ECS 210 Week 3 Blog Post
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 school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?
I have to say; my eyes have really been opened after reading this Levin article when it comes to curriculum development. I honestly thought it was developed mainly by teachers and professors at school where they then show it to the government to approve. Clearly, I had no idea what I was talking about. I now know that in order to create and implement any sort of criteria, it all has to go through many different groups of people and different individuals. The reason that Levin thinks this is controversial because of the fact that each of these different groups of people have different beliefs and agendas. This is an immediate red flag because when you have multiple groups of people saying they all want this curriculum done their way, there is only one group that will win this battle with the other groups being left to change the way they do things. I have now learned, as I probably should have guessed before, that when it comes to how we implement the criteria and what is going to be on it is mainly created by the political parties in charge of the country being talked about. While the governments of the world are constantly looking at the curriculum and ways to improve it, they are also trying to alter it in the best way to get re-elected in the next coming election. Now, some may think it is probably best that the world’s governments are in charge of the education curriculum around the world, but Levin mentioned some issues that come along with this course of action. This issue basically stems from people with not as much power or influence in the world are pushed off to the side and not being given a fair voice in the decision-making process. These decisions are made by the more powerful, prominent and vocal groups in a society. While government officials have the final say, there are many different groups that still have some influence when it comes to this topic. The major players that this could include are teachers, principals, senior administrators, local elected authorities, postsecondary schools as well as many different interest groups. The honest and sad fact is, with this many groups of people and individuals trying to influence curriculum change, it is bound to be a very long and difficult process. Not only would it be hard to do, but it would also not be to everyone’s satisfaction.
One last point I wanted to touch on with this subject is the influence that the media can have on curriculum building. This wouldn’t have been as big of an influence a hundred years ago, but because technology has become so advanced it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t play a huge part in every aspect of our lives. There are many examples that Levin gives in the article, but the simple way to put it would be this: If there is an issue in the world that is so controversial that it gets a lot of people interested or invested in it, politicians have to respond. Whether the information being provided by the media is true or not, politicians have to respond to it, simply, in a way that makes them look good. There are many things that can influence these decisions. I can remember back when I was in high school, there was a study out that went along the lines of “more intense and rigorous activity can stimulate a student’s brain to enhance learning”. If my memory serves me there was no evidence to show this was true, but I remember our gym classes being altered so we did more fitness testing and things like that. This is just a small, minor example but it captures how much influence the media has on our school. This article is trying to get the point across that, with all of these influences being clustered together, it is very hard for a solid curriculum to both be created and to implement in a shorter amount of time.
In conclusion, I always wondered how things were done when it came to curriculum implementation. I actually always knew it would have been a somewhat difficult process to create new criteria for our schools, but my eyes have been opened immensely. I now see that, with so many different people and influences pulling strings in our school systems, it would be so hard to create a solid curriculum that works in the student’s favour as well as pleases everyone in that certain place.
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 were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum?
I could only imagine that the answer to this question is similar, yet different to the answer I gave above. Back when the Treaties were being made and implemented, there was likely many different influences that played a factor in their creation. While there were likely many groups of people who played a role in the making of these Treaties, the final word would ultimately come from the government with lower leveled people being shunned off to the side. These people would not get a say in how these Treaties were implemented or even what was in them. Because of this, there were many people who disagreed and did not like the process of implementing these new regulations. Also because of this, there are still some people today who disagree with the Treaties because they were not implemented properly. At least in their minds. The sad fact is, similarly to the school curriculum, this is a situation where everyone is not going to be pleased or satisfied. While this was a very hard time to come to a general consensus between most groups, I think it is very positive that putting these pieces of information in school curriculums is a huge step in the right direction!