Historically, B.C. education reform politically controlled

Committees of like-minded colleagues developed curriculum guides and limited or ignored feedback on the documents.

  • Dec. 19, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Catherine Broom

 

How and what B.C. children learn in schools has traditionally been politically driven and largely ignored the input of educators, a UBC study has found.

A recent case study of major curriculum revisions in 1937, 1968, and 1997 conducted at UBC Okanagan found that people with political power had significant control over these three curriculum revisions. During these revisions, committees of like-minded colleagues developed the curriculum guides and limited or ignored feedback on the documents.

“The curriculum reforms of the past were undemocratic because individuals kept the process under their control and implemented educational ideas that were attractive to them,” says Catherine Broom, an assistant professor in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Education. “These individuals did not give each citizen equal access to information or a chance to authentically comment on the revisions and often left teachers out of the conversation.

“Because teachers were traditionally given limited information or left out of the conversation, some teachers resisted curriculum revisions by teaching in their own styles or continued to teach how they had always taught,” says Broom.

Broom believes reviewing the process of how curriculum has been developed historically can provide some insights into the process of future educational reform conversations and curriculum development.

“What history tells us is that how included teachers feel in the process can influence how well new curriculum is implemented at the classroom level,” says Broom. “If teachers don’t feel included and supported, they may go back to teaching the way they feel comfortable teaching.”

The BC government’s Ministry of Education most recently proposed curriculum revisions occurred in 2015. Broom says her study may provide insight into how the new K-12 curriculum may be received and implemented.

“Teachers and the general public hold a wide array of views on student learning, and many of these views have not been considered in the curriculum revisions of the past,” says Broom. “How well curriculum developers today invite feedback on the present revision and attend to that feedback, and how well the curriculum developers support teachers to implement the new curriculum with resources and sample lessons and aids, remains to be determined.”

Broom’s research was recently published in the Journal of Curriculum Studies.

Just Posted

Curtis Sagmoen appears in court Nov.23

UPDATED: Curtis Sagmoen appears in court Nov.23

Cougar spotted near Okanagan elementary school

Cougar sighting near Peter Greer Elementary in Lake Country

Okanagan couple reunited with stolen camera day after Mounties release pictures

A local couple will soon be reunited with some stolen property.

Police warn of grandparent scam

Kelowna mounties helped an elderly couple avoid being victim to scam

School board rejects adding trustees

Support lacking to expand West Kelowna/Kelowna representation

New multi-million baggage system up and running at YLW

Kelowna Airport’s $39 million outbound baggage system can handle 900 bags an hour

Public against wildfire monument in Kamloops

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced the monument to commemorate volunteers’ efforts

Students exposed to science of genomics

Geneskool program presented at Kelowna and Oliver high schools this week

Charge laid against B.C. man in alleged cat torture

Joshua Michael Lemire, 20, has been charged with one count of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal.

Oxford Dictionary responds by video to Victoria boy’s bid for levidrome

William Shatner tweet garners attention of Oxford

Site C allows more wind, solar energy, experts say

Lawyer, economist argue for completion of B.C. Hydro dam

Record-high temperatures reached in 18 spots in B.C.

White Rock, Victoria and the Fraser Valley made new records for the unusually warm November day

Supreme Court to hear case on whether ISPs can charge for IDing online pirates

Film producers seeking to crack down on people who share copyrighted material illegally

Winning Lotto 6/49 purchased in Kelowna

Some lucky man or woman purchased a winning 6/49 ticket in Kelowna.

Most Read