Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Curriculum Advisory Panel Member Dr. Glenn Feltham with students from St. Marguerite School in Calgary.
by Morinville News Staff
The province’s lengthy review of the education curriculum took a step forward Wednesday when the panel the UCP government tasked with reviewing the previous government’s curriculum last August released its report.
The report makes 40 recommendations, including ensuring the curriculum remains free from the prescription of pedagogical approaches, like discovery math; looks to addressing financial literacy, work readiness, wellness and goal-setting to enhance students’ life skills, and recommends the implementation of standardized assessment tools to evaluate literacy and numeracy in Grades 1 through 5. Other recommendations include aligning the 2018 draft K-4 curriculum with the new vision for student learning, providing students with work-integrated learning opportunities, and ensuring First Nations, Metis and Inuit learnings continue to be reflected in the curriculum.
“We committed to improving the education system so our students receive an education that equips them with the skills they need to succeed in life,” said Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. “As part of the curriculum review process, we committed to broadening consultation to hear a wider range of perspectives. With the hard work of the curriculum advisory panel, I am pleased to be at this point in the process where Albertans can provide their feedback on the draft vision for student learning. Setting a new vision for student learning is an important first step in ensuring we take the right approach in updating the provincial curriculum.”
The Official Oposition; however, say the UCP panel supports work down by the NDP government.
The NDP says the panel could only issue a vague report with no specific complaints against the curriculum work done under the previous NDP government.
“After all their overheated and irresponsible rhetoric about the NDP curriculum process, it must be very embarrassing for the Minister and Premier Jason Kenney to get such a vague report,” said NDP Education Critic Sarah Hoffman. “But with the Minister claiming that she hasn’t made any decisions, I think Albertans should be concerned she is simply going to go back and alter the curriculum to suit her extremist allies. I’m especially concerned to hear the Minister talk about ‘balance’ in discussion of climate change, given that she used the same coded language to roll back protections for LGBTQ2S+ youth with Bill H8.
Hoffman said there was no need to debate the need for strong literacy, numeracy and life skills for students.
“When the Minister actually has something substantive to present to Albertans, we will also be looking very closely for respect for LGBTQ2S+ rights, for Indigenous content, for online safety, and for the science of climate change,” Hoffman said.
A province has an online survey running until Feb. 24 for Albertans to provide input on the draft vision for student learning.
The government says they will use the survey input to inform a new ministerial order on student learning. It is a document the government says will define the vision, values, foundations, and outcomes for education in Alberta.
The survey is online at https://www.learnalberta.ca/content/survey2020/index.html.