I am writing with my concerns about the proposed K-6 curriculum by the UCP government.
I am a newly retired primary teacher, so I believe I have an understanding of what is appropriate for the elementary grades. While there are many concerns worth noting, I am going to limit myself to two of them:
1. Many of the topics are far too abstract for the grade levels in which they are proposed.
2. There are far too many topics for teachers to cover.
This will result in frustrated children and I believe mental health issues will arise from it.
Here are some examples:
Kindergarten math: Compare metres and kilometres to yards and miles. You also plan to introduce 3 dimensional shapes in kindergarten, which is a topic that is currently in Grade 2. Kindergarteners should focus on square, triangle, rectangle, circle. Introducing 3 dimensional shapes, as you propose, will be very confusing.
Please explain to me how kindergarten children will locate gravity on a globe. And how did a panel of “experts” miss this blunder, and many others?
Grade One math: Addition and subtraction are inverse operations. Let’s let the children worry about learning to add and subtract first. Showing the students that they are inverse operations works well right where it is, in Grade 2.
The Grade 1 and 2 social studies curriculum: Ancient civilizations and other world history topics. Six and seven-year-olds don’t have the capacity to understand ancient civilizations when they have yet to develop the concept of “community.”
Grade Three math: Addition and subtraction of fractions. Grade 3 should just see an introduction of simple fractions. Addition and subtraction is more appropriate for Grade 7, where is is currently being taught.
Grade 6 social studies: Canadian and American history topics. I am very happy to see the inclusion of Canadian history. But there are way too many topics. Including all the American history with the Canadian history will be very confusing for the students. I suggest you drop the American history. Yes, I know that what was going on in the U.S. did affect much of our history, and that can be mentioned briefly when it fits.
Regarding religious studies: I don’t object to students, when they are old enough, learning how religion has shaped cultures in a historical sense. When they are old enough. Grade 2 is not old enough. It’s far too abstract.
Now is the time to consult with current teachers or teachers who haven’t been out of the classroom for more than a few years. Let them advise you about what elements to keep, and what needs to be changed. It’s not too late. Please don’t let your pride jeopardize the education and mental health of our children.
Betty Welch, Sylvan Lake