Part 1) According to the Levin article, how are school curricula developed and implemented?
“curriculum is defined as an official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do” (pp. 8).
“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” (pp.8). It is all created through political policies. “Curriculum politics should be understood as part of the overall process of government and especially the influence of politics” (pp.9).
What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum? There is a point in the article when they are discussing a poll that was done in Canada, in this poll Canadians said that wanted more of every subject in the school curriculum, but did not want longer school days or years. I found this kind of interesting. Everyone has their own opinion about what should and shouldn’t be taught in schools today, but of course not everyone can be pleased all the time. There is a constant debate about which classes are the most important for students to learn and which can be scrapped. I wonder if there is any way to avoid these kinds of arguments? Or find a way to fit all of the classes people want in the curriculum?
Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you? There was a quote in the article I thought was really interesting, it says “…. an important element of the politics around education is that everyone has gone to school, so just about everyone has a feeling of knowledge and a personal response to educational issues” (pp. 15). Almost everyone that has graduated from school has an opinion about the curriculum, the problem with this is that everyone’s school experiences are going to be different. Small, rural schools do not operate the same way a big, inner city public school would. Because of this difference, the students who attend these two schools will have very different experiences. The rural student might say that there were not enough teachers to teach the curriculum properly, which is a huge issue in meeting all the criteria that the curriculum holds. I just don’t see everyone agreeing on the one right way to teach the curriculum because of these differences.
Part 2) 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 Sask? I just think it is the same curriculum, with Treaty Education integrated into it. I graduated high school in 2017 and I never had to take any form of Treaty Education. We learned about the Treaties in history class, but other than that we did not learn much. I think it is a good idea to implement it into the curriculum, but of course the argument of “is there enough time in the day or year for this?” will always be present.
What tension might you imagine were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum? The argument of time is a huge tension in the education system. Like I said before, there will always be people arguing that other topics/subjects are more important than others. I think implementing it is a great way to work towards reconciliation and it is important for us to know more about the past from the point of view of Indigenous peoples.