ATA News

Voice your curricular views at convention

Alberta Education to gather feedback on social studies curriculum throughout the province

A photo of the inside of a large convention centre. The top of the photo is yellow with beams of the roof and lights. On the floor are people, many displays and blue dividers for the booths.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association is strongly encouraging teachers to take advantage of an opportunity to directly engage with Alberta Education regarding the development of social studies curriculum.

The ministry is hosting sessions at teachers’ conventions across the province to gather direct feedback from teachers on everything from curriculum development to implementation. A statement provided by the minister of education’s office says that education department staff will be attending conventions to conduct in-depth sessions and collect feedback.

“Teachers have an incredibly important role when it comes to curriculum development and implementation,” the statement reads.

It’s important that teachers take advantage of this important opportunity, said Nancy Luyckfassel, the ATA’s Professional Development coordinator.

“It will be the long-awaited chance many teachers have wanted — to engage with the people who are planning the curriculum that they will soon be teaching,” Luyckfassel said.

Two sessions are planned for each convention. The first will deal specifically with the K–12 social studies curriculum. Teachers will be able to provide feedback on the key learnings that will be covered. The session will also provide updates on the phased approach to classroom piloting and implementation.

The second session will explore the website. Teachers will find sample lesson plans, explore professional learning supports and learn how to use Boards, a teacher planning tool.

While Alberta Education sessions are not new to teachers’ conventions, Luyckfassel said these presentations were a welcome addition to this year’s slate.

“We want teachers to take advantage of this opportunity and show Alberta Ed that their invitation is both welcome, accepted and followed up on,” she said.

These sessions developed in the fall of 2023 from talks with Alberta Education about ways the ministry could further engage with teachers. Luyckfassel said that when sessions at teachers’ convention were proposed, Alberta Ed and the various convention associations were on board. She hopes that teachers across the province will voice their perspective and that Alberta Ed will listen.

“I hope they’ll really see the value, wisdom and experience our teachers have to share and how passionate they are about the curriculum,” Luyckfassel said. “Teachers genuinely want the best possible program of study to be used in schools.”

She pointed out that nobody understands age-appropriate content better than the people who work with those students.

“The people that know what age-appropriate is for grade one are the people who work with grade ones every day. What better resource could the ministry ask for?”

The new K–6 social studies curriculum will be released in the spring of 2024.