What’s your first reaction to this issue’s focus on curriculum? I hope many of you will respond enthusiastically. Some others may be scratching their heads. Isn’t the curriculum already bursting at the seams? What more could you possibly shoehorn in?
But we aren’t necessarily looking for more curriculum content. Rather, we are asking whether we are teaching the right curriculum – the curriculum our students really need – and how we can teach it in in a way that includes all students and prepares them to contribute meaningfully to today’s world.
Our four featured researchers have come at these questions from several rich perspectives.
Directly addressing curriculum content, Evan Saperstein (p. 32) argues that the turbulent events of the past few years demonstrate the critical imperative to teach students the skills needed to be informed, active, and responsible global citizens. Indigenous scholar Dwayne Donald (p. 20) focuses on decolonizing school and its curriculum – starting with each one of us becoming aware of how the assumptions and exclusions inherent in the colonial worldview linger in our systems, our curricula, and our own ways of thinking. Alexandre Cavalcante (p. 26) takes on the challenge of ensuring that the math we teach is relevant to contemporary life. And Gillian Judson (p. 36) puts forward the idea of “imaginative ecological education,” noting that traditional schooling has marginalized imagination and separated learners from the natural world, to our detriment.
What I love about these articles is that they are relevant at both the school/classroom level and at a provincial scale. A new course in Global Citizenship, as Saperstein proposes, would be great – but in the meantime many teachers will find ways to include some of the citizenship skills he describes in their own courses. A comprehensive decolonizing of the entire curriculum will not come all at once – but we can all do our part to become more aware and change what we can. There truly are ideas for everyone here!
And don’t forget – this magazine is just part of our September multimedia edition. Visit our website (www.edcan.ca) to hear these authors in conversation with voicEd Radio host Stephen Hurley. And watch our site for upcoming related resources.
First published in Education Canada, September 2022