October 18, 2016 12:28 pm
Updated: October 18, 2016 8:34 pm

Alberta government launches online survey to hear from parents on education curriculum review

WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta government wants your help deciding what's being taught in the classroom. As the province starts a massive review of the curriculum, it's launched an online survey so that parents and kids can have a say. As Mia Sosiak reports, the minister is also asking education students to weigh in.


What would you like to see in Alberta’s school curriculum? The provincial government has launched on online survey in hopes of learning just that.

The survey is meant to be one way parents can have a say in what’s taught in their children’s classrooms. It comes as the province is in the midst of a sweeping review of school curriculum.

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“We know that good jobs begin with a good education,” Premier Rachel Notley said in a media release Tuesday. “Our changing economy demands a modern curriculum that prepares our kids for success at school and in the workforce. We want to hear directly from parents as we take on this important work.”

READ MORE: Alberta announces sweeping 6-year overhaul of school curricula at cost of $64M

Beginning Tuesday, parents and other concerned Albertans can take part in the survey, which includes questions on the kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum.

“Through this survey, Albertans representing a broad cross-section of society will provide valuable input about what students should know,” Mark Ramsankar, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, said. “From there, our teachers will be well-informed and well-situated to design the programs required to get them there.”

“I’m a parent and I have strong opinions about my kid’s education and all parents do,” Notley said.

“This is about ensuring that they have a mechanism for engagement. Kids also have strong opinions about what they are learning. And this is a great opportunity, because of the online platform, kids themselves are going to be able to engage in it and I think that’s really important too.”

READ MORE: Sexual education compared across Canada

Earlier this year, the Alberta NDP announced a complete overhaul of its education curriculum, which will include topics such as climate change, gender diversity and sexual orientation. Some aspects of the Alberta curriculum are up to 30 years old.

Alberta Education said it will work with teachers and administrators over the next six years to redefine six core subjects simultaneously for all grades.

In the past, updates were being considered on a subject-by-subject basis, but Notley said it wasn’t happening fast enough.

“Frankly, it’s being going too slowly and we haven’t modernized our curriculum in an effective way,” she said. “We need to dedicate the resources, the time and the attention to finish the job in an effective way.”

The first part of the survey is more broad and has participants answer multiple choice questions with answers like “strongly agree,” “agree,” “disagree” or “strongly disagree.”

The second part goes through the curriculum grade by grade, subject by subject and asks participants if they’d like to see certain aspects of the curriculum stay the same or see increased or decreased emphasis.

Both sections are confidential, anonymous and have open comment sections at the bottom of each part.

“Education is the cornerstone of a healthy economy,” Education Minister David Eggen said in a media release Tuesday. “I am proud that our government is taking charge of a proper curriculum update that was put off for too long. Working together to improve the quality and co-ordination of education and skills training will mean our students are ready to succeed at every level, from kindergarten to post-secondary to careers.”

READ MORE: Online porn, sexting should be included in sex ed. curriculum, Alberta professor says

The province said Tuesday it will also look at research on student learning and what other jurisdictions around the world are doing in order to develop the new curriculum.

The online survey runs until Nov. 18. To take part, visit the Alberta government’s website.

Watch below: The Alberta government wants your help deciding what’s being taught in the classroom. As the province starts a massive review of the curriculum, it has launched an online survey so parents and kids can have a say. Emily Mertz reports.

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