Yes, but WHAT IS Curriculum?

How do you think that school curricula are developed?

With only a little prior knowledge of how school curricula are developed, I can make an educated guess. Based on prior knowledge, I know that curricula are developed by teachers in the field. When curricula need to be renewed, expanded, etc. teachers with expertise in the subject area are chosen to help create the curriculum. This group can be comprised of individuals including new teachers, old teachers, elders, political officials, leaders, etc. It takes many hands to create curriculum and decide on what should be taught in school. Once these members are gathered then the curriculum can be discussed as a group to determine everything about the course. Once these people are in agreeance on what this new curriculum looks like, there are separate focus groups that deal on different parts to develop this curriculum such as the curriculum writers, etc. Once the curriculum is written and ready to test, there is a pilot program of one year so that a select few teachers can teach this new curriculum and discover what works and what does not. Once adjustments are made, the curriculum will be rolled out provincially as the new standard. This whole process takes years to culminate. That is what I know about developing curriculum. It is very basic and I am sure I missed a lot of information.

How are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of the school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?

After reading the article there was one common theme; politics. I found myself looking back at my answer before reading to compare, I found some relations, but a lot of it was solely focused on the political agenda that curriculum ultimately revolves around. I found a lot of irony in this reading. How educators and students, those who actually deliver and retain the information taught, are the ones who have the least amount of say in the building of curriculum process. I found that concerning to me as a future educator. If we do not have a say, how can we effectively teach students?

Adding to my previous statement before the reading, creating curriculum is a process filled with varying individuals from many different fields and backgrounds, while this is true, as brought up in the article, there is a lot more of a political presence than I would have liked to see. Public policy plays a major role, which is fine until new issues arise in politics and those take precedence or are the agenda for the next curriculum update. To conclude, there are a lot more political ideologies in the development of the curriculum than I would like to see. While politics envelop most of our lives, it is sad to see that government, who does not know more than teachers about teaching, interfere in the process of building a strong, progressive lasting curriculum for students to learn and enjoy. Thanks for reading!




Author: myeducationaljourneyblog

My name is Levi Harvey. I am currently studying at the University of Regina with dreams of obtaining a degree in Education.

4 thoughts on “Yes, but WHAT IS Curriculum?”

  1. Good post Levi. I also found that politics and policy makers think they know more then the actually educators themselves. That being said even the educators do not completely agree on what should be in the curriculum. As we have found out in out social class, the committee that decides the curriculum is very large (+30 people). Should the committee be smaller or larger even? And should the students have more of a say?


    1. Brendan, thanks for the response! As for your question, I think the size of the committee is actually a good size, if anything, I would make it a little bigger. I think this will create a longer process, but may help in ensuring that voices are heard. Also, students should definitely have a bigger say with what they are taught. They should definitely be informed as well because they are the ones going through this educational system. I hope that answers your questions! Thank you very much!


  2. I thought very similar to you before this reading, that teachers had a lot of say in what is being taught and I focused more on revising than anything because I thought teachers revised old curriculum. But then the reading just states how everything has to go through the government before it is used provincially. Which is understood, but also makes little sense. I liked how you represented this in your blog!


  3. Hey Levi, good read!
    It seems like the curriculum is a very political debate on what students (future citizens) will learn. I’ve read many blog posts and many people are surprised that the curriculum is controlled by the government mostly. The best way to develop the curriculum is to debate with the people implementing the curriculum and parents of the students. That way the best education is for the thought for the students rather than the “old ways of learning”.

    Question: Should there be other means of the curriculum being developed? who should be in charge?


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