The questions “What is Curriculum” becomes more and more complicated as the class develops. As noted, many of us have different opinions on what curriculum is and how we can define it. Looking at curriculum from an outsiders perspective, I would say that curriculum would be generally referred to the content chosen to be taught – the official curriculum mandated by the government. I think that curriculum has many different aspects. First, we have the curriculum that is set out by the government that everyone knows about and what parents are expecting us to teach. The second is the taught curriculum – what we as teachers decide to teach both explicitly and implicitly through our actions, words, and previous beliefs. Our choices in what we teach come from our knowledge, our experiences, and our feelings towards the subjects being taught, form our students in what they learn. There is the learned curriculum where students learn many different unspoken lessons within the environment of the classroom and school. The learned curriculum is much more inclusive, they can learn about respect, or lack of respect, when to ask questions, or how to learn/study. Finally, there is the tested curriculum – they curriculum most are familiar with through past experience.
I do feel that curriculum should be geared towards the students and what they should learn or take out of the lessons and information provided. I feel that we should encourage our students to explore and question their knowledge, and hopefully they will learn how to be a socially responsible person with a wide range of different knowledge not constrained by the formal documents set out by the government.
Rather than teaching to the test, we should focus on teaching for social justice. The curriculum should include different ideas, practices, activities. As teachers, we need to consider who our students are. In many cases, teachers tend to avoid teaching something they might not know or understand as well, and avoid topics that can call their own identity into question. If we teach towards social justice, these discomforting issues will be brought into attention. Although it may feel uncomfortable, and at times awkward, I think it is important for students to understand the world they live in and how they can help improve the current situations they will be facing, if not facing them already.