As we have all heard a new Social Studies curriculum for grades K-6 has been drafted. We also know that people, Indigenous or not, are unhappy with the outcome. It seems that some important information regarding indigenous history has been left out.
While some school divisions have decided to just opt out altogether, some are choosing to add input and get involved in creating something better. The Northland School Division is one that has chosen to not bring the new curriculum into their school’s just yet. However, they seem to have jumped aboard to create a more inclusive and factually sound curriculum. Calling on their students' families, faculty and community members, they provided the following information to allow for more individuals to take part in the redevelopment of the new curriculum.
They released this letter on their website:
The Northland School Division (NSD) is focused on student and staff well-being during a time where the continuity of learning and recovery from this pandemic is paramount. There is concern over learning loss and getting all students back into school. NSD considered the current realities we are living through as a result of COVID-19 and will be supporting the modernization of the curriculum by engaging our parents, students, and staff and gathering their input for possible revisions. Accordingly, at this time NSD will not be piloting the draft K-6 curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year.
In addition, the Board of Trustees and Administration reviewed the draft content, outcomes, and measures proposed in the applicable subject areas, and discussed alignment with the vision, commitment, core values, and priorities of the Board. The Board recognizes the importance of redesigning the curriculum for the benefit of student learning. The Indigenous perspectives and experiences that were included in the previous curriculum seem to be omitted.
As we move forward, it’s important Northland students, parents/guardians, staff, and community members have an opportunity to give their input. The communities we serve need to be heard and Northland students must see themselves in the draft curriculum. The Board and Administration will focus on encouraging NSD students, parents, guardians, staff and community members to review the draft curriculum and submit feedback to Alberta Education. We will work with our community partners to gather information to share with Alberta Education for possible revisions of the social studies curriculum.
A new curriculum is important and will impact teaching and learning for years, so now is the opportunity to make sure we get it right for our students. To View the curriculum in its entirety, please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/curriculum.aspx and provide your input at: https://www.alberta.ca/curriculum-have-your-say.aspx