Have your curricular concerns been addressed?
That’s the main question behind a new online feedback tool launched by the Alberta Teachers’ Association in response to the government’s release of revised curriculum documents.
On April 13, the government released final curriculum documents for math and English language arts for K–3, and physical education and wellness for K–6. The ATA has set up an online tool where teachers can read the new documents and comment on the revisions.
“Teachers previously told us that the draft curriculum was not suitable for use in classrooms. Now we want teachers to tell us if the latest versions alleviate any of their concerns, so that we can ensure our advocacy reflects their position,” said ATA president Jason Schilling.
A previous ATA survey showed that 93 per cent of teachers were unhappy with the draft curriculum, and 94 per cent of school leaders were uncomfortable with it being implemented in their schools.
The government was previously aiming to have eight subjects across six grades and two languages implemented in the fall of 2022. However, in response to intense backlash from thousands of Albertans, lead by the Association and its partners, the government backtracked on its plan, rewrote much of the content and pivoted to a phased approach.
“The feedback on the curriculum was swift and strong, so we need to know how the government received the feedback and whether any of it was considered in these new drafts,” Schilling said.
Teachers can provide their feedback via the Member’s Only section of the ATA website.
Regardless of what is introduced in September, Schilling said teachers have not been effectively prepared. A recent survey from Environics Research found that only three per cent of teachers believe that they have the supports and resources they require to successfully implement this curriculum in the fall.
In May, teacher leaders from nine of the ATA’s subject area specialist councils will meet to discuss the content of the curriculum and the road to implementation.
“With only weeks left in the school year, with no resources or supports made available before today, it will be very demanding and difficult for teachers to successfully plan instruction in multiple subjects by September,” Schilling said.
Based on its analysis of the new curriculum, the Association will consider how best to support teachers in the fall, including through the development of resources and professional development sessions over the summer.
“Although we still strongly believe that this curriculum is not up to the standard teachers and students expect, we know that those teaching these subjects in the fall will be needing support, so we are looking at how the Association can provide that assistance,” Schilling said.
“At the end of the day, teachers need to be prepared, and that’s what the Association is here for.” ❚