Would ideology-free curriculum be welcomed?
Education Minister David Eggen likens the recent UCP pledge to keep ideology out of the new Alberta curriculum to a “drive-by shooting,” an attempt to “score cheap political points.” UCP leader Jason Kenney characterizes the government’s curriculum rewrite as a “Trojan Horse for NDP ideology.” Both could be right.
In the preamble to the new K-12 curriculum, pluralism is mentioned 10 times, diversity 23 times, justice five times and inclusive 13 times. Religion is referenced once in forms of identity, including ethnicity, socioeconomic conditions, community, culture, gender expressions and identities. The preamble states that integrity and respect are key values affirming truth. However, the ideology and political strategy under-girding the NDP’s socalled “diverse, pluralist and inclusive” curriculum offers no “safe space” for children of social conservative parents, no peace in the persistent assault on the values and beliefs of traditional world religions.
The NDP curriculum on SOGI matters will be at least as ideological as that of former Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne. Her 2015 Ontario Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum declares a number of considerations under sexual health. The term gender identity is found 43 times, sexual orientation 42 times and gender expression 11 times. The terms transgender, transsexual, intersex and two-spirited total 18 times; gay and lesbian 14 times; and homophobia four times. The word heterosexual is found only once, listed in brackets along with gay, lesbian and bisexual, as a type of sexual orientation. The H&PE curriculum glossary defines: bisexual, gay, gay-straight alliance, gender, gender-based violence, gender expression, gender identity, homophobia, lesbian, intersex, sexual orientation, sexuality, transgender, transsexual and two-spirited.
The glossary does not include nor does the curriculum anywhere define the term heterosexual.
After decades spent by the political left deconstructing heteronormativity, it is no longer seen as desirable or necessary by “progressives” to promote heterosexuality in schools. Indeed, affirmative action policies on behalf of sexual minority students demand the elevation of SOGI ideology ahead of science and statistical data, e.g., inclusive curriculum teaches celebration of transgenderism; avoids teaching the knowledge that 84 per cent of transgender identities desist once through puberty; and omits informing students on the inherently higher health risks among men having sex with men. In sum, the SOGI ideology championed in NDP education policies puts more children at risk.
To the extent the UCP keep their pledge – minimal ideology in Alberta curriculum – fewer children will be sexually confused, misled, put at risk.
Carman Bradley, Calgary