Friday, February 6, 2009

Reflections Journal, Week 6

Last week in a different class, I participated in an awesome and truly enlightening discussion. The topic that was being discussed was curriculum. I know that in constructivism, the execution of constructivism exists in how it is brought into the classroom – our curriculum is one major way we as teachers do this. Back to the discussion; it started off slow. We were tasked with identifying the major contributors, at all levels, to curriculum. All of us had come up with lists that included politics, society, economics, and government. These were the general categories we all were in agreement in their effect on curriculum. We were approaching this in a direct way as to indicate that if, in one of these categories, decisions made regarding education have a direct impact on curriculum – such as “No Child Left Behind.” Our instructor posed another point to us, he said, “How does the legislation the President Obama just signed in effect curriculum.” All of us were aware that Mr. Obama just signed the policy allowing funding for abortions overseas and domestically. He also added, “Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, how does this effect curriculum?” We were all a little take back – how on earth does funding for abortions effect curriculum? Our instructor then brought up the point of teaching on evolution. He reminded us of how, once upon a time, teachers were being fired for teaching evolution. Going back to his first point, he said that we just had a president that supported abstinence, and opposed funding for abortions, therefore which trickled down in to schools. Most of us had to agree on abstinence. The moral of the story was that everything that is made into law, or that is supported by politics eventually trickles down to the classroom – be it in the planned or unplanned curriculum. I was amazed by this conversation. It never occurred to me how effected our classrooms could be by legislation, especially at the federal level.

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