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Exploring Alberta’s Curriculum Redesign Frog Lake School In Support of ARPDC Curriculum Redesign Implementation, April 17, 2014 Presenter: Dan N ash. Session Goals. 1. Review the foundational understandings driving Alberta’s curriculum redesign process

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Exploring Alberta’s Curriculum Redesign

Frog Lake School

In Support of ARPDC Curriculum Redesign Implementation, April 17, 2014

Presenter: Dan Nash


Session Goals

1. Review the foundational understandings driving Alberta’s curriculum redesign process

2. Explore learner competencies defined in the Ministerial Order (#001/2013)

3. Review resources for creating awareness of Curriculum redesign

4. Resources for moving from awareness to readiness

6. Inform of upcoming events to assist Districts prepare for curriculum redesign


Part 1

Foundational Understandings Driving Alberta’s Curriculum Redesign process


Alberta’s Curriculum Redesign – At a Glance

VISION – Engaged, Ethical, and Entrepreneurial citizens

VALUES – Opportunity, Fairness, Citizenship, Choice, Diversity, Excellence

POLICY SHIFTS- Focused on Education, Centered on the Learner,

Building Competencies, Technology to support the Creation and Sharing

of Knowledge

foundational resources
Foundational Resources


  • We are Inspiring Education
  • ‪Honourable Jeff Johnson, Minister of Education - Inspiring Education
  • Andreas Schleicher - Strong performers and successful reformers
  • ‪‪Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., - Jobs, skills and opportunities ‪
  • ‪Dr. Glenn Feltham - The Task Force for Teaching Excellence


  • About Curriculum Redesign
  • What's New
  • Curriculum Redesign Update newsletters
  • Curriculum Development Prototyping
  • Student Learning Assessments
  • Research
  • Communication Toolkit

Part 2

Shifting to Learner Competencies defined in the Ministerial Order (#001/2013)


Unpacking the Ministerial Order (MO)

It provides an overview of the goals and expectations for K–12 students and establishes a clear mandate for Alberta Education and school authorities to follow when developing provincial curriculum.


For students to achieve their full potential, education must make students the centre of all decisions related to learning, and curriculum must enable teachers, as designers of learning opportunities, to better meet their students’ diverse needs.

FIRST SHIFT: Less centred on the system, more focused on the student


Students will have more developmentally appropriate opportunities to take ownership of and responsibility for their progress, their learning, and the assessment of that learning.

Redesigned curriculum must enable the kind of flexibility and choice that leads to more personalized learning opportunities for all students.


SECOND SHIFT: Less content focused, more competency focused

For example, when studying the concepts of measurement, area and scale, learners might apply them to their real-life problems, such as redesigning their playrooms or bedrooms.

Learners will still study subjects such as language arts, mathematics, science, arts and wellness – but a greater focus on competency development will help students make meaningful connections within and among subjects.

Through consultations and the work of our curriculum research roundtables, Alberta has defined a competency as “an interrelated set of attitudes, skills and knowledge that is drawn upon and applied to a particular context.”


Teachers have told us that the current programs of study are too heavy, dense, and prescriptive.

THIRD SHIFT: From “prescriptive curriculum with limited flexibility” to “more opportunities for local decision making and greater depth of study”

  • student and teacher choice;
  • relevance of student activities;
  • opportunities for broad exploration and deep understanding;
  • opportunities for hands-on, project-based learning;
  • opportunities for interdisciplinary learning through a common construct across programs of study; and
  • student/teacher engagement.

Without letting go of our standards, new curriculum will have fewer student outcomes and less redundancy across subjects.

This shift will enable more:


FIFTH SHIFT: Less print-based curriculum, more digital delivery

digitally-based curriculum means:

  • increased potential for continuous improvement and refreshing of provincial programs of study and resources;
  • improved access to all components of curriculum within a collaborative digital application; and
  • a design that enables greater flexibility at the local level to support learning at anytime , anywhere. time, place or pace.

The power of technology should be harnessed to support innovation and discovery.

We want to capitalize on the interrelationship between pedagogy, curriculum and technology.


In the past, once the ministry moved into developing subject/discipline curriculum and had it largely shaped, stakeholders would be invited to review and provide input on what we had developed.

SIXTH SHIFT: Less ministry-led development, more collaborative and co-development with partners and stakeholders

Now we’re bringing in partners and stakeholders earlier in the curriculum development process to help in “co-creation” of curriculum.

Much of this co-development will occur through prototyping activities, a collaborative model for development that taps into local expertise to develop, design, map out and explore curriculum.


Education and its partners will work simultaneously to “co-create” resources and assessments as programs of study are under development.

FINAL SHIFT: Less sequential development, more synchronous development

The eventual, long-term goal is to roll out curriculum in a digital format – at the same time, in both French and English!

This integrated approach, with curriculum for all subject areas being developed at the same time, will greatly increase the opportunities for interdisciplinary learning in our programs of study.

Understanding the Policy Shift Chart activity


Considering Alberta’s Curriculum Development Model

Modern Curriculum Development has taken on a wider scope because our society has become increasingly complex; causing an increased need for curriculum to cease being a static product, and become a living process capable of adjusting to constantly changing times by being in continual contact with a broad segments of our society and a globalized world


Alberta’s Synchronous

Curriculum Development Model

The nature of modern Curriculum Development is… that it comes together in bits and pieces.

It’s the nature of the beast!


Curriculum Development

Prototyping and Timeline

  • Curriculum Development Prototyping Deliverables
  • K-12 Scope and Sequence for Subject/Discipline Areas
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Assessment
  • Learning and Teaching Resources
  • Graphic Organizer
  • Processes (formative summary of prototyping process)

Prototyping Partners

  • School Authorities
  • Educational Organizations
  • Business and Industry
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • FNMI
  • - K-3: KisikoAwasis School
  • - 4-6: FNMI partners Treaty 6, Treaty 7 and Treaty 8, and Métis Nation
  • - 7-9: FNMI partners Treaty 6, Treaty 7 and Treaty 8, and Métis Nation
  • - 10-12: FNMI partners Treaty 6, Treaty 7 and Treaty 8, and Métis Nation

Prototyping Support Materials

Curriculum Development Prototyping OverviewCurriculum Development Prototyping TimelineQuestions and Answers

Curriculum Development Prototyping Guide

Prototyping Partners


Part 3

Resources for Creating Awareness of

Curriculum Redesign


Overview and Timeline for Parents

Why change?

What will change?

What are the competencies?

How will it change?



Cross-Curricular Competencies Overview

Competencies 3-2-1

3. Create a 3 word description of the


2. Give 2 examples of this competency in a


1. Share 1 new way you will try to incorporate

this competency even more into student learning.


Moving Competencies from Theory to Practice

From our friends at Rockyview School District


Implications for Practice

Provocative Questions


“Albertans see the role of teacher changing from that of knowledge authority to an architect of learning – one who plans, designs, and oversees learning activities”

[teachers] collaborative knowledge-building processes actively co-constructing understanding and ideas… reconceptualizing schooling.

A more personalized education system…skilled professionals as opposed to implementing pre-established programs, and engaging in technical tasks. –

Distributed forms of leadership…collaborative problem-solving and collective reflection

Inspiring Education Steering Committee Report (2010)


Part 4.

Resources for Moving from Awareness to Readiness


Alberta’s Curriculum Development Research Base

Chapter 1: Curriculum Development Processes

Chapter 2: Competencies

Chapter 3: Ways of Knowing

Chapter 4: Breadth and Depth

Chapter 5: Interdisciplinary Learning and

Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Chapter 6: Flexible Timing and Pacing in a Variety of

Learning Environments

Chapter 7: Responsive Curriculum for a Digital Age

Chapter 8: Student-Centered/Personalized Learning

Chapter 9: Assessment


Thinking Ahead:

As an instructional leader, Consider how the “shifts” might impact your school community, and School Division?

Placemat Activity

Create groups and record your shift Topic in the center of your placemat.

Silently read, consider and record your own thoughts on your segment of the placemat

Share your thoughts with your group partners

Identify and record the two most critical emerging “Shift” opportunities and challenges emerging from your group’s discussionin the center of the placemat

Choose a reporter who will speak for your group.




Part 5

Upcoming Events


Alberta Education Focus Groups:


District stakeholder teams of parents, teachers, admin, and trustees are invited.

May 22, 2014

St Paul Regional High School

1.  Standards and Guidelines

2.  Competency Indicators

3.  Numeracy and Literacy Benchmarks

4.  Building Assessment Capacity Project

5.  Exploring Implications of Curriculum Redesign

The entire group would be together for #1 and #5 and that there would be ‘break-out’ sessions for the others.


Student Learning Assessments (SLA)

Learning Network is currently planning sessions to introduce the new Student learning Assessments (SLA) initiative.

There will be two sessions, one in the north and one in the south of Zone 2.

Dates and Location TBD.


Thank you for your time and energy today

giving the kids the last word….


Thank you for your attention and participation.

Dan Nash,

Program Coordinator     

The Learning Network   


Dan's email:

Dan's Virtual Office: