Media Release

Teachers' Voice Needed on Social Studies Curriculum

Media Release

As public responses to the government’s draft social studies curriculum emerge, the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) is offering suggestions to government on how it can improve the draft by ensuring that the perspective of teachers is kept front and centre. 

“We have always maintained that teachers, who bring the curriculum to life every day in their classrooms, should be at the forefront of curriculum development. While the ATA has been given the opportunity to react to this curriculum draft, teachers must be active participants in the process moving forward.” 

—Jason Schilling, ATA president 

ATA curriculum experts, and classroom teachers recruited by the Association, have begun analyzing the most recent draft of the elementary social studies curriculum and identified areas where further improvement is necessary. Teachers expect that the draft intended for piloting will ensure that

  • concepts are introduced at appropriate ages and grades;  
  • outcomes go beyond surface-level content and engage higher-level thinking; 
  • all grade levels integrate critical thinking skills; 
  • Indigenous and francophone histories and perspectives are fully included; and  
  • diverse ideas, viewpoints and identities are reflected and respected. 

Nancy Luyckfassel, ATA curriculum lead, says there is still much work to be done. 

“The current draft is an improvement over the disastrous 2021 version; however, further improvement is required. The feedback of active teachers must be reflected before the next draft hits the classroom.”

—Nancy Luyckfassel, ATA coordinator of Professional Development 

The ATA is organizing focus groups with teachers and curriculum specialists to take a deeper look at the latest draft. Their task will be to make specific recommendations and identify how to best prepare teachers for piloting and eventual implementation. Schilling noted that Alberta Education under Minister Demetrios Nicolaides has been much more receptive to receiving and acting on teacher advice on curriculum matters. 

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, supports teachers’ professional practice, and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members.