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French-language content for this topic on Alberta.ca is currently being developed. Information will remain available on the Alberta Education website until this is complete.

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What's new?

Additional information

When will future curriculum be implemented?

We know that getting schools ready for future curriculum will take time, support and a number of resources. We have been working with stakeholders to develop a plan for Kindergarten to Grade 12 provincial curriculum implementation. This implementation plan will look at timing and approach, readiness tools for school jurisdictions, professional learning, and resourcing.

Our current curriculum remains in effect until the implementation of future provincial curriculum is approved. Timelines for implementation of future curriculum have not been set.

What resources and supports will be available for teachers to implement future curriculum?

We are committed to ensuring that teachers, school leaders, and school authorities can access learning opportunities so that they can develop the necessary skills and knowledge they need to implement future curriculum. Identifying learning and teaching resources to support teachers in implementing future curriculum is part of the provincial implementation plan that is being developed with stakeholders.

Do all school authorities in the province have to use the same curriculum?

Yes. Provincial curriculum ensures students in Alberta have the same basis for their learning across the province. All teachers will use the same learning outcomes but will continue to have flexibility on how they teach the curriculum based on the individual needs of students in their classrooms.

How will provincial assessments shift to reflect the future concept-based curriculum?

Future curriculum will require updated provincial assessments. No decisions have been made regarding the structure of provincial assessments.

What is changing?

Education now has a process to update curriculum within shorter development cycles, which means that we won't have 30-year-old curriculum ever again.

Subjects will share a common design and architecture, and the digital planning tool on the new LearnAlberta.ca website will make it easier for teachers to work with curriculum in interactive ways, including planning across subjects or collaborating with peers.

Easy-to-understand curriculum will build on common "big ideas" across subjects, which will allow students to engage more deeply in their learning and to make connections between what they are learning and everyday life.

Students will develop literacy and numeracy skills, and competencies, like problem solving and critical thinking, throughout grades and subjects.

Our curriculum work helps us address our commitments to improve diversity within curriculum, and it provides opportunities for all students to learn about the historical and contemporary contributions of Francophone, First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

Take a look at what is changing with the future curriculum.

Will future curriculum help students with special education needs?

Yes. Future curriculum provides opportunities for all students to develop literacy and numeracy skills, and competencies across all subjects and grade levels. Future curriculum also provides opportunities for students to revisit concepts in multiple grades across more than one subject. This helps reinforce their understanding of concepts and content across subjects and grades and to practise the skills, strategies, and processes they need to develop to be successful.

Does future curriculum address the basics?

We are ensuring that Alberta's curriculum focuses on foundational elements, such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, while also incorporating competencies like problem solving and critical thinking.

We are making literacy and numeracy foundational in every subject and at every grade level, and we are placing greater emphasis on the development of competencies to ensure that our students are prepared to learn, work, and live in the 21st century.

How will broader/fewer learning outcomes ensure that students are learning what they need to learn?

The design for future curriculum is new for Alberta and is an important part of moving our educational system into the 21st century. It reflects the design that other high-performing countries and jurisdictions have been using for more than a decade.

Future Kindergarten to Grade 4 curriculum organizes students' learning around concepts rather than around isolated facts. This allows teachers to bring a new depth to students' learning and to provide a greater focus on understanding rather than simply knowing. Having fewer learning outcomes that are broader in nature provides more opportunities for teachers to tailor learning and assessment to students' individual needs.

What are the differences between current and future curriculum?

Take a look at what is changing by subject within the future curriculum.

What is the plan for transitioning my child's learning from the old to the new curriculum when implementation begins?

The implementation process and timelines are being developed. This work includes consideration for transitioning student learning and providing time for teachers and jurisdictions to learn about future curriculum before full implementation begins. This preparation period will be part of the process for every grade as future curriculum rolls out.

Why is there an emphasis on Francophone, First Nations, Métis and Inuit content?

We live in a pluralistic society with multiple, diverse perspectives. Our curriculum work allows us to honour the commitments that we have made to authentically include a greater focus on the experiences, contributions, and perspectives of Francophone, First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

What is curriculum?

Alberta's provincial Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum, or "programs of study", is defined as "what" students are expected to know, understand, and be able to do in each subject and grade.

While Alberta Education determines "what" students need to learn in provincial curriculum, teachers use their professional judgement to determine "how" students achieve the learning outcomes in the provincial curriculum.

Future provincial curriculum that is currently under development will include some common elements:

  • Subject Introductions describe the spirit and nature of each subject and explains why the subject is learned.
  • Scope and Sequences outline what students will learn (scope) and when they will learn it (sequence).
  • Essential Understandings or big ideas, are broad statements that frame what students will learn.
  • Guiding Questions help create engaging and challenging learning opportunities for students.
  • Subject Learning Outcomes are "what" students are expected to know, understand, and be able to do in each subject and grade. They include subject content and skills and are built on a foundation of literacy and numeracy.

Alberta's provincial curriculum is designed to help students achieve their individual potential and create a positive future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Why change curriculum?

Alberta's Kindergarten to Grade 12 provincial curriculum has enabled our students to achieve at world-class levels. Nonetheless, our provincial curriculum is in need of updating. Current curriculum ranges in age from eight to approximately 30 years old.

We are looking ahead to the future and working to ensure that provincial curriculum continues to give all students the best possible start in life and meet the demands of living in the 21st century. To ensure student success, we need our curriculum to be relevant, meaningful and engaging for all students.

Curriculum design & process

Previously, Alberta's curriculum was developed one subject at a time and over different time periods, so there is no common design. To assist teachers in their planning, our work to update curriculum will include changes to design, content and the processes used to develop curriculum.

Other high-performing national and international education systems, such as British Columbia, Ontario, New Zealand, Singapore, and Australia, have already or are also updating their curriculum outcomes by placing a greater emphasis on 21st century competencies and literacy and numeracy across subjects and grades. This approach will help build an even stronger foundation for student success in a dynamic, global society and diversified economy.

Moving forward, Alberta is developing new provincial curriculum with common principles and standards that guide what will be included in future curriculum. This includes a common design for how curriculum will look with a focus on competencies, literacy and numeracy grounded in subject content (learning outcomes).

Supporting teachers in the classroom

We also want to better support teachers in the classroom. In the near future, we will provide teachers with a powerful digital tool called the Curriculum Development and Management Application (CDMA) that will let them interact with curriculum in ways they have never been able to before. This tool will also support curriculum developers by allowing for a shorter curriculum development cycle. This means that curriculum can be updated as needed, within shorter time frames. This will help ensure that curriculum remains current and relevant.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit content

The focus on including First Nations, Métis and Inuit content reflects the importance of re-balancing the education system by engaging all students and teachers to learn alongside each other in the spirit of education for reconciliation. Our future curriculum will help us honour commitments made to our First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

These commitments include:

  • addressing the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that pertain to education
  • adhering to the principles and objectives from the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • eliminating the achievement gap in the education system for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students
  • supporting Education for Reconciliation to meet the mandate of The Expression of Reconciliation for the Legacy of the Indian Residential School System (March 27, 2014)

Francophone cultures and perspectives

The inclusion of Francophone perspectives in Alberta's provincial curriculum enables every student in the province, not only Francophone students, to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the linguistic, historical, cultural and contemporary contributions of Francophones and their communities in Alberta, Canada and the world. Where appropriate, Alberta's provincial curriculum provides opportunities for all students to experience and gain valuable insights into the linguistic duality and cultural diversity that shape Canada's identity.

In the context of Francophone education in Alberta, provincial curriculum for Francophone students incorporates the foundational pillars of language, identity, culture and community integration to develop and affirm Francophone students' sense of identity and belonging.

How is curriculum developed?

Curriculum development process

Alberta's future curriculum development process includes three interconnected phases – shaping, developing, and implementing.

The shaping phase involves reviewing the strengths and gaps in Alberta's current curriculum, looking at current research for each subject, identifying the evolving needs of students, a review of the curriculum in other provinces, territories and countries, and input from Albertans.

The developing phase involves Alberta Education leading the drafting of future curriculum. Curriculum Working Groups comprised of teachers, post-secondary professors and instructors, and Alberta Education staff began development of future provincial curriculum in six subject areas of Language Arts (English, Français, French), Mathematics, Social Studies, Sciences, Arts, and Wellness Education in October 2016.

The first step in the developing phase is to write the draft subject introduction and the draft scope and sequence for each K to 12 subject. The second step in the developing phase is the review and validation of the draft curriculum by Albertans, including teachers, post-secondary professors and instructors.

The development of learning outcomes in the six subject areas began in fall 2017. The cycle of developing learning outcomes and validating the draft curriculum elements will continue through to December 2022.

Provincial curriculum is being developed in alignment with The Guiding Framework for the Design and Development of Kindergarten to Grade 12 Provincial Curriculum (PDF, 1.7 MB). The role of this framework is to set a common direction for how provincial curriculum is developed. It describes the purpose of curriculum, and includes common principles and standards that guide what will be included in future curriculum and a common design for how curriculum will look.

The Guiding Framework also reflects government policy and commitments relating to economic diversification, climate change, wellness, pluralism, diversity, inclusion, First Nations, Métis and Inuit education for reconciliation, rights of Indigenous peoples, and Francophone cultures and perspectives.

Targeted timelines for ministerial approval of curriculum

  • Grades K to 4, December 2018
  • Grades 5 to 9, December 2019
  • Grades 10 to 12, December 2020 to 2022

The implementing phase involves determining the implementation timelines for future curriculum and how we will work with our stakeholders in supporting implementation of provincial curriculum. Alberta Education is working with education stakeholders to develop a provincial implementation model.

Current curriculum remains in effect until future provincial curriculum is approved by the Minister of Education. Timelines for implementation of future provincial curriculum have yet to be set.

Curriculum development resources

Our curriculum development resources were developed to build understanding of Alberta Education's curriculum development work.

Who's involved?

This is the first time Albertans have been involved early on and throughout the provincial curriculum development process.

Over the next six years, we will gather input from stakeholders and partners, which includes teachers, students, parents/guardians, superintendents, trustees, post-secondary institutions, employers, industry and apprenticeship bodies, and the broader community as an integral part of Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K to 12) provincial curriculum development process. Alberta Education is also partnering with the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) on the development of future K to 12 provincial curriculum.

Curriculum Working Groups

In October 2016, Curriculum Working Groups began development of future provincial curriculum in the six subject areas of Language Arts (English, Français, French), Mathematics, Social Studies, Sciences, Arts, and Wellness Education for Alberta Education's consideration.

Curriculum Working Groups are made up of K to 12 teachers, post-secondary professors and instructors, inclusive education and early learning specialists, educators who have in-depth knowledge and hands on experience within subjects and across grades, and ministry staff. They include a balanced representation of Alberta's geographic and demographic diversity, and also include representation from Francophone and First Nations, Métis and Inuit teachers.

Curriculum Working Group members were nominated by Alberta school authorities (public, separate, Francophone and charter/private), First Nations Superintendents/Education Directors, the ATA, and by post-secondary institutions.

Focus Groups

Focus Groups are reviewing and providing feedback on draft curriculum during the developing phase. Teacher and Educator Focus Groups are made up of teachers and educators who have in-depth knowledge and hands on experience within subjects and across grades. Education Stakeholder Focus Groups are made up of representatives of education stakeholder organizations that will review and provide insights to the overall subject content.

Focus Group members were nominated by Alberta school authorities (public, separate, Francophone and charter/private), First Nations and Métis organizations, the ATA, post-secondary institutions, and education stakeholder organizations.

How can I be involved?

We are doing things differently. This is the first time that stakeholders including students, parents, guardians and teachers have been involved so early on in our curriculum development work.

Opportunities to provide input will be shared as they become available. Right now, we are working with our education partners to ensure our future curriculum is ready for students in a timely manner.

Our work will continue to take into consideration up-to-date research on teaching and learning, innovative ideas and practices from other high-performing national and international education systems, and previous work with our education stakeholders.

Have your say!

Gathering feedback from Albertans is critical as we move forward. Throughout the curriculum development process, we will provide opportunities to share your thoughts and feedback on future curriculum. Information regarding these opportunities will be posted within this section of the website.

Public engagement

Our surveys and other public engagement opportunities have helped us gather feedback from Albertans on previous curriculum, the direction of future curriculum, and draft elements of curriculum to date.

Fall 2016 curriculum survey

Spring 2017 curriculum survey

Spring 2018 Focus Groups

  • Spring 2018 Parent Handout (PDF, 1.9 MB)
    This handout provides information on curriculum timelines, the development process, and an overview of what students will learn in Kindergarten to Grade 12
  • Spring 2018 Presentation (PDF, 1 MB)
    This presentation outlines the purpose of the focus group sessions and walks participants through draft curriculum.

What's next?

Curriculum timeline tool

The curriculum timeline tool provides you with an interactive look at the journey of curriculum development to date and how various stakeholders have been involved in this work.

View the timeline

Using the timeline tool

  • To move back and forth on the timeline, you can click on the arrows shown on both ends of the timeline or click and pull the timeline in the direction you want to explore.
  • You can click on any event on the timeline to find out more information about the specific event.
  • You may also click on the icons on the bottom of the screen to explore how various stakeholders have been involved in this work across time.

What will students learn?

Future curriculum

Updating Alberta's provincial curriculum is critical to helping students develop the skills they need to make a positive future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Updated K to 4 curriculum (as of December 2018)

View the latest draft curriculum on our newest digital resource - the new LearnAlberta.ca

Previous draft curriculum

October 2018

April 2018