Politics of Curriculum

Before reading/lecture:

I have never really thought about who decides what makes it into the curriculum or how it is decided, which, now that I think of it, is pretty crazy. This is a perfect example of Kumashiro’s commonsense.  Curriculum is what we need students to know. But why? Who decides? At this point in my reflection, I would say curriculum is designed to prepare students for university classes, but again, who decides what is learned once one is there? I do know that some professors that I have had have helped designed curriculum in their specific subjects so I believe they decide what level they want students to be at when they receive them at the university level.  This is interesting though because in theory school should prepare us for the real world and university is hardly comparable to that.  Additionally, at least for myself, at most maybe one quarter of my graduating class of 200+ attended university.  The idea of our schooling being designed to prepare us for something only a select few participate in is kind of ludicrous.

After reading/lecture:

This reading gave me a lot of insight into political processes.  Sometimes I forget how many people the government has to answer too and that it is impossible to keep everyone happy.  The article made a point that went something like, since everyone has experience in the school system , everyone has opinions on it.  This is one of the few topics where everyone feels qualified enough to make a statement.  I had never really thought about this but it is totally true.  Curriculum reviews and decisions almost always involve teachers and administrators but once those decisions get put up to vote is where things can get sticky.  Although we live in a democracy, a person with certain position may have a lot of influence over how the vote goes.  This is why it is important to elect officials with a up-to-date knowledge of the latest studies and findings and someone with real-life practical experience to position that oversee educational decisions.  One crazy thing to think about is that our education system produces the voters so if there is a flaw in the educational system it may be hard to overturn because that flaw helped to shape those voters.


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