or detrimental to curriculum development…or perhaps both? (I realize that this is a big/loaded question) In regard to the Treaty Education Document, do you have any ideas on how we as future educators can start to foster more discussion and exploration around this topic (Treaty Agreements) in the classroom? Do you think that it is possible to teach about this cross-curricularly… for example in arts ed, or physical education? (curious to hear your thoughts as I’m a Kin-Ed Joint degree student myself) I really enjoyed reading through your post! I look forward to hearing your ideas:)

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