Time is running out to prepare for the new curriculum, Alberta teachers say

From September, students from kindergarten to 3and year follows the new curriculum English, mother tongue and mathematics. The new physical education program will also be given to all students from kindergarten to 6and year.

Since its introduction to the public, the new curriculum has received criticism from parents, teachers and experts for sometimes seeing content as inappropriate and for shifting towards knowledge-based learning rather than skills.

It really feels like a crazy sprint to the finishsays Jennifer Flontek, who teaches physical education at Beaumont. We were inundated with information, but we really had little time to prepare.

She doesn’t blame her school board for anything. Rather, she believes the provincial government has not done enough to support teachers in the transition.

A busy schedule

In addition, many questions remain unanswered, especially regarding the integration of all the new material into the new program. The new physical education program includes a sex education section and a financial literacy section, in which students learn, for example, how to make a budget.

minutes par semaine pour enseigner l’éducation physique”,”text”:”Un professeur au niveau primaire a en moyenne 3 séances de 30minutes par semaine pour enseigner l’éducation physique”}}”>A primary school teacher has an average of 3 sessions of 30 minutes per week to teach physical educationexplains Glenn Wilson, a physical education teacher at the École Léo Nickerson in Saint-Albert.

To add to that all the other things like financial literacy, it’s almost impossible.

A quote from Glenn Wilson, physical education teacher

He will certainly be ready for the next school year, but before that he and his colleagues have to develop a plan to distribute some of the additional content among the different subjects.

Various school boards will conduct similar exercises in the coming months. However, the process is far from uniform and the results are likely to vary a lot from school to school.

Jennifer Flontek, for her part, is concerned that the program will be more difficult to implement in schools that cannot rely on a teacher who specializes in physical education.

Glenn Wilson explains that most elementary school students receive 90 minutes of physical education per week.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Francois Joly

Several school boards have tried the new program and that’s not what we heardThe Education Minister Adriana Lagrange replied on Thursday when asked whether certain content should be abandoned to make way for new material.

The vast majority of school boards boycotted the trial of the program. Data obtained through a Freedom of Information request shows that 177 classes have tried the new physical education program.

Limited resources for French speakers

At this point, teachers are not ready to teach this new curriculumsaid Stéfane Kreiner, president of the Association of Francophone Teachers of Alberta.

He also regrets the lack of teaching material in French that is currently available. Fewer than a dozen documents are listed on the county’s website, against several hundred in English.

Stéfane Kreiner, who teaches 4and year at Discovery School, fears his colleagues won’t have enough time to prepare for the new program’s arrival.

I’m afraid some teachers will do that this summer, in their personal vacation time.

A quote from Stéfane Kreiner, President, Association of Francophone Teachers of Alberta

Ministry of Education spokesman Katherine Stavropoulos acknowledges that educational resources are currently limited.

However, she recalls that $3.5 million has been made available to remedy this imbalance. Part of these funds will go to the Federation of Francophone School Boards of Alberta to work closely with the ministry and council to provide resources [éducatives] as soon as possible in French

There are also concerns about the reorganization of content between different grades. Some concepts are learned earlier, which can be difficult for students, says Stéfane Kreimer. For example, in mathematics, fractions are taught in 1d years instead of 4and year.

A woman dressed in green and black teaches in front of a class of young students.

The new program would initially be adopted by all schools in all subjects from the start of the school year in September 2022.

Photo: Radio Canada

The adjustment for students who started their education in the old program also worries teachers.

The students of the second year do not receive the lessons they would have had in the first year in the new programsaid Elissa Corsi, spokesperson for the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Province plans new math and English programs for all K-6 studentsand year commencing with the start of the 2023 academic year. The same year will also see the arts, sciences, French immersion and French, native language programs.

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