Preparing for the New Alberta Curriculum

Preparing for the New Alberta Curriculum

As an educator, administrator and parent I am both excited and nervous as Alberta looks at curriculum redesign.  It is tough to imagine what we will need to do without knowing what the new curriculum looks like. At this point we can only imagine and listen to the various parties that are responsible for creating the new K-12 curriculum for the province.

One of the most important actions that administrators can do to help teachers is schedule collaborative time for teachers to meet and plan.  This will be one of the most important things as we move forward. By scheduling in time for teachers to meet and plan collaboratively will help alleviate a lot of the frustration that teachers may have.  As a department head during the implementation of the last Social Studies curriculum teachers simply wanted time to plan and prepare instruction and assessment to meet the goals and needs of the new curriculum.  I am not sure this will any different this time around. Parents and students will generally not be impacted as they do not have to plan or prepare for the implementation of the curriculum. Learning may become more student centred with more project based learning and technology initiatives.  

Educators will still need to plan and prepare lessons and assessments as they always have, but those assessments and plans may need to look a little different.  More emphasis on community and global interactions will need to be planned and prepared for. As mentioned earlier time to collaboratively plan and prepare will be a necessity.  

As an instructional leader one of my responsibilities will be to ensure that teachers have all the materials and resources they need to successfully plan and implement the new curriculum.  Support is the single most important thing instructional leaders can provide at this time. This support may come in the form of release time where instructional leaders take classes to free up teachers for planning.  I can see myself taking each class for a period of time to do some technology based learning activities such as 3D printing, green screening, coding or robotics to give the classroom teachers some additional time to prepare.  

Change is inevitable and I believe that we do need to change our curriculum and I am looking forward to seeing and implementing the curriculum when it is released.  There will need to be time given to educate parents and teachers as our education is potentially changing from traditional schooling has been. Professional development for teachers about PBL will be required should that be part of what the new curriculum will look like.   

4 thoughts on “Preparing for the New Alberta Curriculum

  1. I completely agree with what you said about administrators providing collaborative time for teachers to meet and plan. Most teachers are excited about learning new ideas and want to implement new things into their classrooms. However, the challenge is always around finding the time. Teachers would appreciate release time to plan and prepare their lessons.
    It won’t impact parents and students as much as teachers, but I can see parents being very apprehensive about the new curriculum design because like you said, it seems like it may be stepping away from the traditional schooling. We will need to prepare ourselves and provide parents with researched based evidence on why this change is important for their child’s education.

    • Vanessa, I would agree that while the new curriculum will not impact the parents or students directly, we DO need to be prepared to explain the need for the change.

  2. It is interesting that you had the experience of bringing in the new social curriculum in the past. You said you needed time and I completely agree with that and understand the complexity for administration in arranging that time. Do you remember recieving any group PD that helped you with the process? Or maybe small group of the teachers from your school collaborating together? Or was it more individual? It is more difficult for administration to arrange time for teachers to work together within the day but I am thinking there might be more value in that.

  3. Terry, as a leader in your school and going through the process of curriculum change yourself, allows you to have that understanding and empathy for your staff. It sounds like you are ready to support in strong ways, not just taking the easy class so that the teachers can plan but taking opportunities to connect with the students and teach them skills that you can offer that other teachers may not. I also like your thinking of more project-based learning PD. Do you have access to specialists that can come to your school on P.D. days? Do you find the number of instructional hours limiting in providing further P.D. opportunities after school?

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