What’s Really at Stake in Alberta’s Curriculum Controversy

A lengthy furor over Alberta’s plans to put greater emphasis on facts and memorization in provincial schools has not abated with the start of the new school year.
In March 2021, Premier Jason Kenney’s government announced its intention to remake the entire kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum all at once. This ambitious undertaking marked a shift back to a more traditional “content rich” instructional approach. It was also a deliberate reaction to the previous NDP government’s curriculum efforts, which had emphasized ideology over content.
Political opponents predictably complained the Kenney government’s first draft of its curriculum plan was racist and Eurocentric. Some academics claimed it was too content-heavy for young children, favoured “passive” rote-memorization over “active” hands-on learning, and was unsupported by current research. An initial lack of consultation might be considered the biggest problem, as it was a missed opportunity to explain the curriculum’s merits to parents and other stakeholders and make adjustments as necessary….

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