This post was first published by Dr. Angela Grace on June 8, 2021 on https://www.heartcenteredcounselling.com/post/an-open-letter-to-albertans
Dear Alberta Parents / New / Expecting / Hopeful and Non Parents; Grandparents; First Nation, Metis, & Inuit Elders and Knowledge Keepers; LGBTQ2++; Aunties/Uncles; Elementary/High School/College/University Students; Business Owners; and Community Partners, of every culture, race, gender, religion, and political party,
It is time to face the seriousness of the foreseeable impact and harm the 2021 UCP Draft K-6 Curriculum will have on our children’s future. And it is serious. Our province’s educational experts have declared that this curriculum will cause intellectual, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual HARM to our children and ethical and moral HARM to our teachers. Is this the future we want for our province?
It is clear the Minister of Education is not listening to the ATA, teachers, school boards, & educational experts who have clearly said NO to this 2021 UCP Draft K-6 curriculum. It is clear that our Premier doesn’t care either and is vehemently defending the document. It is now up to you, Alberta’s public, to understand the issues with this curriculum and take a stand. This is a call to set aside your political views and biases and listen to the red flags that are being raised. THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION.
So what’s the big deal? A LOT.
You do not have to be an educational expert or invest a ton of time to understand what is going on. In fact, it is because the majority of Albertans are NOT educational experts that this issue needs to be better understood.
Here is a straightforward, transparent, logical, and non-partisan process to learn about the multitude of issues surrounding this 2021 UCP Draft K-6 Curriculum. Honestly, take 1 hour of your time to familiarize yourself with the basics before forming your own opinion and expressing your views.
1) See what Alberta’s educational experts, First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and LGBTQ2++ are saying and why they are so worried about the future impact of the 2021 UCP teachings in this draft.
2) Don’t have time to read? Watch this brief overview of the curriculum development process (it will take you a whole 13 minutes and 17 seconds). Grandparents have said they like this overview because it is succinct. There are informative links in the video that will help you understand some of the issues as well.
3) See for yourself what the UCP government has done to undermine and throw out the collaborative, transparent, and non-partisan 2018 Draft K-4 Curriculum created by over 35,000 Albertans, the Alberta Teachers Association, teachers, educational experts, First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Elders and Knowledge Keepers, LGBTQ2++, and Community Partners. In contrast, the 2021 UCP draft K-6 curriculum was created behind closed doors by an unknown source and 19 UCP appointed advisors, one of whom is overtly racist.
4) The Minister of Education is asking for “rich feedback.” However, as non-educational experts, how can the Alberta public possibly dig through the minutiae of the draft and provide appropriate educational feedback and recommendations? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the actual educational experts, who have ALREADY given their preliminary reviews of this draft curriculum, DO THEIR JOBS? Oh wait, they already have in the 2018 nonpartisan Draft K-4 Curriculum..
Rather than debating over minutiae and the politics of this draft curriculum, it makes more sense to request that the Minister of Education actually put education back into the hands of educators. It is up to you, the Alberta public, to continue to demand the following of our supposedly democratic government employees:
1) Put a moratorium on the 2021 UCP Draft K-6 Curriculum.
2) Re-engage with the ATA; teachers; curriculum experts; educational partners; First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Elders and Knowledge Keepers; LGBTQ2++; and Community Partners who actually care about our children,
3) Give our school boards the opportunity to pilot the transparent and non-partisan 2018 draft and engage educational experts and curriculum designers to help make the appropriate revisions to ensure a successful educational future for our children.
Albertans deserve to make an EDUCATED and INFORMED opinion about our children’s educational future that will impact HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN FOR YEARS TO COME. Did I mention that the Junior and Senior High Curriculums are being developed behind closed doors by the Minister of Education as we speak? If there are so many red flags about the 2021 UCP Draft K-6 Curriculum, I personally can’t imagine the nightmare that is about to come down the pipe.
Dr. Angela Grace, PhD
Dr. Grace is a Registered Psychologist, national eating disorder prevention specialist, and former elementary teacher passionate about youth health and well-being and trauma-informed teacher training in educational settings.