I do not know a lot about how curricula are developed but I imagine there is not one specific way of doing it. I think that there must be a board or panel that handles the final decision on what the curricula should include. First, they must have to decide what we value as a society, what is important to us. Then based off of those values they may lay out a goal that they want to achieve. From there they might decide on what steps they need to take in order to meet that goal. Essentially creating a lesson plan from backwards.
Another way of forming a curriculum I learned from my dad who wrote a curriculum for the students on a reserve in Bella Bella BC with another colleague. The way they did this was by creating a curriculum by the means I wrote about above. Then they had to pitch it to a board of directors. Their curricula were approved by the board and it was implemented in the school the following year. Like I mentioned before, there is no right or wrong way to go about creating a curriculum as long as the end products meet the needs of our society.
According to Curriculum Policy And the Politics of What Should Be Learned in Schools by Ben Levin the process of developing curricula is as follows:
Firstly, the decision processes depend on different systems of government. The governments have formal processes for creating and reviewing the curricula which typically include groups made up of experts in the area. Teachers make up the majority as well as professors from post-secondary institutions. Generally, it starts by reviewing previous curricula looking at its strengths and weaknesses and seeing what needs to be changed. Based on this evaluation either a new curriculum or a revised version is implemented. Sometimes these processes can take several years as it is a lengthy process.
Information from this article that was new to me was that sometimes experts’ “expertise” is not used because there is a danger to an expert dominated curriculum because teachers sometimes may not be able to effectively teach the material.
One thing that concerns me is the lack of consultation of students themselves and the community in which the curricula is to be implemented. The curricula are often influenced by what we value as a society but even within a province or territory, there can be extreme differences. Involving smaller divisions and communities in the curriculum could perhaps ensure that the curriculum is relevant to that specific school. I don’t necessarily think all of Saskatchewan, for example, needs to learn the exact same things. For example, when I went to school we would have benefitted from more agricultural aspects in our curriculum as that is what’s relevant to our community. This may be hard to implement and require a lot more members to help write curriculum but I believe it would be much more beneficial for educators and students.