“Who wrote the Alberta government’s new curriculum?” asks a recent ad from the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA).
I have been adamant that teachers did not write the K-6 draft curriculum. It is an inadequate, cobbled-together disaster. If teachers had been collaboratively involved, there would be clearly communicated outcomes and engaging sequences of learning where each new skill builds on the ones before. There would be recognition that young children move from concrete to abstract thinking and learn new things by connecting to their own experiences and prior knowledge. There would be recognition of how much can be covered in the instructional minutes for each subject.
The 2021 draft curriculum fails on all these counts.
I have a theory that some of the curriculum was written by a cut-rate curriculum company in the United States. That would explain the references to “reservations” instead of “reserves,” the reference to “Canadian units of measurement” and the social studies task where students originally were told to take out a map of Alberta and calculate the distance from Regina to Duck Lake, both of which are in Saskatchewan.
When the UCP came to power, they tore up the memorandum of understanding with the ATA that had teachers working collaboratively with Alberta Education to create curriculum. Yet the UCP continues to maintain that teachers were involved in the development of the curriculum during the seven months it took to completely rewrite every subject in grades K-6. What might that teacher involvement have looked like?
Perhaps some of the draft curriculum was written by teachers seconded to Alberta Education? Perhaps former teachers, now permanent staff at Alberta Education, were involved in writing the draft curriculum? Teachers and curriculum experts were not involved in any meaningful way in the development of the failed draft curriculum. So who wrote this inadequate, cobbled-together disaster?