Enabling Innovation document released Summer 2012 Curriculum design meetings with subject-matter experts in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Arts Education, Math, and Health/Career/PE. Summer/Fall 2012 Initial design to field for review and feedback January 2013 Establish Standing Committee on Provincial Curriculum January 2013 Post cross-curricular competencies definition paper January 2013 Co-development with districts and field-based educators ? Curriculum ? Cross-curricular competency continua ? Demonstrations of learning; Inquiries
January to June 2013 (grades K-10) September 2013 to March 2014 (grades 11-12) Establish advisory groups on provincial assessment February 2013 Post web-based, interactive prototypes for review Winter/Spring 2013 Conduct classroom trials/refinement September 2013 to June 2014 (grades K-10) April to December 2014 (grades 11-12)3 Exploring Curriculum Design • Ministry of Education • January, 2013 Background and Consultation In 2010, the province began a process to transform education in BC to better meet the needs of all learners.
Transforming a system as complex as education takes time and to do it well involves extensive ongoing consultation, thorough research and exploration of possibilities, and detailed planning. Over the past two years, the Province used a variety of processes to consult broadly and gather advice about the best direction to take. There have been formal and informal consultations with provincial partners, school district-hosted sessions with local stakeholders, provincial and regional conferences and meetings, conversations with international experts, and online dialogue.
These consultations have been complemented by inquiries into wise practices in BC as well as the review of transformation plans from other parts of Canada and the world. In addition, in the fall of 2011, stakeholders were invited to respond to the directions and actions set out in the BC Education Plan, available at: http://www. bcedplan. ca In November 2011, a Curriculum and Assessment Framework Advisory Group, composed of BC educators, was formed to provide advice on directions for curriculum and assessment.
In the spring of 2012, the province held 12 regional working sessions to present ideas from the advisory group and to gather feedback from participants. The recommendations from the Advisory Group and the feedback from the regional sessions were summarized in Enabling Innovation: Transforming Curriculum and Assessment (August 2012) available at: www. bced. gov. bc. ca/irp/docs/ca_transformation. pdf Guiding Principles for Future Curriculum Development The discussions and consultations led to the following set of guiding principles for the future development of provincial curricula designed to be concept-based and competency driven: ?
Make curriculum more flexible to better enable teachers to innovate and personalize learning. ? Reduce the prescriptive nature of current curricula while ensuring a solid focus on essential learning. ? Focus new curricula on higher order learning, giving emphasis to the key concepts and enduring understandings (big ideas) that students need to succeed in their education and their lives. ? Make explicit the cross-curricular competencies that support life-long learning. ? Respect the inherent logic and unique nature of the disciplines while supporting efforts to develop cross-curricular units.
? Integrate Aboriginal worldviews and knowledge. ? Develop assessment and evaluation programs that align with the changed emphases in curriculum. Consideration of these principles led to the development of a curriculum prototype with five design elements (curriculum organizers, big ideas (enduring understandings), learning standards, competency links, and implementation links). These elements, along with fewer outcomes, were intended to make a more flexible curriculum that is less prescriptive while giving more focus to higher order learning.
4 Exploring Curriculum Design • Ministry of Education • January, 2013 Educators, administrators and other stakeholders were asked to review and respond to this prototype in a series of regional sessions. Generally, feedback was positive about these directions for curriculum, with many participants commenting on the amount of openness and flexibility compared with current curriculum. Based on this feedback, more detailed consultations with many more educators took place, this time looking at specific subject areas.
A set of cross-curricular competencies seen as central to life-long learning were proposed to play an important role in curriculum, assessment, reporting and graduation. These cross-curricular competencies have been grouped into three categories: Thinking, Communication, and Personal and Social Crosscurricular Competencies. Researchers developed summaries of recent literature on each cross-curricular competency and the Ministry consulted with provincial Aboriginal scholars to help build definitions to inform development in both curriculum and assessment.
Draft definitions for the cross-curricular competencies are outlined in the Defining Cross-Curricular Competencies document, available online at: http://www. bced. gov. bc. ca/irp/transforming_curriculum. php It is recognized that British Columbia schools serve students from diverse cultures and backgrounds. The multicultural nature of the BC school system is highly valued, and all students’ heritages and cultures are valued.
The inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge specifically in the Guiding Principles for New Curriculum is based on the understanding that Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge are a part of the historical and contemporary foundation of BC and Canada. The integration of Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge in the curriculum serves as an important step to begin to address misunderstanding of Aboriginal cultures. With a more in-depth knowledge of Aboriginal people and their history, all students in British Columbia will have a foundation for developing mutual understanding and respect.
Even though provincial assessment and reporting were not fully discussed at the various consultations and meetings, it was evident that there is a need to make changes to current assessment programs in order to align assessments and reporting with the overall intent of the directions proposed. Assessment and reporting will need to be more deeply explored in subsequent consultations once the curriculum is more fully developed and graduation requirements have been identified. To initiate this process, advisory groups on provincial assessment will be formed in the near future.