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Teachers' input

With September inching ever closer, our minds are clearly on students returning to the classroom (as evident in our back-to-school coverage). As such recent news of the provincial government’s appointment of a panel to advise on the development of future curriculum certainly caught our attention.

According to a release from the province, “The curriculum advisory panel includes representatives from the kindergarten to Grade 12 education system, post-secondary education system, education advocates, and career and training organizations like Careers: Next Generation.”

However, a release from the Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA) said teachers are “skeptical” about a panel “that is devoid of active teacher representation, and they are confused and concerned about the current status and future of curriculum development.”

This government claims to be dedicated to consulting with those directly impacted within an industry. Why then, would it, as the ATA stated, “exclude anyone who might have had active classroom experience in the current millennium?”

The education minister said the government “will be in constant contact with the ATA on curriculum and so many other matters,” and suggested teachers are focused teaching, while her focus is student learning. Does she not know most teachers become so because they have a passion for helping students learn? The disconnect here appears to be colossal.

Our only hope is clearer heads will prevail and those on the front line of the industry will be given a voice.

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