Developing a Formal Curriculum

Part 1) School curriculum is developed by many people. It takes more than just one or two people to develop and implement a formal curriculum. The government plays a major role in the development of a new curriculum along with teachers, experts, historians, and companies. It is mentioned in Levin’s article how education governance typically involves a combination of national, local and school participation but the final authority falls under national. It is also mentioned that however the cabinet has one person in charge of education, many other political leaders may also have views and if curriculum decisions go through a political vetting process there may be all kinds of political influences including preferences of individuals. The many groups of people who come together to build a curriculum will look at data and past curriculums but in the end the government seems to have the most authority when it comes to implementing it. Groups that mainly sit on these formal curriculum development boards include experts, parents, and teachers. Teachers play a key role because they have been inside the classroom and are the ones who will be implementing the curriculum to their students. Levin suggests in his article that it is important to involve community members because their views and thoughts need to be considered. One thing that surprised me is that experts have a major say and that they may not consider the teachers abilities. Some teachers may not be capable of teaching a topic that is beyond their knowledge. Levin describes that a colleague described a high school mathematics curriculum as “developed by the six best teachers in [the province] and they are the only ones who could teach it successfully”. I was also surprised that scientists or tradespersons have a say because it mentions that they usually feel their field is important or more important than others.


Part 2) The first connection I noticed between the Treaty Education document and Levin’s article is the amount of people it takes to produce a curriculum. In both documents there wasn’t just one or two people involved but multiple people and multiple groups. Also, a connection is that it is important to have experts of that field helping produce these forms of documents. The formal curriculum has experts who give their input and the Treaty document also had experts in this field by bringing in elders to help create the document. Some tension I might imagine is the different views between the Indigenous community and the Ministry of Education. The things the Ministry of Education views as a must to include might be something the Indigenous community doesn’t feel the need to add and vis versa. I would hope teachers wouldn’t feel this way but one tension may be teachers feeling the Indigenous culture is being over taught and deciding not to teach the Indigenous culture as much or at all.

6 thoughts on “Developing a Formal Curriculum

  1. Hey Makenna!
    I agree with you that it takes a lot of people to create the curriculum documents and that the government holds a lot of the power in this development. Regarding part two, every individual has their own viewpoints regarding Treaty Education and it sad that some educators may hold a tension and choose not to teach it. Thanks for sharing!


  2. I was also surprised about how much say experts have in the creation of the curriculum. It’s crazy how they have so much say on what is taught in the classroom but have no experience with the curriculum in the classroom. There were also experts involved in the creation of Treaty Education just like the rest of the curriculum. Do you think that there is a way to avoid having teachers feeling like the Indigenous culture is being over taught? How can we go about making sure the right amount of Indigenous culture is incorporated in schools?


  3. Hi,
    I enjoyed reading your blog write-up on Treaty Education. I too, also hope teachers do not think that Treaty Education is being over taught. What are some ways in which you could continue to bring in Treaty Education as a teacher?


  4. When you talk about all the people involved in making up the curriculum from government, to school officials, teachers historians and so on but yet you also stated that the final authority usually comes from a national level it makes me wonder if Canadian curriculum is really geared towards Canadian levels. I was in a math class last semester that talked about how the level of math in Canada is amongst the lowest in the world, well if our math curriculum is decided ultimately by a national committee it makes me wonder if we need to ask for or implement change in where our curriculum comes from.


  5. I really liked that you talked about how it takes so many different people to create a curriculum. You mentioned that some teachers may not be incapable of teaching a topic due to it being beyond their knowledge; As we discussed in our first few weeks of class using examples from math classes, this is very true. Typically, teachers only know one way of teaching concepts and there’s not much they can do to help if you don’t understand that method. I’m curious if you think this is due to under-qualified teachers or if what is being put in the curriculum is simply to challenging, and how we can provide teachers the necessary tools to successfully teach lessons and concepts.


  6. I agree with you when you mention that teacher’s may not be able to teach a subject area that is beyond their knowledge. It is surprising that many do not consider teacher’s abilities even though they are considered experts. What do you think can be done to help students having more say in the curriculum?


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