Curriculum: Its’ Creation and Implementation

While reading the work titled Curriculum Policy and The Politics of What Should Be Learned in Schools by author Ben Levin, we learn that curricula is developed and implemented during a long, drawn out process that involves many people and often depends on governance systems that are in place at the time. Curriculum creation happens when a group of people come together to develop and/or renew certain curricula. The group in session usually consists of heads of post-secondary institutions, expert teachers, principals and/or senior admin personal, and some government officials such as people from the ministry of education. These people will look at the curriculum that already exists, collect some data and discuss what should be done in terms of a new curriculum. In some cases, there are piloted trials done for new curricula which will come back into the hands of the creators for suggestions or revision and in other cases the new courses are simply released freely for teachers to begin teaching.

I found it very surprising that this process can sometimes take several years to be complete. It seems interesting that it takes such a lengthy amount of time as some of the issues that are brought up in the first place, may be totally different than the issues facing teachers or the curriculum by the time it is all over and done with. In this context, I think of the History 30: Canadian Studies curriculum which is twenty-two years old and my professor of ESST 300, Heather Findlay, says that she has heard of a renewal of this curriculum for about five years now and it still hasn’t happened. The world is constantly changing, and so is the way that teachers teach… so why shouldn’t what teachers are teaching change and develop with the rest of the world too? I’m not suggesting that curriculum be looked at every year or two, I know that is an unattainable goal. However, I think that there should be attention given to making sure that curriculum is relevant to the students of today and maybe that means curriculum creators meet every five or seven years to check on curriculum and its’ implementation.

I also found the reading engaged me when the author brought up fact that teachers who are experts in some subjects are part of designing curriculum and yet it is only those few teachers may be the only ones in the province who can successfully teach it. I think that there should be some data and research done on what kind of supports teachers need to implement curriculum in their classrooms and that information should be taken into direct account when creating or renewing curriculum. If majority of teachers- excluding the experts on that subject- cannot properly teach the content simply because they don’t have the expert knowledge that is needed, then the education is doing a disservice to both teachers AND students. There has to be some sort of way to include necessary content and an effective way to teach it that is relatable to the majority of teachers so that the curriculum can be instructed properly.

When looking at the Saskatchewan Treaty Education Document I can see all of the key players that were involved in the developing process. Those individuals include Indigenous elders, post-secondary representatives, members of FSIN, federal government officials and Ministry of Education personal. I can imagine that since this was a brand-new concept and only introduced in 2007, that there may have been some tensions among the people of the public asking why this is important for their children to learn. I would even go as far as to say there was possibly even some backlash from teachers who were questioning how or why they had to teach this when there is already so much on their plates.

There is no doubt that curriculum development and implementation is a hefty process that is complex in many different ways!

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