Curriculum, Public Policy, and Politics of Knowledge

BEFORE: how do you think that school curricula are developed? This is an entry point to this topic and whatever you write will be fine.

AFTER: 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? IMPORTANT – Please write your blog before our lecture as YOUR OPINION will be an integral part of the lecture.

 

BEFORE: I think that school curriculum is developed by a group of professionals who gather together and decide what should be taught. I think they decide what should be taught based on what skills/ abilities/ knowledge children will need in order to be successful in their future educational and professional careers.

AFTER:

After reading this week’s article, I’ve come to realize that there is much more to the curriculum development process than I initially thought. Curriculum development teams get together and have discussions and debates over two points. The first discussion is about what subjects should be included or excluded and how much teaching time should be focussed on each topic. The second discussion is about the content of each subject and what should or shouldn’t be included. Next, groups of experts are brought together to discuss the elements of a new or revised curriculum. This process consists of examining the existing curriculum, deciding upon the strengths and weaknesses in the current curriculum, considering various ideas for changes, and arriving at an agreement on recommendations for a new or revised curriculum. Often times, curriculum development is a very long process, and can sometimes take several years to complete.

Something that I had never considered before reading this article was the problems that having an expert-dominated curriculum development team could have. The article points out that if subject experts have the most prominent voice in curriculum development, it will become very difficult to be taught effectively. Most teachers do not have the level of knowledge and expertise that the experts do, which will make teaching tough for anyone other than these subject experts. In attempts to avoid this situation, it has become more common for parents, students, and non-educators to have a place in the curriculum development teams.

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