Alberta teachers welcome the province’s decision to slow down implementation of new school curriculum and say they look forward to taking the lead in the upcoming review as the experts in education.
The United Conservative government recently announced it will pause testing of new elementary school curriculum after deciding more review of the former NDP government’s work was needed.
Jonathan Teghtmeyer, associate co-ordinator for communications with the Alberta Teachers’ Association, said the development of new elementary curriculum across all subjects is “unprecedented and very ambitious.”
He said out of respect for all the work done so far, and for the people involved, it should be implemented in a purposeful way so that it will be successful.
“Teachers support the idea of a phased-in implementation that allows a bit more time and opportunity of development of classroom resources and strategies,” Teghtmeyer said.
He said the ATA also expects money for professional development for teachers, and clear communication from government to teachers on timelines while it moves forward with the review and consultation.
“Ultimately, as the government works to review the curriculum and finalize it, it must continue to have teachers at the forefront of that work.
“Government says it wants to have experts involved in the development of the curriculum. Well, teachers are the experts in this case, so it’s important that they are taking the lead in developing the pedagogical foundation of this new curriculum,” Teghtmeyer said.
Bruce Buruma, director of community relations at Red Deer Public Schools, said it was unknown whether the UCP would move forward on testing the new curriculum, so the district was cautious about allocating time and resources in preparation.
He said a lot of good work has been done on curriculum development, but the provincial government will make the final decision.
“The bottom line is we want to make sure students have the very best curriculum to prepare them for the future. We need to update it and make it relevant for 2020 and beyond,” Buruma said.
— With files from The Canadian Press