Building Curricula: the Where & Who

(blog five)

I believe that school curricula are developed by government officials and leaders of school boards. I honestly do not know too much of where or who decides what curricula is learned. I do know that students and parents do not get much say in what the curricula is.

After reading the article by Levin I have come to learn that politicians and government are at the very forefront of the decisions that are made in making and implementing curricula. “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” (Levin, 2008, p. 8). The way that government and politics works makes me very concerned about the process in which our curricula is being created and enforced. Levin (2008) explains that “political influence is usually highly unequal” (p. 8), they are always thinking “about how to improve its prospects for being reelected” (p. 9), “attempt to shape as well as respond to public opinion” (p. 10), highly influenced “by external political pressures, changing circumstances, unexpected events, and crises” (p. 11), and “beliefs drive political action and voting intentions much more than do facts” (p. 13). It worries me that the government is not always doing what they truly know and believe will be best for the education system, teachers and students. I fear that they are too worried about their image, as well as too focused on all aspects of politics to put full effort into what is best for students.

Implementing curricula seems to not be much different than the actions taken within creating it. Levin stated “policy implementation tends to get short shifted” (2008, p. 12), this is due to the fact that that money is often an issue in properly implementing policy, as well as time. Often politicians have many other issues they are trying to deal with right after they have dealt with one. Time is a huge factor, often progression of implementation is neglected to be checked up on. This also concerns me, how do politicians know if what they have decided is being followed through how they wanted it to? How do they know if they made the right choice?

After continuing reading through the article I learned that often depending on the location and the people and systems, schools can have a large or very little say in what changes are made to curriculum. Schools tend to have a little more freedom over “particular subjects or topics” (Levin, 2008, p. 16). I also learned that industries and businesses will try to promote programs in schools that will benefit their markets when students are finished school (Levin, 2008, p. 16). I also learned that assessment policies can play a huge roll in creating curriculum (Levin, 2008, p. 16). Sometimes parents, teacher, and even students get to have their opinions heard as part of “curriculum review groups” (Levin, 2008, p. 17). Overall I have learned that politics play the main role in creating the curricula that our youth are taking in, and I do not think that this is right. I understand that it is a complicated process, but I also think that teachers (at the very least) need to be heard more often as they are with the students every day and they are the ones distributing the curricula every day, every year; they know the curriculum through and through. I believe that it is important to give the people living the curriculum every day a chance to create it.

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One thought on “Building Curricula: the Where & Who

  1. Thanks Justine for the Post. I love that you used so many quotes. I felt like I could really connect to what you are talking about. This article opened my eyes to information about the curriculum I have never heard about.

    Like

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