New math, English language/literature and physical education programs are ready to be taught in elementary grades in September, according to Alberta Education.
All K-3 students will learn from a new Math and Arts and Literature curriculum in English, while all K-6 students will learn from the new Physical Education and Wellness curriculum .
But many remain critical of the UCP’s updated program.
“These three subjects in Alberta’s new Kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum are critical starting points that will put students on the best path to success,” said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. , during a press conference.
“We have heard what Albertans and partners in the education system have told us, and with their insight we have updated math and arts and English-language literature to ensure our youngest students possess the literacy and numeracy skills essential for early years learning. The physical education and wellness curriculum meets our platform’s commitments to ensure that all elementary students learn the importance of obtaining and giving consent as well as fundamental financial literacy skills.
Changes to the three draft programs included updates to address concerns about content load, age appropriateness, clarity of wording, and First Nations, Métis and Inuit content.
Content related to creative and critical thinking and digital literacy has been strengthened in the Arts and Literature curriculum in English.
Math content has been redistributed and reinforced to address fractions, measurements, operations (addition/subtraction, multiplication/division) and percentages to better develop number sense.
Enhancements to physical education and wellness content related to consent, mental health, nutrition, safety, fitness, foundations and confidence to value physical activity for life.
“Adriana LaGrange said she was listening to feedback from Albertans on this proposed curriculum, but if that were the case, the entire rewrite of the K-6 curriculum would have been trashed, and we wouldn’t see it. imposed on Alberta schools,” said NDP Education Critic Sarah Hoffman.
She said that despite widespread condemnation, the province insists on imposing a flawed school curriculum.
“Parents, teachers, administrators, academics, racialized Albertans, Francophones and Indigenous leaders have repeatedly called on this government to abandon the widely discredited rewrite of the K-6 curriculum. Just two weeks ago, hundreds of Albertans gathered in cities across the province to protest the implementation of the program in elementary classrooms this fall,” Hoffman said at a news conference.
Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, said LaGrange must release all of the government’s feedback over the past year before teachers can be sure their concerns have been seriously considered and addressed.
“Teachers don’t trust this minister to take their concerns seriously. This government has a reputation for putting on earplugs and dismissing the legitimate concerns of teachers,” Schilling said in a statement.
“We know that hundreds of teachers, academics, parents and others have criticized the content and direction of the previous draft directly to the Minister and through the very limited dialogue she has allowed to take place. But Albertans are unsure whether the current version of the program incorporates these comments or, on the contrary, continues to reflect the political and ideological interference that has plagued this process thus far.
In 2022-23, the province will provide $59 million for teacher professional development and resources for the updated K-6 curriculum. This funding is part of a $191 million investment over three years to support the implementation of the curriculum across the province.
School authorities will receive more details directly from Alberta Education to facilitate planning and implementation for September. They will also continue to have the opportunity to select resources to support the implementation of the program in their classrooms.
Albertans can access the final curriculum and see what has changed at alberta.ca/curriculum.
Alberta School Program