Minsiter of Education Dave Hancock is listening to the people and following models such as Singapore and Finland while re-calibrating education in Alberta. (It's important to note that Alberta is not following the United States version of test and punish accountability)
Recent scuttlebutt tells us that there may be a move for more professional development days to be installed in the school year. This could mean 10 days in the school calendar that has teachers at school, with no students, working collaboratively with each other, advancing their professional development.
There are some obvious growing pains to come of this progressive change. Firstly, parents may not be too keen on having to provide care for their children for these days, and secondly, teachers may not appreciate having even less time to accomplish what seems like an infinite list of curriculum outcomes. To be fair, these teachers have a very legitimate gripe.
This brings us to the 500 pound pink elephant that is sitting on the education reform table that no one really wants to talk about - Curriculum.
So what's the problem with curriculum?
There's too much.
There's a reason why Robert Marzano, American education guru, says that in order for students to learn all the curriculum outcomes in school, we would have to rename school from K-12 to K-22.
The good news is that Alberta Education's key project working group titled Curriculum Process and Standards Redesign has been hard at work for the last year to address this over-wieght, pink elephant. The word on the street is that they have been given the task of slimming and trimming the program of studies. This
To understand what this committee is doing, let's use a popular analogy. If you have jar and you need to put a bag of sand and a couple big rocks in the jar, you have to place the rocks in first, then the sand will fit as needed. But if you place the sand in first, you'll never get the big rocks to fit.