ECS 210

Curriculum as Literacy

Curriculum can be viewed through many different lenses, several of which we have discussed in class: curriculum orientation, teaching perspective, literacy, etc. As Street (2006) identifies in his article, New Literacies Studies: Next Stages, two potential lenses for viewing curriculum, in regards to literacy, include the autonomous model and the ideological model. Taking the English Language Arts (ELA) 10 curriculum as an example, these two frameworks can be applied to critically examine the theoretical framework of the curriculum as well as its hopes for practical application. The ideological looks at the process of literacy and the creation of meaning in relation to a social context where the autonomous looks at the particular skills in a technical and neutral way.

An example of the Ideological model can be found in the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education (2011) ELA 10 curriculum, where it identifies What ELA is in regards to such things as “Using culturally responsive critical, creative, and metacognitive processes to make sense of ideas, information, and experiences,” and “Promoting critical reflection and questioning that challenge assumptions, stereotypes, and biases” (pg. 8). In terms of the Ideological model proposed by Street, this is a prime example of creating meaning within a certain social context. It is mindful of the varying worldviews in which it is being implemented. The curriculum however is not entirely supportive of the Ideological model alone. There is evidence within the curriculum that supports the Autonomous model that Street proposes. Students are expected to know and be able to confidently use certain elements of the written and oral English language such as grammar, spelling, etc. These stand neutral from any type of social context and focus on basic skill. In regards to which is more evident, the Ideological model perhaps prevails over the Autonomous model in this particular curriculum. While both are evident, the ELA curriculum is strongly connected to the external world, helping to create students who are aware of the context which they live and steering them towards being a more aware of meaning as a social construct, differing according to worldview.

Reference:

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. (2011). English Language Arts 10. [Data File]. Retrieved from https://www.edonline.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/library/curricula/English/English_Language_Arts/English_Language_Arts_10_2011.pdf

Street, B. (2006). New Literacies Studies: Next Stages. Orbit, 36(1), 37-39.

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