More than curriculum in education

Alberta Party

March 31, 2021


Alberta’s new K-6 curriculum emphasises important subjects and skills but is too prescriptive and fails to empower teachers.

Alberta’s new K-6 curriculum emphasises important subjects and skills but is too prescriptive and fails to empower teachers.

The UCP process that scrapped the previous curriculum and proposed a new one was flawed and secretive. As a result, any proposed new curriculum was going to be seen as controversial and questioned by Albertans.

The Alberta Party recognizes that past curriculum changes regarding math have been frustrating to parents and educators alike, and the need to strengthen historical understanding was clear. So a focus on numeracy and history is welcome. But as in all things, balance is important.

In many aspects the new curriculum overcorrects. By reading through the detailed proposed changes, it is clear in too many aspects that education is simply a checklist of facts to memorize. Proposed questions throughout the curriculum do not encourage critical thinking. Much of the subject matter is not age appropriate. In subjects, including science, it is incoherent in its progression.

The failure to conduct the review transparently leads us to call on the release of research and justification for the decisions made regarding the curriculum.

Acting Leader Jacquie Fenske,

“It is important to remember that a new curriculum by itself doesn’t make for a better or worse education system. Teachers need smaller classes so they can focus on students who learn differently and can be truly inspired to pursue their passions. Students with disabilities need more funding for educational assistants and restored Program Unit Funding.

"There is one thing I know from my 13 years as a teacher: no two kids are the same. To inspire a student, an educator must be empowered to take the lesson to where the student is. The new curriculum turns education into a checklist and rote memorization. These have their place, but there is far more to educating than this.

"We need to build an education system that empowers teachers to spark the creativity and imagination of students. This will allow students to reach their full potential,and ensure a pipeline of talent is developed and remains in Alberta. The current government is focusing on curriculum for ideological reasons and ignoring the entire system as a result.”

The Alberta Party encourages Albertans to stand up for our children by speaking out about this secretive and poorly done work.

The new curriculum rollout includes a survey for Albertans to let the government know their thoughts on the proposal. Albertans should fill it out. However, the UCP government has a habit of manipulating survey results and ignoring any feedback critical of its actions. Albertans should also write their MLAs to express their views on the curriculum.