Education minister says no plans to implement Black Lives Matter lesson plans yet

·2 min read
“We are trying to move away from the rigid curriculum documents throughout the system,” said Cardy.
“We are trying to move away from the rigid curriculum documents throughout the system,” said Cardy.

(Ed Hunter/CBC - image credit)

While New Brunswick's education minister applauds curriculum guides produced by Black Lives Matter Fredericton, he said there's no plans to implement them into the province's school curriculum.

Earlier this month the group, in partnership with the University of New Brunswick and Saint Thomas University, launched a curriculum database teachers can use to teach their students about Black history in New Brunswick.

These include lesson plans about famous Black New Brunswickers, Black culture and social issues.

Earlier this month, Alicia Noreiga-Mundaroy, project lead for the group, said BLM Fredericton was talking with the department about ways to implement more material into the current curriculum quickly.

"It takes years sometimes for curriculum review and modification to take place … this is something in the interim that teachers could access quickly," said Noreiga-Mundaroy.

But Education Minister Dominic Cardy said there are no plans to implement BLM Fredericton's curriculum alongside the current social studies curriculum.

Cardy said that's because he wants curriculum changes across all subjects.

He said he wants to move away from the current system, which sees outcomes for students at the end of each grade, to one where students are taught everything by the time they graduate, with less attention paid to when certain subjects are taught.

"We are trying to move away from the rigid curriculum documents throughout the system," said Cardy.

Ed Hunter/CBC
Ed Hunter/CBC

"I've talked about giving freedom back to teachers and classrooms that they should have outcomes for students in specific subjects, including subjects like this, and they should figure out how to meet those outcomes."

Cardy said the lessons in BLM Fredericton's curriculum are important and every student should be exposed to them, but not necessarily at the same time.

"Leave it as much as possible in the hands of teachers to meet the students where they are in any given year," said Cardy.

Husoni Raymond, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Fredericton, said the database was made to resemble individual lesson plans more than a comprehensive curriculum.

He said the group is still in talks with the Education Department and hopes to have some of the database incorporated into a revamped curriculum.

"Our understanding is that they are looking to incorporate Black history, but just not in this rigid way, the usual way," said Raymond.

"If the entire curriculum process is being changed by the government … as long as their revision and what's the new thing that's going to be implemented also includes Black history and we get to work on that, I guess that's our overall objective."