After more than a year of consultations, the Alberta Government has released its draft kindergarten to grade six curriculum. According to the province, this new learning plan focuses on four key themes – literacy, numeracy, citizenship, and practical skills – which are designed to improve student outcomes across all subjects and grades.
The goal is for kindergarten to grade six students to master their essential skills, and also develop a solid foundation for more complex learning in the future. However, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange isn’t saying much about why the revamped curriculum doesn’t address serious Indigenous issues in all grades.
Subjects like treaties and residential schools are not introduced until grades 4 and 5 respectively, which counters the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that all grades, even Kindergarten, learn about those topics in some capacity. When asked for a reason, LaGrange offered no explanation, saying only that the curriculum is rich in Indigenous content.
“Our children will be learning content-rich, factual information, starting in Kindergarten going all the way through to Grade 6. They will learn about the extraordinary beauty of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit Culture. They will learn it in art and music. They will learn it in all grades across all subjects.”
The draft curriculum is posted on the Government of Alberta website for Albertans to provide their feedback until spring 2022. Information from feedback and classroom testing will be added to the K-6 curriculum before it’s rolled out to all schools for the 2022-23 school year.
Classroom testing is set to begin in select schools in September. The government has set aside $6-million for resource and professional development during testing.