Alberta’s K–12 curriculum should help students learn to set goals and make responsible choices while developing positive attitudes toward lifelong learning.
Those were some of the takeaway messages generated by a survey conducted last fall as Alberta Education began a six-year curriculum overhaul process.
“We know that Albertans want curriculum that prepares students to be critical thinkers and effective problem solvers,” said Education Minister David Eggen. “Our development of new curriculum will make life better for our students. The results of this survey confirm that Albertans have given us the green light to move forward in our work.”
The survey generated responses from a cross-section of Albertans, including parents, teachers, students and the general public. It was divided into two parts that were designed to understand Albertans’ support for the direction of curriculum development and allow them to provide subject-specific feedback.
Respondents were largely supportive of the direction of the province’s curriculum development framework. More than 90 per cent supported the creation of curriculum that fosters student
responsibility and accountability, an appreciation for excellence, perseverance, and positive attitudes toward learning, as well as the development of integrity, respect, curiosity and critical thinking.
Respondents also agreed strongly that curriculum should open up pathways to careers and post-secondary opportunities (93 per cent) and the development of literacy, numeracy and 21st-century competencies (92 per cent).
Respondents had moderate support for creating curriculum that reflects the diversity of Alberta’s population (78 per cent), teaches students about First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures (76 per cent) and includes the unique perspectives and experiences of francophones living in Alberta, Canada and the world (65 per cent).
The curriculum review and development process involves 400 educators — including K–12 teachers, ministry staff and post-secondary educators — participating in a variety of subject-specific working groups.
The survey, combined with other public engagement tools, is providing valuable direction for the teachers who are working to draft new curriculum, said Alberta Teachers’ Association president Mark Ramsankar.
“Parent and public input combined with teacher professional judgment ensures that we will have an effective and responsive curriculum for Alberta students going forward,” he said.
Allison Pike, president of the Alberta School Councils’ Association, said the survey was a great opportunity for parents to provide feedback on the current curriculum and what students need to learn.
“Changing Alberta’s curriculum is the first step to ensure students are well prepared to meet the challenges of our future,” she said. ❚
| See for yourself : To view the survey results, visit Alberta Education’s website at education.alberta.ca/curriculum-development /curriculum-survey.