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Curriculum feedback reinforces teacher concerns

June 14, 2022 Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor



Newly released feedback on the government’s draft K-6 curriculum once again shows what teachers and the Alberta Teachers’ Association have been saying all along: teachers’ input and concerns have been ignored while the government presses on with its controversial plans.

On June 2 Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced on Twitter that the government had released hundreds of pages of reports from stakeholders and public survey feedback on the draft K-6 curriculum.

“We are listening to experts, educators and all Albertans as we work to finalize a new K-6 curriculum for our students,” LaGrange tweeted.

An internal ATA review of the data validated the concerns that teachers have been expressing throughout the curriculum development process, said ATA president Jason Schilling. The posted material shows that Albertans are concerned about the drafts being overloaded with content that is not age appropriate.

“They had to scrub 12,000 of the 20,000 responses from one one question on the online survey results because these respondents were unable to find anything positive to say about the curriculum,” Schilling said.

Even then, at least 62 per cent and as many as 71 per cent of respondents were providing negative feedback, Schilling noted, adding that stakeholder groups were near unanimous in expressing concerns.

Four themes emerged from the overall feedback:

  1. Absence of foundational skills and over-emphasis of memorization
  2. Lack of resources and support for educators
  3. Timeline for implementation too short
  4. Public engagement process and information sharing too limited

Schilling said it was “really interesting” that the feedback from curriculum working groups and from piloting teachers was not released.
“The teacher feedback continues to be hidden and ignored,” Schilling said, “yet the government continues to soldier on.” ❚

In their words

The overwhelming assessment is that the draft curriculum is beyond fixing.”
– Metis Settlements General Council

Content load in all subjects will not allow for breadth or depth of understanding which are essential components for student learning.”
– College of Alberta School Superintendents

Participants [are] all strongly of the view that this draft curriculum is not nearly ready for implementation.”
– Association of Independent Schools & Colleges in Alberta

There is not enough time for quality PD prior to implementation.”
– Alberta School Boards Association


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