Last month, the Government of Alberta offered an update on curriculum redevelopment that is taking place, and launched an online survey to allow for Albertans to have input on the topic.
The St. Paul Journal reached out to readers through its Facebook page, asking what they felt students should be learning.
A number of locals say they want school curriculum to include more basic life skills, while some stated they felt there should be more emphasis on indigenous history, and others called for more life skills programs.
April Berard wants her “future graduate” to learn how to budget, do taxes, and learn more land based education, mental health awareness and basic mechanics.
“I would feel better about my future graduate entering the ‘real world’ equipped with the skills necessary to thrive,” Berard commented. “A lot of basic life skills are taught at home, however not all students are fortunate to have those supports at home.”
Students should not be taught how to be great test takers, they should be taught how to survive in the real world after high school, commented Samson Houle, adding, every school should implement more life learning skills learning, as “most students do not go into post-secondary education.”
Another commenter, Mark Béland, thinks the system is doing reasonably well, but could include more technology based classes and basic software development.
Modernizing student learning
An advisory panel appointed by government is providing recommendations for curriculum and has drafted a new vision for student learning. A new online survey is available until Feb. 24 for Albertans to provide input on recommendations and feedback on the draft vision for student learning.
Some highlights from the report include ensuring the curriculum remains free from the prescription of pedagogical approaches, like discovery math, addressing financial literacy, work readiness, wellness and goal-setting to enhance students’ life skills, providing students with work-integrated learning opportunities, and ensuring First Nations, Metis and Inuit learnings continue to be reflected in the curriculum, according to a government news release dated Jan. 29.
“We recognize that all our students need an education that ensures they thrive in an environment of rapid economic, social and global change,” Angus McBeath, chair, curriculum advisory panel, said in the release. “While there are elements of the draft K-12 curriculum that serve us well, there is room for improvement.”
St. Paul Education is excited about an updated curriculum in all subject areas and curriculum redevelopment has been on the provincial radar for the past 10 years, said St. Paul Education Regional Division Board Chair Heather Starosielski.
St. Paul Education follows the provincially set curriculum and ensures educational outcomes are met accordingly, explained Starosielski.
“All Albertans should take part in this survey (as) everyone's input is valuable to ensure we are providing the best educational foundation for all students that is built on essential skills and knowledge to ensure lifelong success,” Starosielski added.
The results of the survey and feedback collected on the draft vision will help guide the government’s in updating the curriculum.
The survey is available at https://www.learnalberta.ca/content/survey2020/index.html