After researching the new proposed K-6 curriculum I’m not a supporter. Based on opinion pieces that have been written by members of the Alberta academic community it appears there is a very high percentage that view the new curriculum negatively. Dr. Carla Peck, a University of Alberta education professor specializing in social studies was quoted as saying, “the fatal flaw is in the overall design and intent of the curriculum; it cannot be fixed by tweaking it.” Currently, over 90% of Alberta school boards have decided not to participate in piloting the curriculum this September.
There are a number of items that appear to be more appropriate for older grades but not for the grades specified. I’m not saying students shouldn’t be challenged. Kids need challenges to thrive, grow, and to form their own opinions. But I’m worried the sheer volume and age appropriateness of material, particularly in social studies, will cause students stress and frustration with their learning experience. I can already see some students’ eyes widening with worry as they try to memorize massive amounts of details.
There are also a number of specifics that are either missing or glossed over. For example, Residential schools are given only a fleeting mention and only make reference to the US model. Also, I was unable to find any or very little mention of human rights, sexual orientation, or gender identity. If elected, I will work in conjunction with my trustee colleagues, our administration, and most importantly our teachers to press the province to not implement their current proposal and to maintain the existing curriculum until a proper replacement can be created.