Curriculum Politics in Higher Education: What Educators Need to Do to Survive.

Curriculum Politics in Higher Education: What Educators Need to Do to Survive.

7 Pages · 2015 · 147 KB · English

political intervention from non-education sources may threaten the quality of higher education programmes. As such, educators must come to terms with the reality of curriculum politics and find ways to function optimally in any given political context. Keywords: Curriculum politics, Higher educatio

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wwwsciedupresscom/ijhe International Journal of Higher Education Vol 4, No 3; 2015 Published by Sciedu Press 14 ISSN 19276044 EISSN 19276052 Curriculum Politics in Higher Education: What Educators need to do to Survive Dr Stephen Joseph 1 1 Centre for Education Programmes, The University of Trinidad and Tobago Correspondence: Dr Stephen Joseph, Centre for Education Programmes, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, Valsayn Campus, Old Southern Main Road, Valsayn, Trinidad, W I Email: [email protected] Received: April 8, 2015 Accepted: April 18, 2015 Online Published: April 28, 2015 doi:105430/ijhev4n3p14 URL: http://dxdoiorg/105430/ijhev4n3p14 Abstract Higher education institutions are increasingly experiencing pressure regarding their expected role in addressing immediate and longterm sustainable development challenges Decisions about what should be taught are heavily influenced by sociopolitical needs and aspirations The push towards entrepreneurship education is, perhaps, one example where some governments expect higher education institutions to encourage entrepreneurial development and awareness among students of the institutions Indeed, political action has become a wellknown force in education systems throughout the world Utilizing a conceptual approach, this paper examines the theory and practice of curriculum politics in the Trinidad and Tobago higher education sector It also explores various ways in which educators can survive the perceived threat of political interference in curriculum decision making Notwithstanding the role of politics in curriculum decision making, the paper supports the view that unrestrained political intervention from noneducation sources may threaten the quality of higher education programmes As such, educators must come to terms with the reality of curriculum politics and find ways to function optimally in any given political context Keywords: Curriculum politics, Higher education, Educators 1 Introduction One of the criticisms leveled at higher education institutions in both developed and developing countries is that they fail to adjust to national requirements Such institutions continue to either produce graduates who cannot be absorbed by the economy or those whose training cannot equip them to adequately perform tasks the nation expects of them Many higher education institutions, therefore, experience some degree of pressure to address immediate and longterm sustainable development challenges The push towards entrepreneurship education is, perhaps, one example where some governments expect higher education institutions to encourage entrepreneurial development and awareness among students of the institutions (SeikkulaLeion, 2011) This move contrasts sharply with traditional views about the role and functions of universities For example, while traditional educationists advocate a return of the university to research and teaching tasks, some governments embrace the Triple Helix thesis which posits that universities and higher education institutions can play a critical role in innovation by partnering with industry and government (Dzisah & Etzkowitz, 2008) The Triple Helix is based on the premise that the university plays an enhanced role in development through collaboration with government and industry Such interaction among university, industry and government is critical in facilitating the conditions for innovation and sustainable development in a knowledgebased society (Dzisah & Etzkowitz, 2008) A similar challenge for tertiary institutions in these circumstances is that the curriculum meets the requirements of the national economy, the

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