New school curriculum to launch in September

The Ministry of Education is set to launch a new school curriculum in B.C for September this year.

After allowing teachers to implement a draft version of the new school curriculum, the ministry of education prepares to launch the full curriculum for students in grades K-9 staring in the fall. For students in grades 10-12 they will see the draft phase implemented when they head back to school in September, 2016.

“The new curriculum highlights really the continued focus on the basics reading, writing, and arithmetic those core competencies are paramount in the curriculum. But we want to make sure that we’re doing it in a way that makes sure students learn the skills they need to succeed after high school,” said Minister of Education Mike Bernier in a teleconference.

Major changes to the current curriculum students, teachers, parents and guardians will notice are in assessments, reporting and the graduation program. The new curriculum will allow for parents and guardians to be part of the consultation on how they receive information and what they want to know about their child’s progress.

Grade 10-12 students provincial exams will go from five exams down to two exams in mathematics and literacy. The other three areas perviously tested in a provincial examination sciences, social studies and language arts will no longer be test in province wide, they will be tested in class. Graduation requirements will change from the completion of planning 10 to the completion of career education a class focused on linking classroom knowledge to everyday.

“It’s always been and it always will be important for our education system to have system wide measures of effectiveness, at the school, district and provincial level. This doesn’t change that. We are all concerned about ensuring we have students graduating with strong literacy, numeracy, as well as social responsibility and career development skills. Specific subject area content remains important, but teachers are in the best position to evaluate success in that regard,” said Superintendent of School District 6 Paul Carriere.

The new curriculum focuses on literacy and mathematics as the base for foundation it then builds to deeper thinking and problem solving skills. The curriculum has an emphasis on communication, thinking, personal and social competency. Allowing students to develop the skills they need to be successful in life. The new program will follow a know-do-understand model to ensure students are learning the proper material, understand what they’re learning and can apply the learning. The know portion of the formula outlines the topics that students will be learning and what level of understanding they should have at each grade level. Do stands for curricular competencies, subject specific it’s the skills and process that students will develop through their education. Understand stands for the key concepts students will learn and understand by the end of each grade level. The know-do-understand model allows for students to engage in active learning and have a more flexible learning environment.

The new curriculum allows for teachers to choose how they want to deliver the information to students. Rather than telling teacher how to teach the information they now tell them what needs to be taught. This gives teachers the flexibility to teach students the required learning concepts but in away that best fits the students learning styles.

“Teachers know their students best and choose a method to evaluate them that takes into account their strengths and their challenges. Rather than having a provincial exam where every student is looked at simultaneously, being graded at the same level on the same issue. This allows flexibility for teachers to really focus in on student strengths,” said Minister Bernier.

By fall of 2017 every school and every classroom in British Columbia will be using the new program to ensure students have the best education for the future. The new program allows students to gain the skills that will make them successful after high school graduation. This curriculum gives students and teachers the opportunity to create a learning plan that works for each students learning style. With less provincial wide examinations and an emphasis on student confidence the new program is design for students to succeed. Keeping parents and guardians in mind the new curriculum will allow for parent/ guardian involvement with parents teacher consults.

The new program for grades K-9 officially will be implemented in September, 2016 and draft phase for grade 10-12. By 2017 the new curriculum will be completely phased in every classroom across B.C.. The new curriculum can be found online at  https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/ .

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