Updated curriculum positions students for success; NDP education critic says UCP seems focused on ramming through curriculum that won’t help students prepare for higher learning, world of work or how to be engaged citizens
Starting this fall, updated curriculum will move forward into classrooms to better prepare students for future success.
Based on the advice from education system leaders, teachers and curriculum experts, Alberta’s government will implement new K-3 Mathematics, K-3 English Language Arts and Literature curriculum as well as new K-6 Physical Education and Wellness starting in September 2022. New curriculum for grades 4-6 Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literature will be implemented in September 2023. The final curriculum will be available in April so teachers can continue to prepare to implement these subjects in September.
“We promised parents and students an updated curriculum with more emphasis on the literacy and numeracy learning foundations and outcomes students will need for success. We are taking a thoughtful, measured approach and implementing three new subjects in elementary classrooms this fall. The significant investment we are making in curriculum implementation will help ensure teachers have the resources they need to support students in transitioning to the new curriculum.”
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
Alberta’s government is investing $191 million over three years, including $59 million in 2022-23, for teacher professional development and learning and teaching resources to make sure teachers and students are equipped for updated K-6 curriculum in classrooms.
Focusing on K-3 Mathematics and K-3 English Language Arts and Literature will help younger students strengthen their numeracy and literacy skills, which are essential for early years learning. The new K-6 Physical Education and Wellness curriculum will support students in learning how to build resiliency and manage their health, mental health and well-being. Introducing the new subjects by common grade groupings that school authorities follow, such as K-3 and grades 4-6, will ensure a successful implementation for teachers and students.
Implementation of new K-3 Mathematics, K-3 English Language Arts and Literature and K-6 Physical Education and Wellness curriculum will affect approximately 390,400 students and 37,100 teachers.
Supporting a successful curriculum implementation
Alberta’s government is supporting teachers as they prepare for new K-6 curriculum in September by providing:
The final K-3 English Language Arts and Literature, K-3 Mathematics and K-6 Physical Education and Wellness curriculums on new.LearnAlberta.ca in April.
A number of targeted, flexible professional learning opportunities between May and September; details on how teachers can participate in these sessions will be provided to school authorities in April.
Curriculum resources; details will be provided to school authorities in April.
K-6 curriculum approach informed by Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group
Alberta’s government is taking a balanced and measured implementation approach for the 2022-23 school year based on insight and advice from the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group. This group of representatives from across the education system has also identified supports teachers and school authorities will need to implement the three new subjects in September.
By May, the advisory group will make recommendations on piloting and implementation strategies for the remaining five K-6 curriculums: French First Language and Literature; French Immersion Language Arts and Literature; Fine Arts; Science; and Social Studies. Their work includes identifying implementation timelines and resources for the remaining K-6 subjects.
“The College of Alberta School Superintendents wishes to thank the government for the opportunity to provide a professional perspective as it relates to the draft curriculum’s content and implementation. CASS is pleased to see a staggered implementation schedule that provides school authorities more time to seek clarity around content, build capacity of educators to understand the curriculum, and collaboratively support teachers in the pre-planning process for curriculum implementation. We look forward to the release of further information in the weeks ahead and reviewing curriculum changes based on broad feedback.”
Wilco Tymensen, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents
NDP Education Critic NDP Critic for Education Sarah Hoffman issued the following statement on the UCP government’s K-6 curriculum update:
“Today, the Education Minister agreed to delay some of the harm she is forcing on Alberta students. To the parents, teachers, academics and community leaders who have joined us in fighting back, this is a small victory, and you should be proud.
“The UCP seems focused on ramming through a curriculum that won’t help students prepare for higher learning, the world of work or how to be engaged citizens.
“But today the minister at least agreed to delay the implementation of math and language arts beyond Grade 3. Parents rightfully want to ensure that their children are getting a world class education, which has long been the reputation for Albertans, this is no longer the case under the UCP.
“And today the ATA released another survey showing that only five per cent of Alberta teachers believe the UCP K-6 curriculum will be positive for students. But, the UCP still cannot be trusted with curriculum or with public education. The only way to truly have a curriculum we can trust is to change the government.”