In 2020, a select group of teachers were asked by the Government of Alberta to serve on the curriculum working groups and to provide feedback on the draft K–6 curriculum. As part of that process, they were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements that prevented them from speaking publicly about the curriculum and the review process. These agreements have since expired, and some of the teachers have sent an open letter to Albertans to discuss their experience.
[Click here for Open Letter]
[Click here for ATA News Article]
The Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Professional Curriculum Analysis and Critique of Alberta Education’s 2021 Draft K–6 Curriculum is a detailed analysis and assessment of the draft curriculum by expert teachers. The 6,500 teacher participants include elementary generalists, subject specialists, diversity specialists, and school and system leaders from across Alberta.
The draft curriculum does not meet Alberta Education’s overall vision, guidelines and considerations for curriculum development.
1. Little relationship between the government’s own vision and guidelines for student learning and the draft curriculum
2. Not logically sequenced and not appropriately designed for teacher use
3. Developmentally inappropriate learning outcomes that lack high academic standards and do not adequately describe what students must know and be able to do
4. Narrowly defined content that does not reflect the development of knowledge, understanding and skills for the 21st century
5. Insufficient reinforcement of essential knowledge and skills across subjects
6. Lack of support for all students to do their best in an inclusive classroom, and knowledge outcomes with low-level learning and thinking skills
7. Inclusion of Indigenous content that is not authentic and appears as tokenism
8. Inadequate inclusion of francophone histories, contributions and perspectives
9. Twice as many learning outcomes as the current curriculum, which means that teachers will have less time to ensure student understanding and that struggling students will be left behind
10. Lack of support for developing students’ acceptance of diversity and sense of belonging, empathy and community, and a failure to acknowledge the Alberta Human Rights Act
Almost no content related to gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, which discriminates against 2SLGBTQ+ students and their families
11. Lack of respect for Alberta’s diversity and support for a peaceful, pluralistic society
12. Failure to address racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry, and the use of language that, in fact, promotes such bigotry
13. Inclusion of world religions as a mandatory topic in K–12, which infringes on the religious freedoms of Alberta parents
14. Language meant for the layperson, not for teachers with professional expertise, and failure to provide the information and flexibility they need to address classroom learning needs
Professional Curriculum Analysis and Critique of Alberta Education’s 2021 Draft K-6 Curriculum
In response to teacher feedback on the draft curriculum, the Association is calling for the Government of Alberta to stop all work on the piloting and implementation of the draft curriculum until an independent, open and full review and rewrite can occur.
If you’re a parent or member of the public who is concerned about the draft curriculum, please pledge support for the moratorium and review by visiting curriculum.thelearningteam.ca.
Parents are also encouraged to reach out to their local school trustee candidate to find out where they stand on the draft at vote4kids.ca
You can also take the Alberta government’s curriculum survey.
Did you miss our curriculum forum? Watch it now.
We have launched a comprehensive engagement project with active teachers to gather feedback on the proposed curriculum.
Background: Why are teachers calling for a stop to the draft curriculum?
A successful curriculum promotes student learning by supporting teaching professionals that have a proven record of delivering success in Alberta’s schools. Any redesign must include extensive and in-depth involvement by the true curriculum experts—teachers.
Teachers understand the readiness of young students for different pieces of content and how to bring curriculum to life in the classroom. Our Association and its members are best positioned to provide advice on the successful implementation of new curriculum.
ATA News Releases
- June 18, 2021 - It’s not bullying; it’s courage
- June 18, 2021 - ATA curriculum circle: experts respond
- June 18, 2021 - Staying the course: minister’s letter
- June 1, 2021 - Viewpoints: Parents and teachers need to work together
- June 1, 2021 - ARA delegates call for reversal on curriculum
- June 1, 2021 - Curriculum forum draws calls for continued advocacy
- June 1, 2021 - Alberta teachers express non-confidence in education minister
- June 1, 2021 - Ball is in the minister’s court
- May 11, 2021 - Viewpoints: Curriculum must authentically value Indigenous Peoples
- May 11, 2021 - Editorial: public backlash against the curriculum is real
- May 11, 2021 - MLA curriculum groups prompt ATA warning
- April 15, 2021 - Teachers Call for Stop to Curriculum Implementation
- April 8, 2021 - Teachers Identify Fatal Flaws in Draft Curriculum
- March 29, 2021 - ATA Responds to Draft Curriculum with Plans to Undertake Independent Review
- August 26, 2020 - ATA President Calls for Curriculum Advisor to be Dismissed
- January 29, 2020 - Response to the Curriculum Advisory Panel Recommendations and the Draft Ministerial Order on Student Learning
- August 22, 2019 - Where are the teachers?
- August 22, 2019 - Uncertainty surrounding the new Curriculum Advisory Panel raises concerns for Alberta’s teachers
- February 4, 2019 - Curriculum Advisory Panel Report Receives Mixed Review from the ATA