Part 1 Response:
According to the Levin article, the school curricula is developed and implemented in a political way. Levin describes this throughout the article by saying that “every education policy decision can be seen as being, in some sense, a political decision.” (p.8) He backs up this statement by saying “most policy decisions in education, including curriculum decisions, are made with little or no public attention.” (p.8) This is supported by the idea that the decisions made regarding the school curriculum, even if they do not directly involve politics, are still political “because they involve questions of public choice and concern”. (p.8) Often times we do not realize how connected politics and curriculum are. Most curriculum decisions are made by those in political power.
When reading this article there were a lot of eye opening points. I personally did not think of education and the curriculum as a political topic but, as the article states, it is. In the article, Levin says “Education policy is particularly susceptible to this situation as pretty well everyone has some experience of schooling and therefore opinions about how it ought to work”. (p.10) This statement made me really think about how political education is because, like politics, everyone has opinions on what should be done and only some have the power to control it.
Part 2 Response:
There is a large connection between Levin’s article and the Treaty Education Document regarding the political policies and education. I noticed how they model the structure of setting up Indigenous education in schools. The political model of Levin’s article is reflected within the curriculum document through the way the Ministry of Education recognizes the need for treaty education. “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.” (p.3) This is directly related to the government once again showing how the government and political parties control the education system. This is just one example of how political policies are implemented within the curriculum.
I think that because there is such a demand for proper Treaty Education in schools there is a lot of tension. There is tension to create an adequate curriculum for all ages that implements all of the necessary information as well as creating a positive response from the communities. There is also tension between teaching staff and the curriculum because to implement Treaty Education productively within schools you must also have educated teachers to be able to teach the subjects in an effective way.
Levin, B. (2008). Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be learned in schools. In F. Connelly, M. He & J. Phillion (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction (pp. 7 – 24). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Available on-line from: http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/16905_Chapter_1.pdf.