Ministerial order on student learning

Review the standard that sets the vision, values, learning foundations and outcomes for student learning in K to 12 education.

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  • Ministerial order on student learning


Education in Alberta will promote the acquisition of skills and the pursuit of knowledge with wisdom, while valuing equality of opportunity, parent and caregiver responsibility, personal responsibility and excellence, and respect for difference and the inherent dignity of each individual. Students will understand the rights and benefits of democratic citizenship and their personal and community responsibilities. They will explore life opportunities that develop their unique talents and potential, provide a sense of purpose and belonging, and affirm the dignity of work. 

Students will engage in career education pathways that provide the relevant and timely support they need to prepare for fulfilling careers. They will become lifelong learners who will cultivate the competencies of critical thinking, communication, problem solving, collaboration, research and managing information, citizenship, creativity and innovation, and personal growth and well-being.

Vision for student learning

Students will gain the skills, knowledge, and competencies they need to live fulfilling lives and make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world. Alberta Education’s objective is to deliver a world-class education for every student while expanding choice in education.

Expanding parent and student options in Alberta’s public, separate, Francophone, charter, independent, early childhood, and home education systems will ensure parents and caregivers have a host of tailored options for their children’s education that best suit the needs of their children.

Foundations for learning

Literacy and numeracy are the foundational building blocks of learning. They shall be pervasive across all subjects and grades and specifically taught using developmentally appropriate texts of high quality in language classes and standard algorithms in mathematics. These foundations establish knowledge, shared civic and cultural literacy, and skills that enable students to solve problems and think critically as they become active and informed citizens leading healthy lives of meaning. 

Objectivity and impartiality

An objective and impartial presentation of the facts, without editorialization or personal bias, in a fair and neutral manner is essential. This will enable students to strengthen objectivity, balance critical thinking while learning a diversity of viewpoints, learn in an inclusive environment where all students feel valued and where multiple perspectives are encouraged and respected, build evidence-based viewpoints by using credible and reliable evidence, and have open and honest dialogue and discussion.

Outcomes for learning


Students will develop superior written and verbal communication skills. Becoming confident and skilled communicators prepares students to successfully share their ideas and make substantial contributions locally and internationally. Throughout their education journey, students will learn how to structure their communication, provide evidence, and communicate in a precise and concise manner.

Students will be able to communicate their ideas and views with intellectual rigour, participate in everyday communication experiences, prepare for the workplace or post-secondary, and excel in meetings, presentations, interviews, and other communication engagements.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking enables students to understand complex problems, develop creative solutions, gather and assess information objectively, and make reasoned decisions. Students will strengthen their critical-thinking skills by exploring alternative viewpoints, questioning assumptions, anticipating potential problems, and proactively finding ways to prevent or mitigate them. Students will learn to promote innovation and creativity, approach situations with objectivity and rationality, and separate fact from fiction.

Alberta’s students will have opportunities to build evidence-based viewpoints, using credible and reliable evidence, and have open and honest dialogue and discussion in a fair, neutral, and objective manner. This will enable students to strengthen objectivity, balance, and critical thinking while learning a diversity of viewpoints in an inclusive environment where all students feel valued and where multiple perspectives are encouraged and respected.

Knowledge development

Students will demonstrate mastery in foundational, subject-specific content and a familiarity with world history, particularly the cultures and institutions that have shaped the history of Canada. The development of literacy and numeracy will be reinforced, enriched, and supplemented by the study of Alberta, Canada, and world history, geography, mathematics, science, technology, philosophy, literature, languages, physical education and wellness, and the arts, which shall be taught with specific factual content and measurable outcomes. Students will demonstrate competence in managing personal finances, applying their critical thinking, and engaging with various media.

A strong foundation in mathematics and science plays a crucial role in preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the modern world. Alberta’s curriculum will prepare students for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers and post-secondary opportunities, help them develop digital and technological literacy and cultivate problem-solving and analytical skills, and prepare them for global competitiveness by driving innovation and technological growth.

It is crucial for students to have advanced knowledge of literacy and English comprehension that will be supported with early student assessment and intervention. Developing a strong proficiency in English will help students communicate effectively, access a wider range of academic and professional opportunities, build clarity of expression and overall cognitive development, grow personally and professionally, and have greater civic and democratic engagement and participation.

Today’s students require a well-rounded education strengthened through the inclusion of art, music, dance, and drama. Students can develop creative expression, appreciate diverse artistic and cultural perspectives, strengthen their emotional and social development, and learn about the historical and cultural significance of artworks and artistic movements, fostering a deeper understanding of human history and cultural heritage.

Students will integrate the broad knowledge base of these subjects to learn to think for themselves, solve problems creatively, collaborate, and communicate effectively. Students will be encouraged to approach the world with intellectual curiosity and humility, understanding inherited traditions, engaging with new ideas and diverse viewpoints, questioning assumptions with reason, evaluating sources of information with discernment, and applying learning in a variety of life and work situations.

Hands-on and experiential learning experiences will allow students to learn by doing. Opportunities for students to be active participants in learning will promote an understanding of the practical application of knowledge and enrich students’ learning experiences. Students will be prepared for the real world as they strengthen critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills, and practise self-reflection for personal growth.

Health for life

Through physical and health education, students will develop physical fitness abilities and a healthy lifestyle. Students will develop coordination, balance, and spatial awareness; understand the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship; respect the abilities of others; and develop a lifelong commitment to physical activity. They will also make healthy lifestyle choices by recognizing the importance of healthy habits, self-care, preventatives, and proactive health practices to reduce the need for medical interventions; monitoring and tracking health indicators; practising self-care; making informed nutritional choices; and recognizing the health complications that can arise from inactive and unhealthy lifestyles.

Alberta Education acknowledges the growing needs of students with mental health and other learning challenges. These children will be provided with every opportunity to flourish in Alberta’s education system and economy. They need to be successful, fulfilled, and fully participative in building this province. All students will gain an understanding of mental health and mental illnesses and the factors that influence mental well-being, reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness, and equip students with the knowledge and skills needed for early identification and intervention.

Character development

Students develop honesty, integrity, and self-reliance through the application of their knowledge and skills. They recognize truth, beauty, and goodness through exposure to the best and most enduring art and writing across different time periods and places. They will demonstrate resilience and good judgement in a rapidly changing world, building positive relationships and taking responsibility for their personal health and well-being. Students will demonstrate a commitment to the common good by exercising compassion, empathy, and support for one another in their diverse society.

Preparing students for their future

Students will learn foundational life skills that will enable them to develop and sustain healthy behaviours. This will help them build healthy relationships, manage and resolve conflicts, manage personal finances, build confidence, deal with failure, and be prepared for everyday life.

Students will have rich and diverse opportunities to engage in work experience, including internships, summer jobs, placements, fieldwork, or practicums. Through these experiences, students will develop a strong work ethic, prepare for their future careers, explore career options, strengthen workplace skills, establish professional connections, enhance their resumés, increase self-confidence, understand workplace culture and etiquette, learn the importance of time management and work-life balance, and strengthen financial literacy.

Students can participate in apprenticeship programs to begin certification in a skilled trade while also completing their academic graduation requirements. This will enable students to start developing trade-specific skills at an early stage and give them a head start on certification and career entry, explore career options before committing to a particular career path, experience a seamless transition from school to work, enhance their employability, increase their financial independence, and strengthen personal growth and self-confidence.

Students will meaningfully apply their learning in a variety of life and work situations, including managing personal finances. Students will learn concepts such as debt and debt management, credit and credit management, interest rates, savings, borrowing, investing, budgeting, inflation, taxes, and planning for the future. This will enable students to practise financial independence, make informed and prudent financial decisions, distinguish between needs and wants, understand and appreciate the value of money and the importance of work, and build healthy financial habits early in their lives to avoid mistakes that may lead to lifelong challenges and implications.

Community and civic engagement

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the needs, beliefs, and expectations of diverse communities and identify connections that transcend difference. All students will see themselves, their families, and their communities in the curriculum, with space in the curriculum for the study of local traditions, history, and geography, including Alberta’s Francophone history.

The curriculum will include a strong commitment to advancing Indigenous reconciliation, which begins with a strong understanding of residential schools, treaties, and Indigenous peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Alberta. This will ensure students establish and maintain respectful relationships with Indigenous communities. Students will also learn about and work toward reconciliation so that Indigenous peoples and communities are engaged as economic partners and take full advantage of the natural resources that enrich this province and that will empower Indigenous communities to become full partners in prosperity.

Students will recognize the impact of their actions and demonstrate an understanding of individual rights and freedoms, which are secured by Canadian law and which reflect our shared history and traditions, as well as the social and organizational skills required for civic participation. Students will demonstrate respect for others and an understanding of Canada’s political institutions as they prepare to participate knowledgeably and responsibly in a democratic society, parliamentary democracy, and constitutional monarchy. They will understand Canadian and world history, the debt to previous generations, and obligations to future generations.

Students will also learn the importance of individual rights, responsibilities, and the duties of citizenship generally, as well as the structure and functioning of government and the democratic process. This will enable students to understand how government works and how decisions are made and the relationship between government and its citizens. Students will learn about fundamental rights and freedoms, the electoral process, the importance of political participation and engagement, the rule of law, and civil discourse and respectful dialogue. They will also build media literacy.

Alberta, Canada and the world

Students require a strong understanding of their communities and province and the ability to apply this knowledge when engaging on topics of national and international importance. 

By exploring topics in Alberta’s and Canada’s history and culture, students will develop a strong appreciation and understanding of Canada’s military history, the sacrifices made by Canadian servicemen and women, and their impact on Canada’s development and global peace and security. Students will understand Canadian heroism during the First World War and Second World War and the importance of these events in the formation of Canada, in the creation of United Nations Peacekeepers and Canada’s involvement in peacekeeping missions around the world, and in Canada’s commitments to and influence on global peace and security.

Equipped with a strong understanding of Alberta’s and Canada’s unique contributions and histories, students are encouraged to explore and engage in international educational opportunities that will strengthen their intercultural skills and build global career and educational networks. Through these experiences, they will learn about different societies, cultures, and perspectives; gain a higher degree of cultural acceptance, tolerance, and understanding; and prepare for global career and educational competition.

Students will recognize their shared responsibility for environmental stewardship and sustainability. They will engage in discussions on Alberta’s natural resources, including oil sands, oil, natural gas, minerals, agriculture, and forests, in building and sustaining Alberta’s economy, creating jobs, ensuring prosperity, and enabling a high quality of life. They will know the global significance of Alberta’s vast oil reserves and Alberta’s reputation as the most ethical producer of oil in the world. They will also understand the importance of natural resources in enabling and sustaining Alberta’s society and Albertans’ quality of life. Students will learn about advancements for cleaner extraction of natural resources and about renewable energy sources.


The education of Alberta’s children and youth is central to the future prosperity and social well-being of the province. Parents and caregivers deserve the best from those who help them educate their children. Students will develop intellectual ability and practical skills and be taught by caring and knowledgeable teachers. They will inherit a rich, interconnected knowledge base and be practiced in free, lively, and respectful dialogue with varied viewpoints.