Formal Curriculum vs. Teachers

I found the reading by Levin extremely insightful and resourceful in terms of politics, government, and education. However, in all honestly, I don’t really know where to start when discussing this complex notion of  “who get’s what”(p.8) then asking how and why and who’s responsibility? It would be easiest to simply answer the question, “what role do teachers play in enacting the curriculum.” My simple answer to this would be to use the formal curriculum as a guide to inspire different praxis to reach the intended outcomes. As for meeting expectations, it is obvious that the expectations are going to vary immensely among the government, school administration, teachers, and parents. Social context comes in to play, such as the issue of what the community thinks should be important, and what the ministry of education is actually able to implement based on government feedback. The complexity with this is the fact mentioned in the reading as well as in lecture about facts versus opinions. Research can prove one thing, but the power of the community’s opinion clearly has an influence which causes policies to go through adaptive, complicated procedures in order to come to a final conclusion.

Given this formal curriculum, the role of teachers than is to find out what needs to be underlined in terms of the individual students within in their classroom. From my understanding, teachers have little influence in the formal make up of the curriculum, but what they do have influence over is their own personal process of teaching based on their own philosophies of education. If you think about it, though there may be similarities, every teacher’s philosophy will encompass different ways of enacting the curriculum. Since there is no way to cover every academic, social, and culture subject/issue throughout the year of elementary and high school schooling, what teachers can do is do what they can. Critiquing and taking what is meaningful to them and their classrooms at the time is what they can do to provide relevant inquiry and equity to their students.

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One thought on “Formal Curriculum vs. Teachers

  1. Great post Amy! I agree it is important to view the curriculum as a guide to inspire your teaching! I also appreciate that you point out the importance of critiquing the curriculum to pull out what is meaningful to the teacher. It is important that we are able to critically view documents and expectations to provide equity for our students. This is a skill that does take time to develop and as a new teacher, it may be a daunting and overwhelming task. How do you think we can minimalize the daunting task for ourselves as new, naive teachers?

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