SUNDRE - Jason Nixon, Sundre-area MLA and Minister of Environment and Parks, says the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) should take part in consultations now underway on the proposed new K-6 school curriculum instead of calling for a moratorium on the process.
Representing more than 39,000 Alberta teachers, the ATA is urging a halt to the curriculum implementation and for an independent review to be conducted.
“The curriculum is not finalized at all,” said Nixon. “We are in the consultation stage, so when there are any concerns with the draft, that is good. It is good to get those concerns into the Ministry of Education so there can be a conversation.
“It’s a very transparent process and a conversation with everybody who’s involved with curriculum to make sure Alberta gets it right. So I want to encourage everybody to participate in that, including the ATA.”
The ATA is calling for all piloting and implementation work on the curriculum project to be stopped immediately.
“The government is being told loudly and clearly that this curriculum is unacceptable,” said ATA president Jason Schilling. “Teachers who believe this curriculum is unsound and potentially damaging to student learning have the professional responsibility and moral right to participate in voluntary piloting.”
Several school boards have said they will not be taking part in piloting for the draft curriculum.
A number of stakeholder groups have called the proposed curriculum unacceptable. For example, the Metis Nation of Alberta says in its current from the curriculum “carries an Eurocentric-American point of view that effectively eliminates the voice and history of the Metis people of Alberta.”
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says the new curriculum will “deliver our government’s commitment to Albertans to refocus on essential knowledge and skills in order to give our children the best possible chance at success.”
MLA Nixon says stakeholders, including the ATA, should be encouraged to contribute to the consultation process.
“It’s going to be a long conversation,” said Nixon. “It’s going to take some time to be able to get the curriculum perfect, but this is what should be happening right now.”
The complete new curriculum draft is available for viewing online at alberta.ca/curriculum.