Politics, Policies, and Curriculum

After reading Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should Be Learned in Schools, it is clear that school curricula is developed around politis dominated by government officials. Levin (2007) emphasizes “Politics is about power” (p. 8), and goes on to recognize that the education system is soley based around policy implementation (Levin, 2007). The approach taken and those involved in forming curricula, demonstrate superior and inferior roles, as decision regarding what will be most beneficial to students and teachers is decided by a “higher” power. Although teachers and other experts are a part of discussion, Levin (2007) states their voice is only a suggestion that may be taken into consideration.

This article, brought me greater insights regarding the overwhelming process of curriculum construction. It allowed me to consider potential reasons that flaws are present within curriculum and education, as many times, those involved in constructing curriculum are on a time crunch to do so. Limited time places a significant amount of stress on government officials to make decisions, and frequently, decisions made receive backlash from the public (Levin, 2007). This new information made me think that it is easy to criticize and critque curriculum, however, it is extremely difficult to develop with majority of population in agreeance. With saying this, receiving help from professionals highly involved in education could enhance curriculum development and implementation; however, Levin (2007) points out that often times experts in the the field provide valid explanations that get declined by government officials. Furthermore, it is concerning that important documents are being rushed through. If more time and diversity regarding opinions were offered and accepted to all individuals involved in this complex process, greater benefits would stem from curriculum.

Something that surprised me in the the article regarded politics in the curriculum; some people argue whether writing, Shakespeare, Math, History, and various other components in school are beneficial and purposeful to students’ education (Levin, 2007). For countless years, core subjects (Math, Science, English, History etc.) have been deemed more important than other classes; therefore, the questions raised in Levin’s article suggest individuals are going against Kumashiro’s concept of ‘commonsense’. This intrigued me that individuals are starting to question tradition and how these norms are within education.

While reviewing Levin’s article and the Treaty Education document, it can be determined that politics and relationships connect these texts. The Treaty Education document, explicitly states that the Constitution recognizes the rights of Aboriginal peoples, Treaties, and land (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2013). Additionally, both texts bring forth the importance of relationships. Levin’s article discusses ways that the government collaborates with teachers, principals, and other experts when formulating curriculum (Levin, 2007). Likewise, Treaty Education is mainly based around relationships within history, present, and future events (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2013). Relationships are acknowledged heavily in Levin’s work and the Treaty Education document which is extremely significant, as they both implicitly stated that collaboration and connectedness ground us to the same outcome—an improved, fulfilling educational experience for students.

Categories ECS 210, Uncategorized

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