CURRICULUM CANADA II
Edited by Jean-Jacques Bernier and George S. Tomkins.
Volume 11 Number 3.
This English/French presentation of papers submitted at a Quebec symposium reflects a true representation of Canadian curriculum expertise. Through the exchange of ideas and information, the organizers hoped to share both the theoretical and practical research issues pertinent to curriculum development in English and French Canada.
Andrew S. Hughes in his article, "Curriculum 1980, the Centralization of Authority," reviews the strong political directives issued during the '70s by various levels of government to centralize a core curriculum. This has resulted in numerous curriculum committees being established in each province. He expresses concern that curriculum development from a top-, down, centralized, political decision-making structure will not necessarily meet the intended learning outcomes. The curriculum guides are a "latent potential" waiting for someone to give it life and meaning.
Max van Manen provides some insight of the vagaries of the Harder Report. What is the significance of the Alberta Legislature separating the "goals of schooling" and "goals of education"? This political approach to curriculum developing may be threatening to the very core of education in Alberta and Canada.
Ken Leithwood gives the results of his study to describe teacher decision-making and to analyse strategies used by curriculum managers to influence teachers' decisions. An interesting quotation from the study was that: "Decisions about curriculum objectives were reported to be more open to intervention from sources outside the classroom than were decisions about means for achieving such objectives."
A. A. Oberg's paper, "Implications of Research on Teacher Decision-Making for Curriculum Makers," offers several conclusions: (1) to distinguish between curriculum content and teacher/student roles, (2) to understand the intent of the curriculum, (3) to provide explicit identification of expected teaching behaviours, and (4) to recognize the value of adopting the curriculum.
Robert M. Anderson of the Canada Studies Foundation presents reasons why there is very little curriculum research occurring in Canada. He deals with the many faceted interventions of federal agencies in the entire area of education.
J. B. Roald, Dalhousie University, explores the influence of the private sector in curriculum making. This political dimension of curriculum making is complicated by the interplay of power and prestige of sponsoring groups. The extent of interplay between the "external" agencies and the "internal" educational sector is more a question of the degree of influence rather than deliberate consultation and overt lobbying.
George S. Tomkins, University of British Columbia, gives us an historical look at the foreign influence on curriculum development within Canada. It is more an ethnic and regional review of the various groups evolving from 1700 to the 1980s.
Walter Werner, also from BC, raises the issue of impact of curriculum research upon the thinking of curriculum workers and the issue of responsibility on the part of researchers. He notes many of the problems of curriculum development and implementation.
The editors in Curriculum Canada II have provided a valuable collection of stimulating readings of use to researchers, educators, and lay people in the area of curriculum development in Canada.
Peter Sahar, Coronach P. S., Coronach, SK.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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