Historical Journey of Curriculum


Curriculum has had a long history and is continually developing, changing, and evolving. The fact is, curriculum that we have today in Saskatchewan has been created and shaped according to the heteronormative and Eurocentric perspectives. Even further, common sense can be said to be the basis of our curriculum. In other words, curriculum is founded on the idea of common sense, and commonsensical ways based on one way of knowing, disregarding any other cultures or races. Unfortunately, because curriculum was developed and is still being developed with the common sense notions in place, curriculum tends to be restricted by culture and race. Curriculum values that the Eurocentric ways of knowing are the best ways of knowing; therefore blatantly implying that other cultures and races ways of knowing is rather unimportant or incorrect. The Eurocentric ways of knowing becomes dominant in the curriculum thus transforming their education or ways of living – their common sense in a way – into the normative way of understanding.

What we teach, how we teach, and what we decide to do with our classroom in regards to curriculum and race is our common sense which is, in turn, projected upon and imposed onto the students and into the next generations. We, as teachers, have to decide whether to take our cues from pedagogical theories that build upon or challenge common sense and stereotypes in regards to race and culture.

Painter’s “A History of Education” shows that 100 years ago, everything was in terms of race only because that was the common sense notion. Today we tend to ignore that only a few years back, race was a prevalent social marker. Both in the curriculum and in previous experiences, the opportunity to oppress was and still is ever present. Today, we are not necessarily taught in terms of race, but instead are still influenced by race. In a way, we are no better than we were 100 years ago. Years ago, they were honest about their oppressive and racist views. We, today, are stuck in our denial. Despite what some might think, our culture has just found another way to be oppressive – ignoring, or avoiding race all together is not the answer.


One response »

  1. You make a great point that things have not evolved as much as they should have or we believe they have. Unfortunately our curriculum is still somewhat Eurocentric. What are some of the specific changes to the curriculum you would like to see?

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