MLA Jackie Lovely proud of province delivering on curriculum

Opinion

Alberta’s Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange has released the new Kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum, making good on a promise Alberta’s government made to Albertans in the last election.

Concerns over the curriculum were one of the most important issues that people brought up with me during the election and continue to bring up during my door knocking throughout the riding. While talking with residents one-on-one, a majority of them said they were unhappy with the school curriculum. That is why I’m very happy about the implementation of the new curriculum that Minister LaGrange and a broad spectrum of experts have been preparing.

Our government committed to end the focus on so-called discovery learning and scrap the NDP’s secretive curriculum review and replace it with a new curriculum based on input from teachers, parents, and subject matter experts.

I’m proud to say that we have delivered on this commitment. Another promise made, promise kept.

Alberta’s new curriculum is focused on teaching essential knowledge and skills. After years of declining student academic performance in literacy and math, the new curriculum will renew the importance of teaching foundational knowledge across all subjects to better prepare students for success.

It’s been almost 30 years since some subjects in K-6 have been updated. The curriculum was long overdue for a change.

The new curriculum is founded on four key learning themes: First, a renewed focus on literacy. Through phonics and other best practices, students will not only learn the basics of reading and writing, but also how to observe, speak, and listen.

Second, a new approach to numeracy. By leaving behind the focus on “discovery math”, students will use tried and true methods to learn foundational math skills and understand numbers and objects in order to solve problems confidently.

The third theme is citizenship. Drawing from history, geography, economics, civics, and other studies, students will develop an appreciation of how Albertans have built one of the most generous, prosperous, and diverse societies in the world.

Fourth, strong practical skills. Ranging from basic financial literacy like budget planning to computer coding to understanding consent in relationships, students will learn a range of practical skills for real world success.

Revising the curriculum to focus on real world skills is something I’ve heard a lot from parents while talking with parents in communities both in and around Camrose. They want their children to learn how to manage money and budget, how to add, subtract and multiply; even teaching and preparing them for careers in technology with a focus put on digital literacy.

The government was elected on a platform commitment to broaden curriculum consultations and develop a curriculum focused on “foundational competencies” with teaching methods “that produce the best outcomes”, because our students deserve every opportunity to succeed while in school and after they graduate.

Our platform also committed to a “social studies curriculum taught without political bias, offering an objective understanding of Alberta, Canada, and world history, geography, and civic literacy”. This fact, in particular, was of great importance to many parents and constituents I’ve met with in the riding.

It’s so important that we set our kids up for future success. Returning to common-sense teaching methods that focus on the key knowledge and skills our students need to succeed will ensure they are well equipped for their futures.

Alberta’s Government remains committed to a transparent curriculum review process. The draft K-6 curriculum is now online at new.LearnAlberta.ca for all Albertans to see in its entirety. All Albertans are encouraged to provide feedback until spring 2022 at www.alberta.ca/curriculum

I’m confident Alberta’s new K-6 curriculum will once again put students from Tofield and Bashaw to Camrose and Hardisty and all across the province at the very top and prepare them for a life of personal success.