Public school board not worried about curriculum suggestions just yet

·1 min read

Leaked education curriculum recommendations were talked about at length last week, with suggestions of adding bible poetry to young grades and getting rid of Residential School learning for Grade 4s.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange quickly spoke on the recommendations from the UCP’s appointed panel, stating they were not concrete.

Medicine Hat Public School Board vice-chair Rick Massini says it will be a wait-and-see approach to any changes that could come to the curriculum.

“These are proposed recommendations by a panel, and as the minister says, advice is advice,” he said. “(LaGrange), the government and the ministry will make the final call on that.”

Massini said there were positives and negatives to the proposal.

“In terms of the guiding questions, I thought those were good,” he said. “Questions like, ‘How can I be a better citizen in my school and my community?’ That’s a pretty essential question.”

Other curriculum recommendations, first reported by CBC, were that seven- and eight-year-olds learn about feudalism and Chinese dynasties.

The panel also suggested that Grade 1 students should be familiar with the artwork of Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe and Pablo Picasso.

Homer’s Odyssey is also recommended reading for social studies classes.

CBC also reported long lists of names and landmarks that young children should memorize, according to the documents.

“I’m not a social studies teacher, so it’s hard for me to comment on certain things,” said Massini. “There seems to be a trend toward memorization and lower-order thinking skills, which is a step backwards to me.

“Kids today desperately need critical thinking skills and things like memorization do not accomplish that.”

Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News