B.C.-Students attending public school in British Columbia are about experience a new way of learning, with new curriculum being launched this year.
The B.C. government says the new curriculum starting this school year is the first phase of a three-year transition for students in kindergarten to Grade 9.
The world is changing. Technology and innovation are reshaping society. Today’s students need the right skills to succeed in tomorrow’s world, says Minister of Education.
“Parents, teachers, educators all share the same goal – student success. With five years of labour peace, we can focus together on connecting students with the skills they will need tomorrow. The new curriculum will help ensure students have the skills they need to turn their dreams into reality in our constantly changing world,” says Mike Bernier, Minister of Education.
“That is why this fall the B.C. government is kicking off a three-year transition to a new curriculum in B.C. schools that will ensure students learn the basics like reading, writing and arithmetic in a way that connects them to the collaboration, critical thinking and communications skills they need to thrive in college, university and the work force,” say the Minister.
Curriculum is the game plan for teaching – it maps out what teachers teach, and what students are expected to learn. In the first phase of the transition, Kindergarten to Grade 9 teachers will have the chance to use the new curriculum in their classrooms.
Flexible learning is at the heart of the refined approach and it will help teachers tap into the passions and interests of individual students. Students can learn about core subjects while doing projects related to their interests, such as music, hockey, or dinosaurs. There are also more hands-on learning opportunities so students can see how classroom knowledge applies in real life situations.
The curriculum also includes:
- renewed emphasis on environmental sciences;
- Aboriginal perspectives integrated throughout all grade levels;
- the history and ongoing legacy of the residential school system; and
- new content regarding historical experiences of East and South Asian immigrants.
The plan was developed in collaboration with more than 100 B.C. teachers over the past three years, and for the first time, all subject areas have been developed at one time – by teachers.
Starting this fall, the government begins the three-year process of transitioning to the new curriculum, starting with Kindergarten to Grade 9. Teachers in those grades will have the option to use the new curriculum this school year, before it is fully implemented in all schools in fall 2016. The entire K-12 curriculum will be phased in by the 2017-18 school year and will continue to be presented by subject areas and grade levels, ensuring consistent province-wide learning standards for all B.C. students.
The new curriculum fits in with the key goals of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to re-engineer education to ensure young people have the skills they need to qualify for in demand careers and is part of the larger transformation efforts outlined in B.C.’s Education Plan.
- More than 500,000 B.C. students head back to school Sept. 8, 2015.
- The teams of teachers that developed curriculum were formed in collaboration with the BC Teachers Federation, the Federation of Independent School Associations and the First Nations Schools Association.
- Draft K-9 curriculum was posted online for review in October 2013 and garnered more than eight million views and more than 1,200 pieces of feedback from teachers, experts, parents and the general public.
- Draft curriculum for Grades 10-12 has been developed and will be finalized this school year.
- The provincial six-year completion rate has increased by more than 10% since 2001 and was at 84.2% in 2013-14 (public and independent schools).