Week 5- Politics and Policy

Before The Reading:

I think that a curriculum is developed based on what is valued by society. I do not think that the curriculum is developed based on the values of the entire society but only on what is valued by the social group in power. I think that curriculum has the illusion of being neutral but is ultimately a way to reproduce the social structure.

After The Reading:

The development and implementation of curriculum is a complicated process. According to the reading there are four steps considered when creating new curriculum or revising existing curriculum. These steps include examining the current curriculum, gathering strength and weaknesses, considering various ideas of change, trying to arrive at consensus on recommendations (https://www.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/16905_Chapter_1.pdf). When creating new curriculum consulting experts in a given field can create problems. This can create problems because the teachers who are responsible for teaching this curriculum are not as educated in that subject area. Therefore, the teachers may struggle to teach the curriculum. When it comes to implementing the new curriculum it is sometimes given to the entire school system or a pilot period at a few schools takes place.

The article provided a new perspective to me in the sense that I did not realize the extent of policies and politics that surround curriculum. When I was in school I never questioned why I usually had math, science, English and social studies almost everyday. Consequently, I never questioned why art, music or physical education was every couple days. Now that I am older I realize that everything has a reason for happening and that more often not the reason is because it is beneficial to someone or group. Another new perspective I gained from the article is that getting experts to work on creating does not necessarily provide the best curriculum for in the classroom. I would have thought that this would best. I did not think about the fact that some teachers would not be able to implement this curriculum in their classrooms. While I understood that teaching encompasses more than just teaching the curriculum, I did not realize the extent to which politics and policy are involved in teaching.

Something that is concerning to me about what I read was that curriculum decisions “extends beyond education to lager questions of public good” (https://www.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/16905_Chapter_1.pdf). Understanding curriculum to be a reflection of or a correlation to the well being of a society is overwhelming. Another concerning aspect of what I read was everyone has been to school and therefore has an opinion about the educational system. I understand it is impossible to make everyone happy but I also feel it is my responsibility to do what is best for my students and be able to stand up and fight for them. I think part of this is will be ensuring that I am confident in my rational and am capable of standing my ground for what I believe in.

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2 thoughts on “Week 5- Politics and Policy

  1. Hi Kianna,
    What a great post! When you said, “I think that curriculum has the illusion of being neutral but is ultimately a way to reproduce the social structure”, it really stuck out to me. I didn’t realize before this course how it is impossible to be neutral because if you are being neutral you are not standing up for something that may require you to. I didn’t realize that everything is political surrounding curriculum. I think you really nailed this when you discussed neutrality and how it’s really just reproducing social structure.

    Thanks for sharing your insights,
    Isabella

    Like

  2. Hey Kianna,
    You hit so many of the major points that really encompass this reading. In your reflection you said, “Now that I am older I realize that everything has a reason for happening and that more often not the reason is because it is beneficial to someone or group”. I too found that the reasoning of certain material being taught only because it benefits a certain group is disconcerting. Great post!
    Thanks for Sharing,
    Brooklynn

    Like

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