High hopes for new Alberta curriculum!

January 15, 2019

So Alberta education recently announced the first draft of our brand spanking new curriculum, starting with grades K-4.  The rest of the grades will follow on a yearly basis with the gr 5-8 draft being released next December, 3 subject areas of grades 9-10 in Dec 2020, followed by the other 3 subjects as well as 3 of grades 11-12 in 2021 and the final 3 subjects of grades 11-12 in 2022.   This is a fairly lengthy time frame but the work entailed to develop new curriculum is rather enormous.  

Alberta Education’s focus is to update our current curriculum to be relevant, meaningful and engaging to today’s 21st-century learners.  Alberta and Canada has grown to be multicultural and have a diversified economy in the past 30 years and our curriculum needs to reflect these changes.  

The areas of focus are the four cores:

  • language arts,
  • mathematics,
  • science,
  • social studies.

(As well as arts and wellness education.  There will also be inclusion of indigenous studies as well as Francophone.)

Some of this curriculum is rather dated being as old as 30 years but some, such as math, are relatively new.  I am excited about new elementary math curriculum!  I hear from parents all the time that they have difficulty working with their children as the math that they learned as a child is very different than what they see their child learning today.  Also when a parent does try to help their child and show them the way they learned it often they are told “that’s not how my teacher does it”, and quite frankly they are correct.  If they do the work as shown by the “old school” parent a lot of times this is not accepted by the teacher who will be using the current curriculum.  The feedback I have from a lot of parents with young children has been positive!  They are excited about a new curriculum being developed and implemented with the hopes that it will focus more on basic math facts and help prepare kids for the tough high school level curriculum.

The K-4 draft is available to view on the Alberta Education website.  I don’t know how much the average parent will get out of that as it’s not like looking at a textbook with explanations and questions but rather laid out as literacy, numeracy, learning outcomes, conceptual knowledge and that sort of thing.

With this curriculum revamp the Alberta Government has gathered input from a broad group of stakeholders and partners.  They have reached out to teachers, students, parents/guardians, superintendents, post-secondary institutions, apprenticeship programs, and employers.  They have stated that transparency is key and that is the way it should be.  

Let’s be honest we all have a stake in our children’s education and we should all have the opportunity to have our say if we wish to.  Through the development, there will be opportunities for your thoughts and feedback at different stages and I urge all parents and guardians to participate.  I know I will!  So far there have been surveys in 2016 and 2017 and a focus group in 2018.  Information on this can be found at Education. Alberta.ca.  You can also visit the brand new LearnAlberta.ca website (this link can also be found on the Education.Alberta.ca website.)

I will continue to update with new posts as more info becomes available.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne

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