Empowering Students as Active Participants in Curriculum Design and Implementation
Curriculum is constructed with the learner as its central focus. Yet the voice of the learner is largely excluded from the curriculum design and implementation process. The author is both an educator and administrator and the intent of this paper is to provide other educators with a deeper understanding of the potential for increased learning when the student is included in curriculum design. In order to support this position, the author reviews how theorists from various curriculum perspectives have historically recognized the absence of student voice in curriculum planning. It is not an exhaustive analysis, but rather an overarching review of the work of certain significant theorists from the past hundred years. Building from this review, a case is presented giving reasons why students should be included in the process. To bolster the philosophical argument in favor of student voice, specific research based evidence is reviewed which shows positive results when students are included in the curriculum planning process. The paper concludes with a review of how the Ministry of Education in Alberta is changing its view of the role of the learner.