Power and the Politics of Knowledge

Curriculum as Public Policy: Critical Engagement with the Politics of Knowledge

Before the reading, we asked the following question: how do you think the school curricula was developed? My common sense of how the school curricula were created by retired teachers who had problems with the curricula when they were teaching and wanted it changed.

After doing the reading by Ben Levin, I understand that our school curricula are developed and implemented by the stakeholders within education are government; school boards, the ministry of education, teachers, FSIN, General public like parents, university for subjects area specialist, textbook companies, employers. There is no way to separate politics and our public policy. Which feels very overwhelming because their impact will affect my life.

This Ted-talk called How Social Media Can Explain American Politics and Education by Ramy Mahmoud in TEDxPlano described as “Approval, praise and acceptance are the driving forces behind society’s obsession with social media. A high school teacher shares the intertwining relationship between perception and perfection while challenging students to think beyond the accepted majority opinion of an issue,” really helped me understand the connection between politics and education. The quote by Ramy Mahmoud, ” We live in a world where everyone thinks they know everything and anyone who disagrees with us knows nothing and nothing can ever be resolved.” completely captures my view on politics currently. Having an open mind is a skill that needs to be taught more along with empathy for this statement to ever change.


My hope for the future is that we can move past our need to be right instead of thinking critically. During this Ted-talk at 16.14 one of Ramy Madmouds students achieves this by saying,” Sometimes, you can learn to appreciate the other side of an argument, even if you don’t agree.” If we can all stop and focus on the common threads that two sides have together found a middle ground becomes a lot more piratical.

The new information from this reading about the development and implementation of the school curriculum was how little the current educators have control. Educators are the ones who I believe need more power and control over what happens in their classroom with their students. Our curriculum should not be controlled by textbook companies or anyone that has a say while gaining money. change if you do not pay attention to the educators who are supposed to teach. They should be given more say because they will have the knowledge and experiences from the classroom in order to better help our students.

Even though I know that concerns Understanding public policy and politics pages 9 says,” everything in government occurs in the shadow of elections. This has been very clear since the elections in Ontario from 2015. The change in power voted to takes out Sex Education. Clearly done so by politics and not the schools. Since students did not want the change. My biggest concern is the value statements surrounding consent. Currently, we are struggling with what it is in politics and why it is important. Consent should always be taught and it is as simple as tea.


The questions that I am left with are; Why does money take in education? Why do parents have so much control via social media? Why does my classroom students have almost no say yet the effect on them is huge?

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.

Cover photo: https://pixabay.com/en/users/Monoar-2240009/



One Comment Add yours

  1. Kaitlin Kraushaar says:

    Hi Shania!

    I agree with you when you say that educators in the classroom have little say about what is in the curriculum. I think that it is important for teachers – that have hands on experiences with the students in classrooms today – to have a say in how/what is being taught.
    Very well written!



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