The Government of Alberta is implementing three new subjects in elementary classrooms this fall, says Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. (File photo by Government of Alberta)

The Government of Alberta is implementing three new subjects in elementary classrooms this fall, says Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. (File photo by Government of Alberta)

Updated curriculum will move forward into classrooms this fall

The Government of Alberta will implement new K-3 mathematics and English language arts and literature curriculum, as well as K-6 physical education and wellness, starting September 2022.

Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange announced the updated curriculum will move forward into classrooms during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Additionally, a 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,” said LaGrange.

“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.”

Alberta is investing $191 million over three years, including $59 million in 2022-23, for teacher professional development and learning, and teaching resources to ensure teachers and students are equipped for updated K-6 curriculum in classrooms.

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.

Only three per cent of teachers feel they have the resources and supports needed to successfully implement the draft K–6 curriculum this fall, according to the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s most recent Environics Research poll, which was conducted between Jan. 27 and Feb. 17.

Additionally, almost half of Alberta residents don’t believe the draft curriculum will meet the needs of students, and 6 in 10 feel that the Alberta Government is mishandling public education.

Alberta 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.

The ATA is not part of this advisory group.

“We have current active teachers, we have principals, we have system administrators, superintendents, school board trustees actively on the implementation advisory group. We did not feel we needed the union represented on that group,” LaGrange said.

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.

NDP Education Critic Sarah Hoffman said LaGrange’s announcement was a “small victory” for the parents, teachers, academics and community leaders against the curriculum.

“Today the minister at least agreed to delay the implementation of math and language arts beyond Grade 3,” said Hoffman.

“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.”



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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