Advice from elected officials, teachers, and curriculum experts will be used in the implementation of the new kindergarten to grade six curriculum.
A Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group is being established by the government of Alberta to begin implementing a strategy and timeline for the new curriculum.
The group is expected to be in place by June and is responsible for determining how the material for English Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics, Physical Education and Wellness will be successfully implemented in the fall, and in finding supports that could be needed for school authorities.
The group will also provide advice and their recommendations on piloting the remaining kindergarten to grade six subjects in September, and present strategies for implementation in September 2023.
The group will be meeting virtually every month for the duration of the term.
“Alberta’s government has been listening to all input from Albertans about the draft K-6 curriculum review process. We are committed to taking a measured and thoughtful approach to ensure curriculum piloting and implementation timelines are manageable for teachers and students. With the expertise of the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group, Alberta’s government will carefully consider how to address the implementation timelines and support the education system throughout the process,” Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange said.
Members of the group include Alberta Education partners who are responsible for curriculum implementation, with the intention of ensuring students, parents, and teachers’ best interests are kept on top of mind.
“The Alberta School Boards Association appreciates participating in this advisory group to provide feedback from member school boards as the voice of their diverse communities. We look forward to a collaborative process working alongside advisory group members in the best interest of all students across the province,” president of the Alberta School Boards Association Marilyn Dennis said.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) president Jason Schilling is expressing concern over the group.
Although there is teacher representation in the group, Schilling believes the level of engagement is inadequate.
“At the end of the day, school boards don’t implement the curriculum. Superintendents don’t implement the curriculum. Teachers implement curriculum and need to be meaningfully involved in its development,” Schilling said.
Schilling is concerned as the government changes the curriculum quickly, has not responded to teachers’ concerns, and is implementing the curriculum without an appropriate piloting phase.
“We do not even have a final draft of the curriculum and what has been put forward does not enjoy the broad support of teachers or the public. What has been drafted has only been piloted in a small number of classrooms for just a few months and we don’t know what the feedback from that pilot is. There are no student or teacher resources developed,” Schilling said. “I’m very concerned that the needs of teachers are being ignored when this government is moving so fast to implementation.”
Schilling believes the group is a missed opportunity, as the association council has many teacher volunteers, and subject specialists throughout the province that have provided support for the curriculum development in the past, and have now been excluded.
“As we’ve seen, this government is quick to say that they have consulted with teachers, but that engagement has lacked authenticity and the advice is routinely ignored. They’re not looking for meaningful critique, they’re looking for kudos,” Schilling said.