Local school divisions welcome curriculum revamp
The province is taking on the ambitious project of revamping Alberta’s school curriculum. Over the next six years curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12 will be redeveloped in six subject areas in both English and French: arts, language arts, mathematics, social studies, sciences, and wellness.
“This government is committed to developing curriculum - including the fundamentals of reading, writing and math - that ensures children have the best possible start in life to prepare them for rewarding careers in a diversified economy,” said David Eggen, Minister of Education. “Critical subject areas have not been updated in many years, so this work is long overdue. This new process will allow us to fulfill our commitments to educate our students about the history, perspectives and contributions of our Francophone, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and communities.”
Bevan Daverne, superintendent of schools for Golden Hills School Division says it is still very early in the process and much needs to be hammered out.
“It is a very large-scale revamp, and it is an aggressive schedule,’ said Daverne. “We have seen the announcement, and other than that we don’t have too many details.”
The process will begin and will be developed for K-4 by late 2018, and then Grade 5-8 will be completed in late 2019, with high school following in 2020-2022. Daverne says he is looking forward to working with the province and recognizes some areas that could use renewal.
Christ the Redeemer (CTR) Catholic Schools superinten
dent Scott Morrison welcomes the revamp.
“It’s been some time since existing curriculums were reviewed and updated, so CTR Catholic welcomes the move,” he said. “We are pleased to see a focus on curriculum infused with literacy, numeracy, math, and cross-curricular competencies such as critical think
ing and problem solving. CTR Catholic has had an intentional literacy focus for 5 years and we are embarking on a numeracy and mathematics focus next year, so we feel we’re ahead of the curve in terms of preparation.”
Morrison says it is great to see a focus on the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. One area he would like to see more attention is an international focus to help English language learners who are new to Canada. He also recognizes that online and distance programs will need to be redeveloped and will require a lot of front-end work.
“Distance education course development needs to be largely completed in its entirety before implementation,” he explains.
While the timelines are aggressive, he feels the phased approach will allow the divisions to distribute and focus
their professional development. He also welcomes division involvement. “We are told that the expe
riences of the school boards that began prototyping curriculum in the last cycle of curriculum redesign will inform this new effort. In that regard, there has already been quite a bit of involvement. There are also face-to-face and online engagement sessions planned with Albertans,” he said.