Lo­cal school divisions wel­come cur­ricu­lum re­vamp

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

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.

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