Preparing Alberta Students for the Next Century

New social studies curriculum focuses on citizenship and identity

Edmonton… As the province celebrates its centennial this fall, Kindergarten to Grade 3 students will be introduced to a new provincial Social Studies curriculum with an increased focus on citizenship, identity and Canadian history.

“I am excited to help launch a revised Social Studies curriculum that looks at Canada’s history through a kaleidoscope,” said Education Minister Gene Zwozdesky. “We’re improving on an already solid curriculum by including multiple perspectives that reflect the growth of our province and our nation. Ensuring our students experience a more comprehensive look at our past will help them better understand our country’s history and make them better citizens of the future.”

Alberta’s new Social Studies curriculum focuses on citizenship and identity by including different perspectives, such as Francophone and Aboriginal culture and history. Canadian and world history, local government, economics, agriculture and global issues continue to be important parts of Alberta’s Program of Studies.

The new curriculum will also help students analyze and consider ideas, events, and issues from multiple perspectives, ensuring they are well informed and able to meet the challenges of a complex and ever-changing world. The new Social Studies curriculum (K-12) will be phased into Alberta’s classrooms, and will be taught at every grade level and in every classroom across the province by 2010.

The last update of the Social Studies curriculum was completed in the early 1980s. “The provincial, national and global landscapes have changed significantly over the past 25 years, making this update a priority,” said Zwozdesky.

Teachers have been preparing for the new curriculum through a series of annual Social Studies Summer Institutes, the second of which is taking place in Edmonton this week. This year’s Institute is supporting implementation of the revised curriculum for Grades 4 and 7, which will be launched in September 2006. Teachers are learning about the revised social studies curriculum, while also sharing ideas and working collaboratively on implementing the new Program of Studies.