Emily Columpsi

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery" -Mark Van Doren

Chapters 4&5 – Kumashiro Reading

Rewrite our class definition of curriculum [the third slide from the ‘what is curriculum’ powerpoint] so that it better reflects your emerging sense of the idea.

Curriculum is an agreed upon document that can be taught either explicitly or implicitly. These documents include multiple guidelines that are mandated by the Ministry of Education and thus are seen as foundational for teaching.  As well, they are used to provide a framework for what should be taught and therefore what should be learned by students in order to becoming fulfilling and contributing members of contemporary society. However, curriculum also includes the environment and the experiences of students, and therefore, curriculum is shaped by not only what happens within the classroom but the situations outside of the classroom. In curriculum, cultures matters, times matters, and individual thoughts and actions matter. As a result, the curriculum becomes everything and anything that happens within or outside the classroom. Thus, we all contribute to curriculum.

Where is the place for ‘crisis’ and especially ‘learning through crisis’ and troubling knowledge in your definition of curriculum?

I believe the place for ‘crisis’, ‘learning through crisis’ and troubling knowledge in my definition of curriculum is through the process of challenging or questioning knowledge. By bringing in ideas from many different perspectives, both within and outside the classroom, students become encouraged and are able to think critically. They will be able to ask themselves meaningful questions such as, what does curriculum make possible or impossible; which can allow students to become aware of oppression. The more open students and teachers are to the varying opinions and perspectives, the more likely they will see their own opinions and ideas as something other then impartial, which allows for the presence of crisis, learning through crisis and troubling knowledge.

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3 thoughts on “Chapters 4&5 – Kumashiro Reading

  1. meganjohns012 on said:

    Do we all contribute to the curriculum? Especially the written curriculum that is taught in Saskatchewan Schools? In the lecture on Tuesday, November 5th we spent time going over outcomes and indicators from the grade seven and eight social studies curriculum. Each group in the lecture auditorium was able to pick out oppressive factors in each of these outcomes. Oppressive in a way that we were leaving out certain historical moments or specific races. One example was how residential schools where not an example of what could be taught as a historical event. Therefore, are First Nations and Aboriginal people still contributing to the curriculum? Maybe you meant we can all adapt the curriculum so that we can all contribute to learning of the curriculum? I’m not convinced that we are all contributing to the written Saskatchewan curriculum. Does the curriculum specifically mention LGBT individuals or people with disabilities?

    • Yes, sorry! I did not mean it in that context. I meant, like you said, that in one way or another we all contribute to the learning of others, and thus to the curriculum. Also, I meant more on the lines of that people contribute, more so, to the hidden curriculum and what is taught implicitly, rather than the formal curriculum and what is taught explicitly. It is hard to contribute to the formal curriculum as that is set in stone document. Having that said, simple interactions amongst students contribute to the learning of others, which can be seen as the hidden curriculum, since knowledge is being built upon or questioned in differing ways. I hope I made this more clear? If not, I can try and explain it again?!

      • meganjohns012 on said:

        No, you make this perfectly clear now. I understand what you are trying to say. Thanks for clarifying your point for me!

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