A new provincial ministerial order has been delivered to school divisions, further changing the direction of education from what is being considered ‘old school’ tactics to the new way of thinking.
“This whole document is on Inspiring Education,” explained Larry Jacobs, Wolf Creek Public Schools superintendent.
Several years ago, divisions across the province came together to lay the groundwork for the future of education in Alberta and speculate what being a student in 2030 would look like.
It was those meetings and the following processes that spawned the order. “That was kind of a wake up call for the minister to say ‘okay, if this is where we want to go, I have to change the direction of education,’” said Jacobs.
This order will have divisions, schools and teaching staff now focusing on student competency as much as they have content in the past. “It’s not so much what you learn by what you can do with it,” said Jacobs.
Education tactics are moving toward what Jacobs — and the rest of the province — is calling the three E’s: Engaged students with Ethical mindsets and Entrepreneurial spirits.
“No longer can we just open a textbook and say here’s your assignment,” said Jacobs. With the order, Alberta will continue to develop strategies to encourage students to take an active role in their own academics by interesting them and allowing them to create their own ideas and hypothesis’ rather than simply memorize and regurgitate.
Jacobs says within two to three years Alberta’s program of study will have changed what and how each subject is taught as well as the outcomes. He added that there would be a major shift from simply focusing on knowledge to having students be able to wield their knowledge.