Week 5: Curriculum as Public Policy: Critical Engagement with the Politics of Knowledge

I have always thought that school curricula were developped by the government. The ministry of education more specifically. Universities too because they set a certain standard (of who comes in and the conditions).

After reading the text, we are to note that first of all education works provincially in Canada, which means that every province has its own general curriculum. There are many stakeholders in that which are the government itself, teachers, experts, parents (on a very small level), bureaucrats… Two kind of discussions take place: the overall shape of school curricula (which subject needs to be taught, which ones should be taken away, should we have religion or sex education…) and the content of particular subjects (at different level of education, what should be included in each subject, how much load, methods..). General preferences are taken into consideration, curricula somehow reflect societies.  These groups of people are brought together (representatives of each sector). Sometimes the implementation of a curriculum takes years. These processes are sometimes smooth, and sometimes too contentious.

This reading gave me more information concerning the disagreement teachers sometimes have with experts (of a subject). I did not even know experts were also stakeholders because to be honest, nobody is at their level, it is not because they know something that they are able to teach it. I also never expected bureaucrats to be part of that list,  to me they were just like machines executing orders. Apparently I was wrong: even the ones typing have a say apparently.

What concerns me though is that students are not really consulted. Of course it is hard to take them into consideration due to their young age, but at least to have surveys and polls then based on that, find out what might be best for them. I also wanted to see parents have a better say, apparently very few only are part of that whole process. Maybe we should raise the awareness? Because many parents complain saying that they do not like this or that part of the curriculum, but at the same time they do not take part of any process. My guess is they are just not aware, so we need to raise the awareness (tv, internet, letters…).

2 thoughts on “Week 5: Curriculum as Public Policy: Critical Engagement with the Politics of Knowledge

  1. Hi,
    I also surprised to learn the curriculum changed province to province. It’s unfortunate to think who has the most money or who knows the right people has a say what kids are learning in school. I could see a slight benefit to this that every province teaches in school important topic about the province they live in and may work in eventually. But regardless they should be teaching the general knowledge in school.


  2. I like your idea about polls and surveys for the students and parents to allow their voices to be heard, it may be hard to actually bring them to the meetings as which parents and students get to attend the meeting as you would need a diverse group of parents and students to attend the meeting to get a well rounded scope of what they believe needs to be in their children’s education, so I agree that surveys would be easier and more efficient !


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