Throughout my early years of schooling, I was never once taught to question what I was being taught. Now this sounds like an odd yet simple statement to make, but it is really important to my understanding of how the curriculum influenced me.
What we were learning in school was never a topic up for debate, nor was it ever really addressed. Whatever the curriculum said—regardless of who designed it or what historical perspectives it came from—is what was taught.
In further explanation, I was never challenged to think critically of my textbooks or the materials taught in my classes, nor did I ever question why my “History” lessons never included First Nations cultures or why topics on race, gender, and sexuality were rarely brought up. I strongly believe that students should be exposed to this at a much younger age, as I wish I was, and I feel that as a future teacher, it is crucial that I educate my students on appreciating and valuing the knowledge and information gained from learning by challenging and critically analyzing these norms.
Now the fact that I missed out on this important and insightful information is not directly any single person’s fault, but rather was a flaw in the way the curriculum was designed and the way it was being represented in some of my classrooms. It was not until university that I deeply explored and analyzed the importance of being able to think critically and challenge norms, and this understanding really had a significant influence on my perspectives and the values I hold as a future teacher.
Understanding and being much more educated on this process now has allowed me to become more mindful of my own personal biases, and how I do not want these biases to be limiting factors for my students. When I teach, I really want diversity between individuals to be celebrated, and I want to create a classroom that embraces everyone’s unique differences. I strive to create an inclusive environment that is open and encourages a variety of different opinions and perspectives.