ECS 210

Developing Curricula

Before Reading Question:  I believe that the curriculum is developed by a team of educated professionals who work for the Ministry of Education. The curriculum is shaped by past experiences that have occurred in the student’s world. They may ask the questions:

  • What is necessary for the students to learn so they can excel in today’s society and the future?
  • What is not necessary for the students to learn?
  • What is relevant/irrelevant for the students to learn?

When curriculum is revised, I believe the new documents are created from altering past curriculum documents. The world is ever-changing, therefore, what is being taught in school should be ever-changing. For instance, an alteration from a past curriculum outcome may include the same outcome, but in the new document they may include an indicator stating they have to use technology to meet that outcome. Technology was not a major part of the student’s life twenty years ago so the curriculum did not have to include that part, but in today’s world technology is everywhere.

After Reading Question: 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?

The reading suggests that curriculum is developed and implemented by public policy and politics. “Public policy is about the rules and procedures governing public sector activity- what they are and how they are made.” Public policy may influence evaluation and assessments that occur amongst schools by setting rules. This may be implementing departmental exams, or standardized testing. In the past, students with disabilities were not allowed in the classroom with students their age. Although, some educators may have felt it was beneficial for students to be interacting with their peers, they were unable to allow this because the public policy was to segregate the students with disabilities. Politics is defined as “a set of arrangements by which some people dominate others” (Tinder, 1991, p.162). Those who have more power and a higher status will influence the decision making on the curriculum. The government and the ministry of education are prime examples of organizations that have a high status that influences the curriculum documents.

What surprised me was the statement “there is a large gap between producing a curriculum and the experience of students in the classroom.” This contradicts as to how I thought school curricula is developed before I completed the reading. Public policy and politics are two major roles that affect how the curriculum is developed. “Ideology, personal values, issues in the public domain and interests” are also crucial aspects to consider.

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