- Part 1) According to the Levin article, 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?
- Part 2) After reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, what connections can you make between the article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Saskatchewan? What tension might you imagine were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum?
The Leven article reveals that the creation and implementation of curricula is a “well-developed formal process” (p. 17). With that being said, it is also problematic considering that the group of people represented in reshaping the curriculum are mainly teachers who are experts in their field. This means that not only are they not necessarily trained in creating curriculum, but the common teacher (who of course, is the one who is going to actually be teaching the majority of students) is completely unrepresented. This leads to teachers who may be unprepared or unable to teach the new curriculum, who in many cases will not have the appropriate qualifications or resources to keep up with a curriculum that expects so much more out of them.
After reading this, it seems to me that the main issue with the changing and reforming of the curriculum is that they don’t consider the actual needs of the teacher or students. Of course, every country wants to say that they excel when it comes to education and giving students the best and highest education possible. What they don’t look at is what the average teacher actually needs in today’s classrooms. The article points out that average teachers, and experts in the field, are going to view curriculum issues in very different ways. It suggests that “the latter may focus on the need for high-level skills in their own area, whereas teachers may be more concerned with a curriculum that will work for students with widely varying skills and interests” (p. 18). This is especially true when you consider the rising class sizes and a greater number of students with disabilities. In the end, it seems as though HOW curriculum is designed needs to be changed, rather than the curriculum itself.
When it comes to the Treaty Education Document, I think that the main issue lies with the fact that curriculum as it is right now in Saskatchewan, is mainly focused on delivering the information, so that you meet the outcomes. There is little focus on the connection made to the student’s lives. The problem with this is that treaties, as layed out in the curriculum, is living and breathing, but many teachers will be too focused on meeting outcomes that they forget about the main point of Treaty Education. The other issue comes with teachers themselves, and the fact that every teacher has their own views of “what is important to teach in school”. So if you have teachers who are intolerant or don’t see the value of Treaty Ed (like the teacher in the UR Confessions post) then their students are not going to see the value either. Those views could have also existed with the creating of the document itself, with members not seeing the value in Treaty Ed, and because of that, could have created some tension. There is no apparent issue with the document itself, but instead with the way curriculum has been delivered for so long.