Imagine you had a choice of seeing Star Wars or Forest Gump. Or, imagine having to make the choice between chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Which would you choose?
As creators of school curricula, we are always confronted with choice. What is worthy knowledge? What is deemed as the best? What should we spend our time learning about? These aren’t easy questions to answer and are laden with implicit value systems about what we consider important. To dig a little deeper,these values often stem from our personal journeys and biases: political allegiances, worldview, even our own school experiences. It gets even trickier in the humanities subjects, which has become even more pertinent now as education professionals, particularly in the Western world consider historically marginalised groups and their lack of representation in school curricula. Thankfully, work is being done to make curricula and programmes of study more culturally responsive.
As of late, I myself have had to wrestle with these questions of choice. As I develop our school’s pastoral curriculum, a mammoth task when done properly, I’ve had to think about what to include and leave out. As challenging as this has been, I’ve learned a few golden nuggets along the way that I’d like to share with you:
- Include stakeholder voice as much as possible (I’ll blog more on the importance of this later).
- Have as much variety as is humanly possible. This goes for content and pedagogical approaches.
- Start with a clear vision (which I may also blog about later if you’re lucky!)