Curriculum provides the framework for the learning that is to take place in a particular program. Designing a curriculum entails many decisions, such as, who the program is for, what the content of the learning is, and how the learning is to be facilitated. Curriculum design includes establishing learning goals and planning learning experiences to enable participants to meet these goals. While designing a curriculum requires some technical know-how and experience, it is not just a technical task. Curriculum is first and foremost a political issue.
Education is not neutral. Underlying every education program is a particular vision of society and what it means to be human.
Education is not neutral. Underlying every education program is a particular vision of society and what it means to be human. If we look at corporate training programs in the workplace, for example, we see that they aim to develop values, attitudes, skills and knowledge that fit the corporate world view. When it comes to content, if it doesn't serve corporate goals it is not permitted in the curriculum. If we look at the public education system, we see an ongoing struggle over what is to be taught in our schools with corporations attempting to exert a bigger and bigger influence on curriculum decisions made by government education ministries. The struggle over curriculum is essentially a struggle over whose interests the education process is to serve.
Trade union education is not neutral; it reflects a worker-centered vision and values. In order to ensure a trade union perspective for labour education courses, we don't farm out curriculum development to people who don't have a trade union perspective. Yet, when it comes to literacy for workers, unions sometimes think that literacy courses are just about generic literacy skills and that mainstream literacy curriculum will serve the purpose. This is a mistake, however. Like all education, literacy education is not neutral. Worker-centered union literacy must be understood first and foremost as trade union education.