Prior to the reading I had viewed curriculum development as a closed off process, done largely by civil servants within the Ministry of Education, with consultations from the school board, and educators. I don’t have much memory of the consultation processes of the last major curriculum renewal, even though I was part of one of the first groups of students to experience the new science curriculum.
After the reading, I see now that although the process is led by the ministry of education, it is also pushed by special interest groups, and public feedback to changes. The renewal teams gather consultations from experts of the field, industry leaders, educators, universities, as well as the general public, and in most cases people like the industry leaders, or university representatives have a lot more power when it comes to changes to the curriculum. One group that seemed to have very little say was the students, which was mentioned in lecture yesterday. I also found it interesting that the example from Ontario ended up acting in a compromise to the recommendations of the initial review committee which had found, based on evidence presented by schools and mathematics experts and university administrators, that the removal of calculus from high school curriculum followed by a restructuring of high level math courses, would have ultimately led to better math results. They ended with a compromise because there was public outcry, and industry groups spoke against it.