Response to Levin’s article:
According to the Levin article, school curricula shows to be developed and implemented primarily by public policies. These public policies, as highlighted by Levin “govern just about every aspect of education- what schooling is provided, how, to whom, in what form, with what resources, and so on” (Levin, 8, 2007). Thus, schools and educators may or may not have a say in what is included and what is not included in the curriculum depending on the overall government systems and the policies in place. Levin goes on to highlight to readers the process of how curriculum policy decisions are made, which is solely dependent on the government system as highlighted earlier. The process of developing curriculum typically “involves bringing together groups of experts and sector representatives to draft the elements of a new or revised curriculum” where teachers and post-secondary experts help as well (Levin, 17, 2009). In addition, Levin explains that interest groups may be involved in developing curriculum (Levin, 16, 2007).
Through reading Levin’s article, there was a lot of new information and perspectives presented to me regarding the development and implementation of the school curriculum. One major piece of information that was new to me was how school curricula are developed. Previously, I knew that curriculum is developed and implemented by public policies in place by the government, but did not realize that it involves bringing together groups of experts and sector representatives as well as interest groups. This article also made me realize the difficult job that the government has to please everyone in terms of curriculum, which is ultimately is not possible seeing “the presence of diverse and conflicting goals” making the government be pulled to different sides at the same time (Levin 10, 2007). Additionally, this article presented me with a whole new perspective regarding the government. As a person who has attended school majority of my life, I have certainly developed some critiques regarding the curriculum and have also questioned some of the actions that the government has made in general society, but have never truly taken the government’s perspective into consideration seeing that it is something that is not commonly discussed which Levin presents in this article.
From Levin’s article, one overarching thing that concerned me was the fact that people who are not directly associated with school systems have a major impact on what the curriculum entails. This article highlights how groups of experts, sector representatives as well as interest groups have a major role in the development and implementation of curriculum where those who are directly in contact with curriculum such as principles, teachers, and students, who have a much richer and deeper understanding of curriculum rarely if not ever get a voice in how curriculum decisions are made.
Response to Treaty Education document:
After reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, there are some connections that I made between Levin’s article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Saskatchewan. Within the Treaty Education document, it states that “the Ministry of Education respects the federal government’s legal, constitutional, and fiscal obligations to First Nations peoples and its primary responsibility for Métis people” (Government of Saskatchewan, 3, 2013). This relates to Levin’s article in the sense that the government ultimately is in control of developing and implementing the curriculum. Additionally, the Treaty Education document states that “A Curriculum Sub-committee of the Shared Standards and Capacity Building Council guided the development of the K-12 Continuum for Treaty Education. This was a comprehensive consultative process with the following partners: Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, First Nations University of Canada, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Curriculum Sub-committee for the Shared Standards and Capacity Building Council, and the Ministry of Education” (Government of Saskatchewan, 3, 2013). This relates to Levin’s article seeing that curriculum throughout Levin’s article is said to be developed and implemented by groups of experts, sector representatives as well as interest groups which is also seen in the Treaty Education curriculum through the sub-committee that was created to develop the K-12 Treaty Education curriculum.
Some tensions that I could see arising as the Treaty Education curriculum was developed are disagreements in regards to what perspectives and topics should be included in the curriculum and what aspects should not be included. Seeing that the development and implementation of curricula do not always take those peoples voices into consideration who are directly connected to school systems, tensions could also arise in regards to educators not feeling fully educated on the topic of Treaty Education and therefore may feel uncomfortable teaching it in their classroom, and in turn may see it as an optional aspect of curriculum to be taught or may just skip teaching it altogether.