Curriculum as Inequities and Privilege

Curriculum, such a broad term used to categorize expectations of what teachers must teach their students. Its assumption by society is that it is a collection of documents, data and/or information set out as an outline for what students will learn while enrolled in a specific course. This basic definition of curriculum almost always leaves out the possession of the hidden curriculum as well, what is not explicitly taught or what happens in our everyday life. Thus curriculum is everything students experience, learn or think while in a classroom, even what they don’t experience, learn or think.

We as educators need to do our best to stray away from sticking to the guidelines, “hit this outcome using this indicator; incorporate three indicators into this one lesson to make sure everything is covered”. Limiting ourselves to these expectations will potentially set us up for failure and hindering our students of their exceptional learner abilities. Should the formal written curriculum be ignored? Absolutely not. But we need to be those teachers who can incorporate troubling knowledge, the ‘on-the-spot’ teaching depending what’s going on in the world around us, situations in our schools or even as personal as in the classroom environment.

Learning through crisis provides ourselves and our students to be more aware of the binary logic, where one societal norm cannot be better or higher up in importance without the other present to be classified as wrong (or queer). I cannot see this being an easy approach, but evidently the more we address the uncomfortable situations and troubling knowledge as a class the less chance those harmful situations will arise and cause problems. Whether its in-school bullying, cyber bullying, community shootings, or basic labels being thrown on their peers, if these crisis’ are addressed throughout an entire course (as all other guidelines in the curriculum) students will have the knowledge to better treat others while in school and take that behavior into the community as an adult.

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