Alberta teachers give draft K-6 curriculum a failing grade: ATA survey

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The UCP government’s draft K-6 curriculum doesn’t pass muster with the province’s teachers, a survey from the Alberta Teachers’ Association finds.

The poll, released Thursday, shows that 91 per cent are unhappy with the draft curriculum, while 90 per cent of teachers in elementary schools and 95 per cent of principals aren’t comfortable supporting the curriculum in their schools.

“We wanted to give teachers time to review the documents and provide their feedback to us since the government failed to engage teachers in the curriculum process,” ATA president Jason Schilling said in a release.

“But the preliminary data is overwhelming: this draft curriculum is fatally flawed.”

The draft curriculum was unveiled on March 29 by Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, and has been met with criticism over some of the subject matter, particularly in social studies, which will have students in Grade 2 learning about such topics as Charlemagne, while having a reduced emphasis on Canada’s First Nations.

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The survey heard from more than 3,500 teachers between March 29 and April 7.

Schilling said the curriculum process was flawed because teachers weren’t consulted.

“The feedback shows that the government has failed its own mission,” he said. If the government is serious about producing a strong curriculum, it needs to listen to what teachers are telling them.”

Other findings from the survey show that more than 80 per cent of teachers don’t feel the content is age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.

When questioned in the legislature by NDP Opposition education critic Sarah Hoffman, Premier Jason Kenney defended the curriculum redesign as an issue supported by voters in the 2019 election, as well as getting the thumbs up from experts in fields such as math. It has also received endorsements from proponents of consent education.

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