Complexity presents opportunities and challenges

March 24, 2017
Phil McRae, Editor, The Learning Team

Editor's Note

Albertans are living at a ­historical moment defined by many changes that are rapidly adding greater complexities to our classrooms, schools and communities. Whether these changes are emerging because of rapid technological advances and social changes, or economic and environmental uncertainties, we must find ways to meet the complex and diverse needs of today’s students.

The articles in this edition of The Learning Team weave together just a few of the many complex issues that make up this tapestry of change in Alberta. In particular, the articles explore supports for individual students (mental health and self-regulation) and the collective opportunities for learning communities (refugee students, inclusive classrooms and class size).

Through our collective conversations about the ­issues highlighted in this edition, and the many more still needing attention across the province, we may embrace the opportunities and buffer the challenges of our contemporary classrooms. In doing so, it is my hope that we will thoughtfully plan for the ­necessary classroom resources and supports, and in tandem with meaningful and shared actions, we will help all children flourish within their more complex learning environments.


Phil McRae is an executive staff officer with the Alberta Teachers’ Association and an adjunct ­professor in the faculty of education at the University of ­Alberta.