“We made a commitment to Alberta parents that we would have strong foundational knowledge presented to our children, that we would have rigour in the curriculum, and we make no apologies for that.” Adrianna LaGrange, Dec. 13, 2021.
But LaGrange should definitely apologize for what passes as “foundational knowledge” in the draft curriculum. She should apologize, withdraw the curriculum and restart the process.
The content in the Knowledge columns of the draft curriculum is not important “foundational knowledge.”
Too often the content is not developmentally appropriate. In some cases, high school topics have been pushed down into elementary. When the content is meaningless for young children, they will be memorizing nonsense for the test and then forgetting it. Pointless and stressful.
Critics point out that what is deemed “essential knowledge” is too often just trivia.
There are many documented factual errors, especially in Music and Social Studies.
Some of the “content” in various subjects was plagiarized off internet sources, including Wikipedia. https://alberta-curriculum-analysis.ca/analysis-of-plagiarism-in-the-draft-alberta-k-6-curriculum/
LaGrange asserts that this content is “strong foundational knowledge that will make our students successful.” But the carelessness in selecting the “foundational knowledge” to be learned and tested is outrageous. This is to be our curriculum for the next 20 or 30 years? Shameful.
In addition, some of the content in the Knowledge column seems to be background information for teachers.
Do students really have to memorize the criteria that define Tier 2 sight words in English Language Arts?
Teachers have been asking for clarification on how to use the “Knowledge” columns since March 2021. Do they have to wait for the newly mandated standardized tests in Grade 1 and 2 to arrive before they know what has to be taught?
Time and again critics have said that there is too much “knowledge” content. To test that one must pilot the curriculum for at least a full school year in many classrooms. Instead, most School Boards declined to pilot any of it, and those that did were limited to six months of piloting. Six months!
There must be a full year of piloting to determine what is reasonable and doable when it comes to the amount of content to be covered.
This curriculum is a disaster that will harm our children, not educate them.
Minister LaGrange should most definitely apologize. The rest of us should show up at, or create, a protest April 2. Visit https://ditchthedraft.ca/ for more information.